“And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth (knows) not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” Genesis 39:7-12
We have all been tempted and sometimes it can be really strong. I have been there myself where my heart started to beat really fast, my palms became sweaty, and I was at the cross roads of making a good or poor decision. I often thought of the consequences and weighed them against what was to be derived by my actions. Was the risk worth it or were the stakes just too high? I would sometimes weigh this in my mind, and then there would be sometimes when I would bypass the safety logic and reasoning and just do the wrong thing.
I had just graduated high school when I received a call from someone I knew from school. He had never called me before, and I wondered what he wanted from me. He graduated the year before me, and I had not spoken with or seen him in over a year. He was calling to ask me if I wanted to make some money on the side. He had a proposition for me to consider, and I was all ears about making some side money. He told me he was in over his head on a new vehicle he had purchased and was having trouble making the car payments. He had thought of selling the vehicle, but was not able to get for it what he still owed. I thought he was trying to sell ME the vehicle, but he had a bigger plan for me.
He asked me if I would take the vehicle to the desert and find a secluded area to hide and burn it. My heart started to beat fast and my palms became sweaty as I was thinking this over while he was speaking to me. I believe he was going to pay me $500, which was quite a lot of money to a broke 18-year-old. I told him I would think it over and call him back. I pondered this preposition for a while and then called him back to give him my decision. I told him he would have to find someone else to do the job. I would like to say I declined the offer because I did not want to sin against my God, but the fact of the matter is I did not trust him and thought he would turn on me if he got caught. I now work in the insurance field and one of my roles was in the Auto Theft, Fire and Vandalism department and investigated people who would do such things. It is sometimes funny how life takes you full circle, and I am glad that I told him no.
I think of Joseph in this situation that he was placed, and how he was tempted day after day. I imagine his master’s wife was attractive, and I am sure she took every chance to prey on him and wear him down. Joseph was not so much scared to get caught, but his main reason to reject temptation was that he did not want to sin against and create separation betweehis God. He did not want to sin against and create separation between him and his God. He realized the wickedness of what he was being asked to do, and he rejected her offer every day. He also realized his master was good to him and that his wife was off limits because she was a married woman. He took into consideration all things, but he was more concerned about the great wickedness he would commit against his God.
What are you being tempted with today? What is Satan dangling in front of you day after day? What are you saying yes to that he continually claims victory in your life? Do you simply resist temptation because of the consequences, or do you consider the offense it would be against your God? Our relationship with God should be the most important thing to us, and we should consider this each and every time we are confronted with temptation. Our God has given us tools to fight the enemy but we must remember that we are in a fight, and this is just not simply a game we are playing. Jesus even taught us how to pray by teaching His disciples in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Do you pray to be delivered from evil or are you drawn to it like a bug to light? May we flee when we are temped to sin, and may we always consider that our sin grieves our God and puts a wedge between us and Him.
Stay in the fight!