Satan is doing everything possible to bring down this clear representative of the LORD. In Potiphar’s wife he has a suitable and willing instrument. She looks with desire at Joseph. Again sin begins with seeing (Gen 38:2,15-162Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her.15When Judah saw her, he thought she [was] a harlot, for she had covered her face.16So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “Here now, let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”). She wants to seduce the handsome Joseph to fornication. But Joseph refuses to accept her offerings. He has the strength to do this through his constant contact with God.
Through his contact with God, he is aware of the great trust his lord has in him and he does not want to abuse that trust. He knows in his position that there is no one greater in the house than he is. Such a position is a reason for many people to seek their own interests, but not for Joseph. He knows the responsibility that goes with his position and acts accordingly. Then you are really great.
Also, through his relationship with God, the blessing promised by him stands before his attention. This blessing – promised to him by God in his dreams – he does not give in for a temporary enjoyment of sin with an oh so bitter aftertaste.
His defense lies in realizing how horrible sin, and especially this sin of fornication (1Cor 6:1818Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.), is to God: “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (verse 99There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”). God, Who helps him so much, and blesses him so much, will he sin against Him? If the proofs of the constant goodness of God, the greatest of which is the gift of His Son, are more in our minds, we will also have more strength to resist temptation of any kind.
And don’t think the woman tries it only once. It says that she speaks “to Joseph day after day”. Again and again Joseph said: ‘No.’ You have to have spiritual strength to do this. Joseph is an ordinary young man, with ordinary, natural feelings, also sexually. He is also a slave, someone who only has to obey. But this is about the temptation to sin. Whatever a superior asks of us, we will have to do, except in the case of sin, to perform actions that go against God’s Word. In such cases, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:2929But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.).
Then there comes a moment when the woman seizes her chance. There is none in the house except her and Joseph. Joseph does not seek danger; he is in the house to do his work (verse 1111Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.). If the woman wants to force him to go to bed with her, Joseph puts Paul’s call in 1 Corinthians 6 into practice: “Flee immorality! (1Cor 6:18a18Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.). He leaves his garment in her hand and flees outside. You better lose your garment than a good conscience.
The example of Joseph can be taken to heart by all young people, especially those who, for example, can no longer live at home due to their study. It then comes down to the choices that are made. It must start with an inner conviction: ‘Even if the whole world sins, I at least do not.’ So Joseph says it as it were.
The real power to say ‘no’ to sin lies in having a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and obedience to God’s Word. If that is found, temptation will not be sought, and if he comes, he will be parried properly. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping [it] according to Your word” (Psa 119:99How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping [it] according to Your word.