Sunday School Material 1-1-12: Joseph Shows Character
(Genesis 39:7-21a; 1/1/2012)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that the Lord was with Joseph, in spite of his being put in prison for false charges. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust God, even when we are being mistreated.
Read Genesis 39:7-12
I. Choices By Joseph. In the Sunday School material Joseph has been placed in a position of great trust by his master. However, the master’s wife is trying to get Joseph to have sex with her. Joseph refuses. But Joseph left his cloak with the wife.
- Trusting God, when brothers have betrayed you. Notice in vss. 8-9 of the Sunday School material that God can turn what people mean for your evil into that which is good for you.
When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, they meant it for Joseph’s bad. But God used it for Joseph’s good, in that he is, now, a man of great influence.
It can be so difficult to focus on this idea, when you are still hurting from being mistreated by loved ones. However, as Christians, we are charged to exercise control over our minds.
Let’s work on trusting God to work all things out for the good of His people. Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other believers can help, in this area.
- Bracing for extra demonic attention. Notice in vs. 7 of the Sunday School material that it seems that the greater and asset you are to God’s program, the more the devil tries to bring you down.
The devil has a habit of using people, and he can be very persistent. The devil used the master’s wife on a number of occasions to cause problems for Joseph and what God was doing through him.
Let’s brace ourselves for extra demonic attention, as we grow in obeying God’s will for our lives. Sadly, some who claim to be Christians are such under performers that the devil doesn’t even have them on his radar.
But the more we try to help people get saved and grow in the Lord with our words and example, the more the devil sends Hell hounds to bark up our paths.
- Fleeing and standing. Notice in vss. 8-9, 12 of the Sunday School material that adultery is sin of commission. It is wrong action against the other spouse. It is a wrong action against the unfaithful spouse.
It is a wrong action against one’s self. And most importantly, it is a wrong action towards God. To Joseph’s credit, it seems that he tried to stay away from the temptation.
However, there are times when we have to be strong in the situation, because retreat or running away is not an option.
Let’s work on using wisdom to flee temptations, when we can, and spiritual strength to reject temptation, when fleeing is not an option.
It would be great, if we could have a helpful discussion about how to avoid temptations and how to stand up under temptations. Unfortunately, many churches do a better job of condemning those who fall than with equipping them to flee or empowering them to stand.
Read Genesis 39:13-18
II. Charges Against Joseph. In this section of the Sunday School material the wife lied to another servant about Joseph trying to take advantage of her. She used the cloak as evidence in her lie.
She then told the master her lie about Joseph and used the cloak again as evidence.
- Bracing and avoiding. Notice in vss. 13-17 of the Sunday School material that the devil can get people to lie on you and do an emotional “about face.” Look at how the master’s wife is lying about Joseph making advances against her.
And notice how the woman changes from wanting to have sex with Joseph to putting his life in danger. A Hebrew slave making advances against the master’s wife is a life threatening situation.
On one hand, we should make sure we don’t let the devil use us. On the other hand, we should brace ourselves for the devil’s deadly practices. The devil doesn’t play fair. Let’s work on bracing ourselves for demonic attack and avoiding the devil’s usage of us.
Read Genesis 39:19-21a
III. Changes For Joseph. The master was angered by the story. He put Joseph is prison. However, vs. 21 of the Sunday School material shows that the Lord was with Joseph, even in prison.
- Faith for prison situations. Notice in vss. 19-21 that Joseph’s being put in prison was better than being put to death.
It can be difficult to see points like this, after people have lied on you, you are put in a prison that you don’t deserve to be put in, and you have gone from riches to rags.
But yet, we are challenged to see that God is at work, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. In fact, the text says that the Lord was with Joseph, in the prison.
We have to remember that God is able to keep us, deliver us, and take us to an even higher level, if we would simply keep the faith. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to endure prison situations.
Again prayerful Bible study and obedience with the support of other believers is going to be very helpful.
Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting God, even when we are being mistreated. God has much for those who obey His will.
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