Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Joseph tempted by Potiphar’s wife

Genesis 39

Joseph runs from Potiphar’s wife

Joseph, with an unblemished character, unusually handsome, with an exceptional gift for leadership and the ability to make the best of every unpleasant situation. Born in Haran, 75 years after the death of Abraham, 30 years before the death of Isaac. At the age of seventeen, he was sold into slavery in Egypt and spent thirteen years in Potiphar’s house.

The test Joseph received in Potiphar's house was a defining moment in his life when he faced life's ultimate test. What did he really believed in as absolute truth? When confronted by Potiphar’s wife he explained he could not commit a sin against God.  He took the moral high ground only to be falsely accused and imprisoned.

Jesus too was tested with temptation and false accusation.  Joseph did not defend himself when he was falsely accused, so Jesus "did not open His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7) when He was falsely charged and put on trial. As God vindicated Joseph and raised him to a place of leadership over all of Egypt, so "God raised Jesus from the dead" (Colossians 2:12) and "exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow....and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)  Joseph could have succumbed to temptation and gotten away with it. He resisted and it cost him. When we are faced with temptation, may we pray for the courage to resist.  

Almighty and everlasting God, You would have all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. By Your almighty power and unsearchable wisdom break and hinder all the counsels of those who hate Your Word and who, by corrupt teaching, would destroy it. Enlighten them with the knowledge of Your glory that they may know the riches of Your heavenly grace and in peace and righteousness, serve You, the only true God; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS  
Halley’s Bible Handbook An Abbreviated Bible Commentary Twenty-Third Edition, © 1962 Zondervan Grand Rapids, MI
Collect for Defending the Church from error, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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