Misleading Eyes

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Gen 39:6-10 NKJV)  Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. {7} And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” {8} But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. {9} “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” {10} So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.

Observation: Joseph had been sold into captivity by his brothers, but God blessed him and in captivity he proved faithful to his master, Potiphar.  The captain’s wife, however, was attracted to Joseph and enticed him to be intimate with her, something Joseph immediately and repeatedly refused on the grounds that he would be offending God and betraying his master’s trust.  She became angry, falsely accused him before her husband, and Joseph ended up back in jail as a result.

Application: When a person is bent on sin, nothing seems to deter them.  Such was the case with Potiphar’s wife.  One commentary explains that, “Egyptian women were not kept in the same secluded manner as females are in most Oriental countries now. They were treated in a manner more worthy of a civilized people—in fact, enjoyed much freedom both at home and abroad. Hence Potiphar’s wife had constant opportunity of meeting Joseph. But the ancient women of Egypt were very loose in their morals. Intrigues and intemperance were vices very prevalent among the them, as the monuments too plainly attest [Wilkinson]. Potiphar’s wife was probably not worse than many of the same rank, and her infamous advances made to Joseph arose from her superiority of station.”
    Matthew Henry comments: 1. Her sin began in the eye: She cast her eyes upon Joseph (v. 7), who was a goodly person, and well-favoured, v. 6. Note, (1.) Remarkable beauty, either of men or women, often proves a dangerous snare both to themselves and others, which forbids pride in it and commands constant watchfulness against the temptation that attends it; favour is deceitful—deceiving. (2.) We have great need to make a covenant with our eyes (Job 31:1), lest the eye infect the heart. Joseph’s mistress had a husband that ought to have been to her for a covering of the eyes from all others, ch. 20:16.
2. She was daring and shameless in the sin. With an impudent face, and a harlot’s forehead, she said, Lie with me, having already, by her wanton looks and unchaste desires, committed adultery with him in her heart. Note, Where the unclean spirit gets possession and dominion in a soul, it is as with the possessed of the devils (Lu. 8:27, 29), the clothes of modesty are thrown off and the bands and fetters of shame are broken in pieces. When lust has got head, it will stick at nothing, blush at nothing; decency, and reputation, and conscience, are all sacrificed to that Baal-peor.
3. She was urgent and violent in the temptation. Often she had been denied with the strongest reasons, and yet as often renewed her vile solicitations. She spoke to him day by day, v. 10. Now this was, (1.) Great wickedness in her, and showed her heart fully set to do evil. (2.) A great temptation to Joseph. The hand of Satan, no doubt, was in it, who, when he found he could not overcome him with troubles and the frowns of the world (for in them he still held fast his integrity), assaulted him with soft and charming pleasures, which have ruined more than the former, and have slain their ten-thousands.
     Joseph knew the principles which were later written by Solomon: (Prov 6:23-29 NKJV)  For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, {24} To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress. {25} Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids. {26} For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. {27} Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? {28} Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? {29} So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.
     Had Joseph fallen to the enticement of this woman, the results would have been disastrous to him, to his family suffering under the famine, to the faith of many, for the survival of the people of God’s promise, and God only knows to how many millions or billions.  Just a few moments of sin can bring results that last much longer.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, give us the strength to not yield to temptation in any form.  Shield our eyes from wondering into any and all dangerous territory.  And may we always be faithful to You and to our spouse for the sake and benefit of our families and to maintain Your honor and glory before the universe.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



Please login to start chatting. Don't have an account? Click here to register.