“… So How could I do this immense evil, and how could I sin against God?” – Genesis 39:9
Of all the foibles and failings of the patriarchs, it would seem Joseph is the only one who does things right, and he suffers for it. Granted, he might have had some issues with pride as a young man. Still, in God’s providence, Joseph is humbled until finally he is lifted up by God’s grace in order to bring life to others (see Gen. 45:7).
The situation as a slave in Potiphar’s house and the tempting taunts of his wife is the stuff Ancient Near Eastern soap operas are made of. We, with bated breath, are waiting to see how our hero will respond to her overtones and are amazed – and thankful – to find him obedient to God and keeping his integrity intact.
All sin is serious, but sexual sin has a particular offensive odor in the nostrils of God. It brings down lives, homes, families, and nations. It is key that Joseph understands this and recognizes sinning in this way would primarily be an offense against God.
He preemptively understands what David says in Psalm 51:4, “Against you and you only have I sinned,” and would be able to ask and answer the question along with the author of Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” He furthermore could understand exactly what the Apostle Paul would write: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18)
“Father, this day enable me to walk in integrity. Help me to resist temptation and to remember that every sin is a sin against you. Preserve me that I may be a help and encouragement to others, for Jesus sake, Amen.”