Last week we talked about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers – not the best situation that you would want to find yourself in. This week our reading follows the story of Joseph and tells about what happened to him in Egypt. He had been purchased by Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh, and was doing really well - until Potiphar’s wife took notice of him. Refusing her advances led to imprisonment, but twice in this passage it says that the Lord was with Joseph.
There’s a lot that we can learn from Joseph’s story. One is how to effectively deal with temptations. Joseph thought through the potential ramifications of giving in to the temptation and said no, repeatedly. The first battleground of temptation is fought in our minds. If we can convince ourselves that the end result will not be that bad, we often lose the battle.
The next thing I see in Joseph’s handling of temptation is that he sees giving into it as a sin against God. He sees the seriousness of it and gives God higher priority than his immediate gratification. Temptation that leads us to sin should be seen as serious, but how often do we see it that way?
The last thing that I see in this is the fact that Joseph physically removed himself from the situation. Many times, just moving away from whatever is tempting us is the escape route that we need to take. If you and I would follow Joseph’s steps in avoiding sin from temptation, my guess is that we would see a lot more victory than we currently do.
God was with Joseph even when it looked like He wasn’t. God gave favor to Joseph and even to those around him because of Joseph’s faithful devotion. Joseph is a great example of Romans 8:28 “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Joseph had a lot of hard thing happen in his life, but God worked for good for him as well as those around him because of Joseph’s obedience and trust.
Director of Small Group Ministry
New Hope Church