Problems Prove Integrity

Lessons from the Life of Joseph - Part III

Joseph was put through the ultimate test to prove his integrity. Potiphar, the captain of the pharaoh’s bodyguard, bought Joseph at the slave market in Egypt. When Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph, he found favor in the sight of his master. Potiphar made him the overseer of his house and all he had. As far as Potiphar was concerned Joseph could be trusted with anything, “So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything…” (Genesis 39:6)

 
 

The ultimate test: “Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. It came to pass…that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph and she said, ‘Lie with me.’ But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great 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.” (Genesis 39:6-10)

Several years ago a preacher friend and I were traveling together to a John McArthur Bible Conference at the First Baptist Church, Springdale, AR (Now Cross Church). At one point on the trip we were discussing different Bible characters, asking questions back and forth. I asked him, “Do you know who in the Old Testament is portrayed as the most honest person?” “Who,” he asked. “Joseph,” I replied, “Because Potiphar could trust him with his wife.” He pulled out a five dollar bill and placed it on the dash and said, “Yep, if you can trust a man with your money and/or your wife you can trust him with anything you have.”

The last time Potiphar’s wife made a play for Joseph it cost Joseph dearly. But, if he had yielded to her seduction it would have cost him more, God’s greater plan for his life, second in command of the kingdom of Egypt. When she made her last seductive play for him he ran out of the room leaving his coat behind. She then took the coat and made up the lie that he attacked her which caused him to be imprisoned.

Dr. David Jeremiah says it best, that problems prove integrity, in his book, God Meant It For Good:

Nothing tests our character like integrity. When circumstances are going our way, it’s easy to act spiritually mature. It’s when life turns against us that we are called upon to demonstrate that our character is genuine. As has been said by many, adversity doesn’t produce character—it reveals it. Character is often confused with reputation, but there is a big difference. Reputation is what others think we are, whereas character is what we really are. Reputation is what men thing you are whereas character is what God knows you are.

Joseph is a good example of the truth that through God’s love, God’s strength, and God’s wisdom, we can learn through adversity. We take our greatest spiritual leaps forward through our troubles.