Genesis 39 provides an example of a man exemplifying alertness. Joseph, son of Jacob, found his life at a crossroads where alertness saved him from falling prey to sexual immorality. He lived in the house of an Egyptian official, Potiphar. Because of Joseph’s intellect and charm, Potiphar placed him in charge of the entire household.
In the midst of rising success and favor from his master, Joseph did not forget to be alert. He was on his guard against things that could destroy him. After working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife took notice of Joseph. Daily, she tried to lure Joseph [into immorality]. However, Joseph steadfastly refused—he was alert to the temptation. The climax came when they were alone in the house one day and Potiphar’s wife grabbed Joseph’s cloak. However, because Joseph was a man of character, he was alert to the fact this was sexual immorality and could destroy him—so he fled. In the face of temptation, Joseph chose to respond by fleeing the temptation. He only could do this because he was aware of his surroundings and knew his only chance to escape the temptation was fleeing. Joseph practiced alertness.
Michael C. Lyons, Editor of Faith Outreach, Character Council, Cincinnati, Ohio