Run Like Joseph

            You may be familiar with the life of Joseph as told in Genesis 37, 39-50.  Let’s focus on Joseph’s response to strong temptation.  He was taken to Egypt, where he became a servant in the household of Potiphar, head of Pharaoh’s guard.  He proved himself trustworthy and was granted free reign in his duties.  Gen. 39:6 says “Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”  He was handsome and Potiphar’s wife took a liking to him.  Gen. 39:7-21 tells of her sexual harassment and Joseph’s reactions.

“…his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold,…There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And…when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth…she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake unto him…saying, The Hebrew servant…came in unto me to mock me: And…as I lifted up my voice and cried,…he left his garment with me, and fled out. And…when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound…But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

            It could have been worse.  Potiphar could have had Joseph killed, but God was with him.  Consider what Peter says in 1 Pe. 2:20: “20. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”  Joseph showed righteousness by not yielding to temptation and sticking to convictions. 

            Allow me to add that a Godly life keeps life simple, too.  Not to brag, but my wife and I were virgins when we got married.  We have clear consciences regarding people we once dated.  Marital fidelity means no complications from an ex-spouse, blended families, etc.  Remember also that being tempted isn’t sin, but yielding is.    Note James 1:13-15: “”Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  Paul told timothy in 2 Tim. 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  This goes beyond sexual lusts.  Here again Joseph is proof of this.  He didn’t seek power or ego gratification.  God alone elevated him with Potiphar, the jailer, and Pharaoh.  The next time you’re tempted, run like Joseph.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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