QUADS Content Session 3, Week 4
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Joseph's story begins in Genesis 37 and goes through the end of Genesis (ch. 50). We all know the story of Joseph and his "technicolored robe" that was given to him by his Father, Israel (Jacob), which created much jealousy and anger from his older brothers. The brothers stripped him of his robe, dipped it in animal's blood and brought it back to their father, deceiving him (lots of deception in this family!) with a story of how "some ferocious animal had devoured him." (Gen 37:33) When really they sold him to the wealthy pagans for a few bucks. (v. 28)
The next thing we learn about Joseph is that he was purchased as a slave by Potiphar, a high ranking official for Pharaoh, in Egypt. Joseph was "well-built and handsome" (Gen. 39:6) and Potiphar's wife wanted to have sex with him. But Joseph refused.
So let's talk about temptation...(and don't worry, we know you are in mixed company here - we aren't going to get too personal!)
Read Genesis 39.
1. What are ways college students are tempted with sin, besides sexual temptation and underage drinking (since we don't expect you to discuss that with your QUAD!)?
2. Do you think it's a coincidence that temptation came after he was finding success (v. 6 describes his success in Potiphar's house)? Read Revelation 12:13-17 to help guide your discussion.
3. Why / how do you think Joseph refused the temptation?
4. Joseph's situation in life was pretty crappy. He had wonderful parents and lived in the Promised Land of God, but was kidnapped and sold into Egyptian family by his brothers. He had every reason to be mad at God and give into sinful living. Yet, God was the very person he held with high regard. Reread verse 9 and discuss what motivated him to refuse the temptation. Read Psalm 51:1-4 (focusing on verse 4) to help with the discussion.
5. Read Proverbs 7:6-27. The first person narrating in that Proverbs is Wisdom. Where does falling into temptation lead you, according to that Proverb?
6. Joseph doesn't give into this woman. He goes the opposite direction from Proverbs 7. She continually tempts him (v. 10) but he continues to refuse. Reread verses 11-12. He was all alone, typically the very time we drift away into temptation and sin. But he flees from her! Read 1 Corinthians 6:15-20; 1 Corinthians 10:8-13; James 1:12; Matthew 6:11-13; Matthew 5:27-30
I for one think the american church gives way too much attention to sexual sin today. To be fair, it's a big deal and the bible talks a lot about it. Paul makes the point that it's a "different" type of sin since it's a sin to our body. Onan was struck dead because of his sexual sin the chapter before this chapter on Joseph and Potiphar's wife (Gen. 38:8-10). But thinking about these passages on temptation as a whole, why do you think it's so important to flee from sin?
What other examples can you think of where it'd be wise to flee from sin? I'll give you two examples... it's late at night, you've had a long day. You tell yourself you'll just bring your computer or phone into your bed to watch youtube or read blogs. Next thing you know you're looking at porn or you're scrolling instagram comparing your body and your life to those on the screen. This is you "flirting" with sin instead of "fleeing" from it. Another example would be the person who is often tempted to underage drink, or drink to excess, but they put themselves in situations or at parties where everyone is drinking. This is flirting, not fleeing. That Revelation 12 passage and that Proverbs 7 passage warn us that satan is looking to get us! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him (the devil!), firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Ok, so what other examples can you think of where you flirt instead of flee?
7. Just as Joseph's brothers lie about him and sell him into slavery, Potiphar's wife lies about him and puts him into jail. He suffers for his obedience to God, just like many others through the ages (think about Daniel and the lions Den!). But ultimately this points us to Jesus who suffered for his obedience to God the Father. His obedience unto death was the ultimate proof that love is better than lust, and a Savior is better than Sin. Jesus was innocent yet suffered the pain of death, and in that place brought about the redemption of His people. If you read on in Joseph's story, in that jail cell is where redemption begins. He interprets dreams of fellow cellmates, and later Pharaoh learns he is a dream interpreter. He get's called into Pharaoh's executive team and later reunites with his family. But that story you'll have to read on your own!
8. Closing thought... do you think it's a coincidence that Potiphar's wife didn't have a name?