What are some song titles or sayings (bumper stickers, advertising slogans, etc.) which suggest that standards of behavior in recent years are “anything goes.”
-if it feels good, do it
-I’ll do it my way
-Go with the flow
-look out for number one
-you only live once, get all the gusto you can
-you deserve it
-I don’t care about apathy
-don’t get mad, get even
When you hear some of these sayings, what age group do you picture?
-elderly people probably thing of younger folks
-some young people might think of older folks
-some defiant senior adults might have the attitude, “I’ve been good all my life … it’s time I had some fun!”
As we proceed through the lesson, be thinking about what kinds of temptations you struggle with in the area of “anything goes.”
Today we look at Joseph again … How did he react to temptations and to unfair treatment?
- Bible Study
3.1 Remain Trustworthy
Listen for evidence that Potiphar had great trust in Joseph.
Genesis 39:2-6a The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.  When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,  Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.  From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.  So he left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
What evidences do you see here that the Lord was with Joseph?
-God gave him success in all he did
-Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s eyes
How can you tell that Potiphar had great trust in Joseph?
-he saw Jehovah was with him
-he saw the success in all he did
-Potiphar put him in charge with all he owned, with all household
-the only thing Potiphar concerned himself with was what to eat
What kind of negative attitudes could Joseph have had when he was purchased for labor in Potiphar’s household?
-this isn’t fair
-I’d like to get even with my brothers
-being a slave is degrading, Potiphar will be sorry he bought me
-I’m going to get even
-Jehovah didn’t treat me right … I’m going to check out some of these other deities
What kinds of things happen in our lives that can cause negative attitudes?
-financial set backs
-being without a job
What kind of positive attitudes must he have had for God's blessing to be on him the way it was?
-Jehovah is still in control
-in those dreams I had, God promised me great things
-being a slave is not so great, but at least I get to work in the household as a personal servant, not do coolie work in the fields or building pyramids
What can we do to keep a positive attitude and remain trustworthy, even when bad things happen in our lives?
-hold to God's promises
-keep talking to God about everything
-fill your mind with God's Truth (as opposed to secular, worldly attitudes)
3.2 Resist Temptation
Listen for the reasons Joseph gave for resisting Potiphar’s wife.
Genesis 39:6b-10 Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,  and after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!"  But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.  No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"  And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
What kind of woman do you think was Potiphar’s wife?
-right out of a modern soap opera!
-live for physical pleasure
What excuses might Joseph have used to give in to the temptation?
-Potiphar won’t know
-Jehovah is way off in Canaan, not here
-Besides, Jehovah let me be shipped off and be made a slave
-She’s going to get me in trouble if I don’t give in
-She’s pretty good looking, for an Egyptian
What reasons did he give for refusing the temptation
-it would be a violation of Potiphar’s trust
-it would be an offense against Potiphar
-it would be a sin against God
Why do you think temptation often comes at times of great success?
-we let our guard down
-we tend to be thinking of how great/smart/strong we really are
-we are not depending on God in quite the same way as when times are tough
In what way do Potiphar’s wife’s words and actions illustrate characteristics of temptation?
-temptation appeals to our physical senses
-temptation appeals to natural desires (success, hunger, sex, popularity, pleasure)
-we are lead to think that no one will know
-the temptation is repeated again and again
-often times to reject the temptation can get us in trouble
-we are tempted to rationalize our sinful actions
How do Joseph’s actions illustrate ways in which we can overcome temptation?
-realize that it violates someone’s trust in us (family, employer, friends, etc.)
-realize that it hurts others, not just ourselves
-it is sin – it is an offense against God, He is hurt by it
-with God's help we can overcome temptations
3.3 Recognize God's Faithfulness
Listen for ways in which God showed His faithfulness to Joseph.
Genesis 39:19-23 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, "This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger.  Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined.But while Joseph was there in the prison,  the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.  The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
What caused Potiphar’s wife to lie about Joseph?
-she believed Joseph had rejected her, not the sinful act
-she had to get back at Joseph
-it had gone so far that she had to either have her way or do away with Joseph
What ended up happening to Joseph, despite his doing the right thing?
-Potiphar got mad
-Joseph lost his job
-was sent to prison
-possibly Potiphar knew his wife was lying – he knew his wife, he knew Joseph, he knew which one was more dependable
-he had to respond in this way to save face in his own household
-he could have had Joseph executed, rather he put him in a prison for political offenders
How are people today punished for standing firm against temptation?
-passed over for promotions
-lose friends (both supposed friends and real friends)
-made fun of
What evidence shows that the Lord was with Joseph, even in prison?
-God granted Joseph favor in the eyes of the prison warden
-warden put Joseph in charge
-Joseph made responsible for all that was done
-Warden didn’t need to monitor the prison activities, Joseph did such a good job
Both Potiphar (originally) and the prison warden were able to trust Joseph. Why?
-it was obvious that God was with Joseph
-God was blessing what Joseph did
-God gave Joseph success in whatever he did
-Joseph proved himself faithful
What qualities do you think Joseph had (that we also could have) that made this happen?
-Joseph was faithful to God
-Joseph trusted God… no matter what the circumstances
-Joseph obeyed God
How do we acquire these qualities of life?
-daily communication with God (read His Word, talk to Him) enables us to know what is the right thing to do
-practice doing the right thingdaily
-practice them in small areas of our life, areas of small consequence
-then when the big events come along, we have that “programmed” into our decision making process
-we “program” ourselves either way … better to practice the right decisions even when they are of small consequence
- Conclusion – Application
4.1 Trust in God's goodness when troubles come this week
-don’t give up
-claim the promises of God's presence
-be trustworthy in your responsibilities, no matter what
-be faithful in the small things, God will reward you with His faithfulness in big things
4.2 When things go well this week, that is when temptations will probably come
-don’t rationalize the choice to sin
-be daily in God's Word so you have a basis for your convictions
-be aware that temptations will be both subtle and persistent
-With God's help you can overcome temptations
-Remember 1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
4.3 Remember that even though you make the right decision, this is no guarantee for appropriate reward or recognition
-sometimes you end up “rewarded” by being unjustly treated
-don’t trust in the circumstances
-instead trust in God's faithfulness and power to be working in your life
-God is with those who are trusting Him and obeying Him