A few days ago I met with a married man who has become ensnared in an adulterous affair. During my morning reading, and with his situation in mind, I came across Joseph’s encounter with a married woman. The story in brief: Joseph’s ten jealous brothers sell him into slavery in Egypt where he ends up as the household manager of a military officer named Potiphar: Following are observations from Genesis 39:
#1 Temptation may come amidst God’s blessing:
“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered… When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant…” (verses 2 – 4a)
#2 We may be exposed to sensual people who will seek to seduce us:
“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.’” (verses 6b-7)
#3 When the pressure is on, it will be our intense desire not to sin against God that will keep us pure:
“…How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (verse 9b)
#4 Radical steps may be necessary to extricate ourselves from compromising situations:
“And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (verses 10-12)
#5 An innocent mistake may prove costly when a scorned person turns vindictive:
“She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: ‘That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house…Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison…” (verses 16-18, 20a)
QUESTION: Have you pre-determined what you will do the day you are presented with a similar situation?
“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them…do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths…Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” (Prov. 1:10,15b;2:11)
My prayer is that you are having a great week!