A Study of Joseph – Temptation

It’s been said that you are: about to experience a trial in your life – are in the middle of a trial in your life – or just came out of trial in your life. Take heart and know that you are not alone as we all feel like that at various times in our lives. The true measure of our character is not revealed when things are going well but rather when things are seemingly at their worst. How we respond in these “worst of times” moments is what people seem to remember most in relation to our character. And know this, bad things or circumstances happen to EVERYONE! Even to those who seemingly are doing everything right. Let’s continue with our study of Joseph.

When we ended our last post, everything seemed to be going great for Joseph. God had not only blessed Joseph but also Potiphar and his entire household because of Joseph. Finally, things were going well for Joseph. Although not ideal for sure, he was finding success and was improving his standing in life. Then it happens, life inexplicably throws Joseph’s world into turmoil.  At the end of Genesis 39:6 we read – Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. This fact was not lost on Potiphar’s wife and after some time had passed, she boldly asked Joseph one day to “Sleep with me.

Joseph’s response – Genesis 39:8-10 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Joseph responded exactly as he should have but to no avail, for day after day, she relentlessly pursued him and Joseph remained steadfast, not giving in to temptation. One day she went as far as making sure the house was completely empty so that when Joseph came to work there would be no interruptions or eyes to see! In verse 12 – She grabbed him by his garment and said “Sleep with Me!” But leaving his garment he escaped and ran outside,.

Take note of how Joseph dealt with this temptation. He did not try to plea with her again or try and ignore it. He got away from her clutch and RAN!! Too many times when we find ourselves in a situation similar to this, we think we are strong enough to stand against temptation…why risk it? RUN and run fast!

It’s cool how God then rewards Joseph’s faithfulness by bringing despair and ruin to Potiphar’s wife…..but…that’s not what happened at all. To me, that seems to be what should have happened but alas, God had a greater plan for Joseph which would require Joseph to be in prison. So as we read the rest of Genesis 39:13-20, we see how Potiphar’s wife claimed that Joseph had tried to sleep with her and after she had screamed for help, Joseph had fled, leaving his garment behind. Naturally, after hearing these things, Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison. Not just any prison however, Joseph was put in the same prison where the king’s prisoners were kept.

It’s easy to look ahead in Joseph’s story and know that in the end all things work out for Joseph. But at this point in the story, Joseph had to be thinking – really? I can’t catch a break! Do you ever feel that way? But like Joseph, we have a God that cares for us and loves us beyond our comprehension.

To close this post – Temptation will come us at in various ways, through various people and a lot of times, it comes at just that moment when all seems to be going well. It is up to us to guard our hearts and minds so that like Joseph, we can stand strong against temptation and also have courage like Joseph, to know when it is time to simply run or flee from temptation.

Last point. God is continually at work in our lives and has hard as it is sometimes to see that, we must keep faith and remember this!  Our character will be revealed in times of trouble and strife. My prayer is that all of us will be found to have Godly character in the most difficult of circumstances!!

Peace and thanks for reading!

Proverbs 22

Reading Proverbs 22 this morning. Wow, what a chapter!! This may be my favorite Proverb as it is so rich with so many truths, insights, practical living tips, etc. The very 1st verse is enough for any preacher to have enough material for a great sermon!

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Looking for something to aspire too? How about this verse? Read that verse again and reflect on what this simple verse is saying. What is people’s opinion about me? This is different than asking if people like you. What is your reputation? That’s the question?

or how about Proverbs 22:6 – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. This is a very popular verse quoted in the Christian community but really, how many parents have believed this verse and taken it to heart? There is a promise in this verse. Raise, train your child right and when they are older, they WILL NOT turn from it. Not maybe or chances are pretty good – no, it says they will not turn from it.

And then we have the very next verse that addresses our money (our money? you know it’s His money right?). Proverbs 22:7 – The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. I can attest to this one first hand! Lisa and I have been working to become debt free our whole time together. To have debt be a determining factor in the decisions you make about family matters is truly not the way to go. I think there is a reason this verse follows Proverbs 22:6. We teach our kids about everything but often times we fail to teach them about money!

I won’t go through every verse and I have never written a post like this before – I am simply being obedient to write this today. Anyway…..

Proverbs 22:9 calls us to be generous – The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. I love this verse because to me it is what I call a lifestyle verse. And what I mean by that is; if I adopt this as part of my lifestyle, then how different does my daily walk become? To have a nature that is generous, again, to me, is something to aspire too. If I am generous, then I myself WILL BE blessed! And although this mentions sharing our food with the poor, what if we were generous with everything? Our time, knowledge, skills, talents, finances, grace, mercy, love, etc. How different would the world around us look? A generous lifestyle – yea, I want to be more like that!

The rest of Proverbs 22, starting with verse 17, has what is called “Sayings to the Wise” of which there are 30 totaled. Proverbs 22 has the first 6, with the others being in Proverbs 23 and 24. If you haven’t already, take time today read Proverbs 22. To me, especially has you start reading the “sayings”, we are given a very simple blueprint to adopt into our daily living habits and if we follow them consistently we ourselves will be blessed!

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Peace and Thanks for reading.