Scripture Reading: Genesis 38:1-39:23 / Matthew 13:36-58 / Psalm 11:1-7
There are many proverbial sayings that are worth repeating. “A closed mind…is a good thing to lose.” “Don’t just get something out of church…put something into it.” “Having a child makes you a parent…having two makes you a referee.” Last but not least, my favorite “Equal amounts of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate…is a balanced diet!”
There are many great truths to live by and Joseph exemplified some powerful truths as he faced temptation. After being taken to Egypt, Potiphar bought Joseph for his slave. The Lord was with Joseph and everything he did was successful and prosperous. Joseph found favor with Potiphar, was put in charge of his master’s household and as a result, “The Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.” (Genesis 39:5)
Everything was wonderful for Joseph except for Potiphar’s wife. She made advances towards Joseph and tempted him with an adulterous affair. Joseph was loyal to Potiphar and committed to God’s standards of righteousness. Joseph rejected her advancements declaring, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” This was Joseph’s foundation strength…his desire to please and serve God.
We could say Joseph recognized he had…”so much to lose and so little to gain.” He was unwilling to lose his position and integrity for her pleasure. The pleasure was fleeting and temporary but his character was invaluable and lifelong. He also knew God had a special plan for his life and the pleasure of sin would thwart God’s divine purpose. He was unwilling to exchange the temporary for the eternal. Like Joseph, God has a greater purpose for our lives and the enemy will attempt to derail us with the temptation of pleasure. Reject temptation, it’s a matter of purpose, not pleasure.
Another temptation proverb, “When temptation knocks… don’t open the door.” Joseph resisted her continual advancements, “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.” (vs.10) Potiphar’s wife looked for every opportunity to seduce and lure Joseph. Temptation is relentless and will pursue us constantly. It continuously knocks until we open our hearts and wills just enough for it to rush into our lives and create havoc. Don’t open the door!
Joseph displayed the greatest weapon against temptation, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” When Potiphar’s wife caught him by his cloak, “He left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (vs.12) Joseph could have relented and given in when he was caught but he fought even more to escape. We like Joseph are to run from temptation, “Flee youthful lusts.” (2 Tim. 2:22) Reject, resist and run from temptation…it’s better to lose your coat than to lose your character!