Joseph: A Man of Integrity

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Genesis: Foundational Principles for Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:08
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The psalmist writes in Psalm 139:1-12
Psalm 139:1–12 NLT
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
When we look at our God we see a God who is everywhere present at all times. This is called Omnipresent! This can be both comforting and terrifying all at once. As we look back at the life of Joseph we will see events that has had Joseph labeled a man of INTEGRITY! Rightly so.

Integrity

Doing the right thing regardless of who is or is not watching.
This is moral character being lived out
This is NOT going along because it may be popular, comfortable, or even beneficial
It is easy to do the right thing when being watched
i.e. going the right speed with the deputy behind you
Harder is it when no one will know… or sometimes even care
That is where Psalm 139 comes into play… God is aware and cares
Consider this as we read Genesis 39 and I will read the whole chapter because I believe we need to be reminded of the details of this passage as we listen… REMEMBER, Joseph is in a foreign country away from anyone he knows, sold by his brothers, hurt, offended, and rejected by those who were the closest to serving the God he serves. (OTHERS ACTIONS SHOULD NEVER DICTATE OUR OPINION OR VIEW OF GOD) Let’s read...
Genesis 39 NASB95
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the Lord’s blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. “There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. “When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.” So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with these words, “The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.” Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper.

Integrity In Multiple Situations

NOTICE three times in this passage it states: “The Lord was with Joseph
Regardless of Joseph’s situation or location, it did not dictate where God was or how God could work. I love serving a god who is bigger than my situations, my problems, my struggles!!!

SLAVE/WORK

First off, notice who sold him… relatives again, the Ishmaelites!
Notice God’s placement of Joseph… Captain of the bodyguard
Potiphar is a high ranking official in Egypt
He is a very powerful and wealthy individual
He is a pagan… he does not worship God
As a slave we see Joseph maintain his integrity
He worked hard for the one he served
Soon Joseph has control over all he has!!!
APPLICATION: What does your integrity look like for the one you work for?
NOT when the boss is around, when it is just you, or you and other employees
Do you give 100%, regardless of how they act or who they are!
Is it noticeable to others and the one you serve, how is your testimony

LUST/DESIRES

Joseph was a good looking young man! Good looks just ran in the line of Abraham.
Potiphar’s wife see Joseph… Good looking / Powerful now in the home / his position and character / Forbidden and refused
Joseph's rejection causes her to desire him all the more!
Imagine the pull and temptation this must have been
You and I have wise words from Proverbs speaking to such situations, we have the warnings of 1 Corinthians 10:13-14
1 Corinthians 10:13–14 NASB95
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
When we face temptation we know where it comes from because of passages like James 1:13-14
James 1:13–14 NASB95
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
But Joseph… Has not read these verses, he does not carry his copy of God’s word with him on his phone to listen to and read faithfully… YET LOOK AT HIS RESPONSE!!!
His motive… “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?
Quite the contrast to his brother Judah’s response last week
Verse 10 he would not listen or be with her
Don’t give ear / be aware of your location
When there seems no way out… he flees!
Being a man or woman of integrity does NOT guarantee the outcome is in your favor…

PRISON/HARDSHIPS

Not many of us if any have been put in prison wrongfully… BUT we have probably falsely been accused of something
NOTICE: the place he is in… the kings prison.
Speculation… Potiphar may not have believed his wife fully
He was captain of the guard, chief executioner… why let a lowly slave live for such an offense?
He may have been angry because now he was losing one of the best things that had ever happened to him
Imagine some of Joseph's questions of the heart...
God, I did right and now I am in prison. Why?
Why did you not defend me?
Why did you not allow the lie to be seen or heard?
Whatever emotions Joseph must have dealt with and experienced… he did NOT allow it to compromise WHO HE WAS BEFORE GOD!!!

The Outcome of Integrity

For observation purpose and what I believe is the best reason for and benefit of living a life of integrity I want us to look at what integrity produces… the outcome of our actions.

God is seen

Verse 3… “ his master saw the Lord was with him”
Verse 23… “The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him;”
It was not only his work ethic that was seen but Joseph was giving God the glory, just as when he responded to the wife… how could i do this against God!
When those around you see your integrity in your life is it backed with your testifying of why!?
Pagan Egyptians saw God working

God can work

Let me state something about God working… he will work His plan and purposes regardless of us
But notice His working when Joseph is living a life that honors Him!
Joseph in his actions and work ethic his integrity created fertile soil for God to work!
There is a story of a farmer who bought some land.A little run-down, weather-beaten farmhouse sat on the acreage, a sad picture of years of neglect. The land had not been kept up either, so there were old tree stumps, rusted pieces of machinery, and all sorts of debris strewn here and there, not to mention a fence greatly in need of repair. The whole scene was a mess. He hauled off the junk, repaired the fence, pulled away the stumps, and replanted new trees. Then he refurbished the old house into a quaint cottage with a new roof, new windows, new stone walkway, new paint job, and finally a few colorful flower boxes. One afternoon the his pastor came by to visit. As the pastor surveyed the farm and was shown the fields he said wow God has blessed. As the farmer showed the garden area where the junk had been, pastor stated wow God has really blessed. The farmer showed him the home and all the updates and repairs. Once again the pastor said to him wow God has really blessed. “Thank you,” said the farmer as he handed the pastor some tea… “But you should have seen it when God had it all by Himself.”
Our integrity and work ethic in this life gives fertile ground for God to work and bless!

God takes notice

Lastly God does notice… He is everywhere present at all times.
God noticed Joseph’s situation with his brothers
God noticed he was a slave
God noticed he was put in jail wrongly
EACH STEP OF THE WAY… the Lord was with Joseph
God gave success to Joseph
God showed kindness in the midst of his hardships
God saw the way he handled himself with Potiphar’s wife
God heard Joseph’s powerful response and saw even his heart!
The question you and I have to answer is this… If no one but God knows my heart of integrity is that enough, regardless of the situation I am in?
I pray He is enough
I pray this lesson from His Word challenges you live a life of integrity
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