Dealing with Temptation – Life of Joseph Part II
Joseph’s story continues. He’s enslaved by God blesses him at the same time. Joseph earns both the favour of his master and the desire of his master’s wife. And while she repeatedly tries to seduce him, Joseph shows his integrity in dealing with temptation by refusing her advances. Jilted, she frames him for attempted rape sending Joseph to prison. From Joseph’s life we can learn 3 lessons:
1. God is blessing us even during hard times
While Joseph is a slave, God is undeniably blessing all he does. When we’re in hard times, we too need to learn to see God’s hand of blessing. Then we can put our difficulties in perspective.
2. Justice isn’t instantaneous
Joseph doesn’t become embittered by the fact that he has suffered injustice. While a surface reading of scripture might lead us to expect God to instantly bring justice, this isn’t the case. Joseph waits for God’s justice. As believers, we hope for God’s justice. But our hope is set on Jesus’ return when he promises to make everything right.
3. We have to learn to let go of wrong or we will rationalize evil
Joseph doesn’t dwell on the wrongs committed against him. If he did, he could have easily taken up Potiphar’s wife on her offer. Dwelling on grievance distorts our moral universe and allows us to redefine right and wrong in unhelpful ways. Joseph could have seen an affair with Potiphar’s wife as a justified assault on the man who held him as property. It would have been an opportunity for Joseph to assert his independence. But Joseph doesn’t get hung up on what’s been done to him, so he is able to clearly see the proposed affair as wrong. He demonstrates a Godly way of dealing with temptation.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What blessings can you name that God gave you in 2020, the year everyone said was so terrible?
- Have you ever had unjust things happen to you, only to see it turn out as a blessing down the road? How did you view the events before it was made right, and after?
- What sorts of things do you see people doing against others when they feel hard done by?
- How do you go about keeping the moral-reality distorting effects of grievance from tricking you into doing what is wrong?
Sermons for Background