We have seen that Joseph was a successful man because the Lord was with him, and because he depended on unmerited favor from God. It is also important for you to recognize that there is a significant difference between God’s unmerited favor and favoritism.
God’s unmerited favor is based entirely on Jesus merit, and we received it through His finished work at the cross. We did nothing to deserve His favor. It is completely unmerited. Favoritism, however, stinks of self-effort.
Individuals who rely on favoritism for promotion have to resort to apple polishing, office politics, manipulative tactics, backstabbing and all kinds of compromises just to get what they want.
They use all their efforts to open doors for themselves, and in the process, they lose themselves. God has a higher and better way for you. It hurts Him to see His own precious children groveling like sycophants just to get ahead in life.
If a door closes, so be it! Believe with full confidence that God has a better way for you. You do not have to depend on favoritism to keep opportunities open for yourself when you have God’s unmerited favor on your side!
That was how Joseph operated. He depended on the Lord for his success, and not on favoritism, which would have required him to compromise his beliefs. When Potiphar’s wife kept trying to seduce Joseph to sleep with her, Joseph stood his ground on the firm foundation of unmerited favor.
By the way, I believe that Joseph faced a real temptation. Don’t forget that Potiphar was a high-ranking officer. He was the captain of the guard, and a man of position, influence and wealth.
As a man of the world, he would not have married an ugly woman for her inner beauty and would certainly not have married an 80-year-old grandmother!
He would definitely have chosen a young, beautiful woman to be his wife, and she was possibly one of the most beautiful women in the land.
So there is no doubt that she was a real temptation to Joseph, and that is why Joseph had to run! This woman didn’t just tempt Joseph once. The Bible tells us that “she spoke to Joseph day by day,” enticing him to lie with her.
But Joseph refused, saying, “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he [Potiphar] kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
From his words, it is clear that Joseph knew the source of his success, favor and blessings. He did not see giving in to Potiphar’s wife as a great wickedness and sin against Potiphar alone, but against God too.
He knew that every blessing that he had experienced was a result of the Lord’s favor on him. He knew that it was not Potiphar who promoted
him from a lowly slave to become the overseer of Potiphar’s entire estate. It was the Lord!