Genesis 39:7-12

Talks for Growing Christians

Potiphar’s Wife Attempts to Seduce Joseph

Genesis 39:7-12

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Lesson Number 86

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Bible does not teach situation ethics.
  2. The Bible does teach situation testing.

Practical Application

  1. It’s better to flee than fall.
  2. Maybe we should thank the Lord that we are ugly.


  1. Why did the Lord bless Potiphar’s estate?
  2. Joseph resisted temptation. Name two biblical men who failed this test.
  3. What was Joseph’s most convincing point in passing this test? (See Genesis 39:9)
  4. What does situation ethics teach?
  5. Why is it wrong to practice situation ethics?
  6. Does the Bible teach situation testing?
  7. Is it sin to be tempted?


  1. Because of Joseph’s faith and faithfulness
  2. Judah and King David
  3. He refused to sin against God.
  4. It teaches that you always do the most helpful and loving thing (from your perspective) in a particular situation.
  5. Because it appeals to human reason and does not take God’s standards into consideration.
  6. Yes. God allowed Joseph to be tested in several areas. In this case, it was in the area of sexual temptation. It was a test of Joseph’s faith and faithfulness.
  7. No. See James 1:13. Sin occurs when one yields to temptation.


  1. Consider the differences between situation ethics and God’s ethics. Discuss the results of following situation ethics. Discuss the rewards of following God’s ethics.
  2. Recall times when you have been tested concerning your faith and faithfulness to God. Recall times when you passed the test, and times when you failed.


  1. Resolve to flee temptations and to honor the Lord in all situations. Remember that Joseph, handsome and vulnerable, was responsible.

Key Verses

  • “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ Joseph fled and ran.” Genesis 39:9, 12

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