Joseph resisted temptation and then endured injustice. We expect punishment for doing wrong, but Joseph was punished for doing right. We may wonder why God would have allowed Joseph to be punished when his actions were righteous, but God’s higher purposes were at work.
Read Genesis 39:11-20
1. What other deceitful scheme was brought to bear in Joseph’s life and what resulted from the lie?
Read I Peter 3:12-17
2. What does Peter say about suffering for doing good?
Read Genesis 39:21-23
3. Describe the favor shown to Joseph in prison. Compare Genesis 39:3 with Genesis 39:23.
Read Judges 16:15-20
4. What did Samson do differently than Joseph when tempted? Of what was Samson unaware?
5. What do you think made the difference between Joseph and Samson in dealing with temptation?
God had given Samson supernatural strength that was dependent upon his obedience to God. He was not to cut his hair if he was to accomplish amazing feats of strength. God was his Source but satan sent temptation in the form of Delilah, who pressed him day after day just as Potiphar’s wife had done to Joseph. What was the difference between these two men? The Bible tells us that Samson got so tired of Delilah’s pressing him that he finally gave in and told her his secret to strength. Joseph never entertained his temptress but ran the other way. It’s sad to read that Samson did not know the Lord had departed from him. Yet, the Lord was with Joseph and made whatever he did to prosper.
To whom do we give credit for any successes in life? We know that our redemption is through Christ alone and his work on the Cross. But so is our strength to achieve and prosper. His Word confirms in I Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” God is the Giver of Life. He is the Source of all things. We’re totally dependent on Him and lost without Him. It is God, not our natural abilities, who gives us the ability to flourish and succeed. Take a look at Joseph’s life and you will see that it was the Lord’s presence in His life that helped him prosper in what he did, as well as to resist temptation and endure unjust suffering. That’s a truth worth considering.