Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Lesson in Purity

"For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit."
1 Thess.4:7,8

Well, we certainly saw a contrast today in the behavior of Jacob's sons. Promiscuity and purity were both evidenced. We see the profligate conduct of Judah as he pursues pleasures and the holy character of Joseph as he pursues God.

Joseph put his trust in the Lord. He knew that if he followed temptations path he would give up all he had, all he was and all he would ever be. He would lose responsibility, respectability and reputation. We have a beautiful picture of a man of integrity. He was the same in public as he was in private. There was something different about Joseph and others noticed by his character the authenticity of the God he served. His life gave evidence to believe there is a God behind the message.

Four times in one chapter we read, "The LORD was with Joseph" (Genesis 39:2,3,21,23). Potiphar's house was successful because Joseph was there. Ultimately this was because God was there. This 'with' was more than a close proximity. It was an indwelling of God's Spirit giving Joseph His presence and power resulting in Joseph's prosperity.

When temptation came the Lord was with Joseph. When everyone leaves you, the Lord still remains. All the servants were gone from Potiphar's house when his wife tried to seduce Joseph. No-one would have seen...but God sees!

Joseph knew he was in trouble and he ran from the shameless enticements of Potiphar's wife. He didn't for a moment linger in lust. His feet fled. He recognized that this sin would not be against the one who owned his service, but the one who owned his heart. He had the proper fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).

Was Joseph rewarded for his actions? It certainly doesn't appear that way as he is sent off to prison. On the other hand, these accusations could have had him beheaded. Again we read that the Lord was with Joseph.

So, today I question, is the Lord's presence in my life obvious to others? What do I have responsiblity or authority over? How am I using that authority? Am I content in my service? Am I taking care of my household? Am I handling my affairs with honesty? Am I avoiding sin (Genesis 39:10), and running from temptation? Do I fear the Lord?

The Lord was with Joseph. If you know Him personally, His presence and power is with you today.

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1 comment:

Laura said...

These are all such good questions to ponder, Joy. My answers make me want to do better. I love the story of Joseph and the reassurance that God is with us even in difficult times. It struck me as I visited your other blog and read about your sweet friend who is having some tough times that these two posts compliment each other. God is with her. God is with us.

Sigh. Isn't that blessed assurance?

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