01/17/18 Pleasing God

READING: Genesis 38-40

So how could I do this immense evil, and how could I sin against God?”

Genesis 39:9

How easy it would have been for Joseph to fall into an adulterous affair! In fact, one wonders how many men could have withstood the temptation he faced. He was, after all, a young single male who was “well built and handsome” (Gen. 39:6). His pursuer was not just any woman—she was the wife of Potiphar, a high-ranking leader of Egypt. And, it’s not as if she were subtle in her seduction; her cry of, “Sleep with me” left no question about her intentions (Gen. 39:7).

This is the story of an aggressive woman who chased after a young man continually. “Day after day,” in fact (Gen. 39:10). Surely the line between obedience and sin would have been a faint one for many men. Not so, though, for Joseph. He so deeply respected his master, and he so longingly wanted to be faithful to God that crossing that line was not an option for him. In Joseph’s understanding, sex with Potiphar’s wife would have been an “immense evil” (Gen. 39:9), and he thus continually rejected her advances.

Pleasing God meant more to Joseph than finding pleasure through some immoral means. That’s an example worth following.  


  • Decide how much you want to please God today. Hold yourself accountable to someone. 
  • In today’s reading, Joseph unfortunately also found himself in a “he said, she said” battle he could not win. Be cautious about putting yourself in positions that might result in “my word vs. your word” scenarios.

PRAYER: “God, I want to please You more than anything. Please help me.”