Joseph found himself in dire straits. His own brothers had sold him into slavery, whereupon he was immediately carted off to Egypt to work for his new employer, Potiphar. He may have felt alone in a new culture and a new land where he didn’t know anyone, but he was not forgotten. Genesis 39:2 says, “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man…” Potiphar saw God’s hand on Joseph’s work, and made him overseer of his house. “…The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake…And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured” (Genesis 39:5-6).
But, as so often happens after a season of comfort, the storm came. Potiphar’s wife became attracted to Joseph and pursued him when her husband wasn’t present. He refused, not wanting to sin against God or his master. Relentlessly, she pursued him. The day of her final endeavor, she grabbed his cloak, but he slipped through her fingers and ran away, leaving the cloak in her hands. She was so angry that she accused him of soliciting her, and Potiphar threw him in prison.
By God’s grace, Joseph faced temptation and overcame it. He knew what was before him wasn’t God’s best for him, so he didn’t just politely decline – he ran in the opposite direction. II Timothy 2:22 says,
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”Click to tweet
We all struggle with different temptations, whatever they may be – harsh words, retaliation, deception, gossip, laziness. And just like Joseph, we don’t have to face them alone. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (I Corinthians 10:13-14). Through God’s strength, we can train ourselves to run the other way when we recognize temptation.
If we do succumb to temptation, there is no shame in approaching God with repentance. He will welcome us with open arms, just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son. “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:18-20).
BIGGER AND BETTER
The difficult part about Joseph’s story is that although he did the right thing, he still got punished for it. Ultimately, God had a plan for Joseph that was bigger and better than anything he could have imagined. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” God used Joseph to bring glory to His name among a people that knew nothing about Him.
Let’s flee from the temptations that hinder our relationships with God, and run the race set before us with joy!
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Family Radio Staff