Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 11:1-7 | Genesis 39:1-41:16 | Matthew 12:46-13:23 | Proverbs 3:33-35
Today’s Scripture Focus: Genesis 39:1-41:16
“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused.
“How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:6-7 and 9, NIV).
“Come to bed with me!” she says. How would Joseph respond to the unexpected advance of his master’s wife? How would he deal with temptation?
Instead of giving in to the passion of the moment, he looked at the situation rationally and righteously. His split second decision made the difference between falling into sin and standing strong as a righteous man.
Joseph resisted temptation because he looked at the situation rationally (8,9). He knew that he was a steward of his master’s property and was being held accountable for how he handled his responsibility. To sin against his master by giving in to the temptation, would clearly have serious consequences when his actions were discovered. Sin brings pleasure for a season, but it always has consequences. Realizing this helped Joseph resist temptation.
Joseph resisted temptation because he looked at the situation righteously–from God’s perspective. Joseph rightly understood that his sin would not only be against Potiphar and his wife, but would be against God himself. “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”(9). Sin is rebellion against God. Our failure to recognize this, makes us vulnerable to temptation. Joseph was very aware that to give in to temptation was to sin against God.
Joseph resisted temptation because he stuck to his decision resolutely. He determined that he would not give in. He stuck to his decision stubbornly. “And though he spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (10).
Joseph resisted temptation by fleeing rapidly. He knew that willpower itself would only go so far. He refused to give in and “made a run for it” when he was in a particularly vulnerable place.
Temptation is an everyday reality. We would do well to follow Joseph’s example in standing up resolutely to temptation.
God of Strength, enable me to resist temptation. Be with me when I am vulnerable and teach me when to flee. Amen.