February 25, 2019

JOSEPH’S TEMPTATION

Now Joseph was firmly secured in the house of his master who left all he had in Joseph’s possession. Everything was going well with him until the wife of Potiphar started to pressurize him to come lie with her. The scripture says, “But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,   that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.   And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside,  that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”  So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”  So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing.  The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

This was Joseph’s story in Egypt, a handsome young boy who was very hardworking and had the Fear of the Lord, and God was with him and his master was blessed because of him. This boy then faced the first temptation of his life, to have an affair with his master’s wife. Devil wanted to destroy the testimony of this boy but thank God that he had the fear of God to withstand the pressure of this devilish woman and ran away from her instead of yielding to the pressures. 1 Corinthian 10:13 says “ No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  Joseph made it clear to her that it was a “no go” area because it was an act of wickedness and a sin against his God. That was the fear of the LORD in action. When you fear the LORD you will run away from evil. God gave him the strength to overcome the temptation. The best solution is to escape from this temptation. Temptation in itself is not a sin. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, and he did not sin. It is the grace of God over Joseph that provided a way of escape for him. Of course there would always be consequences for his action, and now the wife made up a story to justify herself and cover the shame. Thus Joseph ended up in prison for a sin he did not commit.  But God was with him.

It is good to be right with God. God wants us to be like Him. He wants us to live a life of obedience to his commands and ordinances. Committing fornication and adultery are the works of flesh which goes contrary to the will of God. These sins are the major cause of the problems that have polluted our world. As long as we are not in the will of God, we are enmity against God. The only way we can receive the blessing of God is if we stay in the will of God. In Deuteronomy 28:1-14 talks about the blessings of God if we hearken unto his laws and statutes while the remaining verses from 15 to 68 are curses that will befall whoever do not hearken to the voice of the LORD to observe to do all His commandments and statutes. Thus Joseph continue to enjoy the blessings of God even in the prison. Again he was given a leadership role to be in charge of all the prison mates. He was again given absolute authority  over all the prisoners and was not questioned what he did with them, because God was with him. God is to be feared above others, and as long as we have the fear of God in us, the goodness and mercy of God will continue to be with us and in all that we do and the works of our hands will prosper. Let this word of God continue to dwell in us richly so that we can experience the grace of God multiplied in our lives in Jesus Name, Amen. Remain blessed.

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