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Jan
18

How to Handle Temptation (part 1)

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Joseph was ambushed by his brothers and sold to slave traders, proving that sometimes mayhem is unavoidable. Though we can’t control adversity, we can do something about our response. Which brings me to the next section of Joseph’s life, found in Genesis 39:1-20. Joseph arrived in Egypt and was sold to the highest bidder, who happened to be a man named Potipher. Potipher was the chief of the executioners in Pharaoh’s cabinet. We might think of him as a modern equivalent to the Director of the FBI or the CIA. Joseph would live as a slave in his house for nearly 10 years.

Because Joseph was a man of destiny, God blessed him and all that he did. His success gained Potipher’s attention and he was promoted to serve as the chief administrator of Potipher’s household. Enter mayhem. Joseph was well built and handsome. There are only two others in the Bible who are designated “handsome.” Before you know it, Potipher’s wife began making sexual advances toward him. When I pause and think about it, its quite remarkable that Joseph didn’t give in. Think about it…
…The temptation would have been natural. Joseph was a single guy who has been approached by (what I assume) is a beautiful woman. After all, powerful men tend to have pretty wives.
…Joseph was away from home. You know the phrase “what happens in Egypt stays in Egypt!” There’s something about being away from home that makes temptation strong.
…Joseph’s family would not have provided a clear, positive example. He had grown up without a healthy model of relationships between men and women.
…The temptation came after a big promotion when it would have been easy for Joseph to relax and let down his guard.
…The temptation was continual. She pressed him frequently.

The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian church to not be “taken advantage of by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his intentions” (2 Corinthians 2:11, HCSB). Joseph’s experience in Potipher’s house warns us that we will face temptation. It’s real. But it’s easier to deal with temptation when you are aware of how temptation comes and when you are most vulnerable. Tomorrow I’ll post more from this story and deal specifically with how Joseph resisted temptation.

Where are you vulnerable to temptation?

Categories : Genesis, Joseph, Temptation

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