“… that she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”
— Genesis 39:12
Have you ever thought about what makes someone a hero? A hero is brave against all odds. A hero will fight for what’s right, even it if costs his or her reputation, health, wealth, power, social position, or even life.
Joseph was a hero. Even though he lived centuries before God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, Joseph knew what God’s law required, and he lived by it. The evil practices of Egypt had not corrupted him. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, Joseph said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” He called a spade a spade. And in the face of temptation, he fled. But Joseph was punished for his honesty, thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. At this point in time, Joseph could have reasoned that if God had not abandoned him when He allowed Joseph to be sold as a slave, He had certainly abandoned him now. But Joseph heroically kept believing and trusting in God.
Have you ever thought of what the results might have been if Joseph had yielded to temptation? He wouldn’t have been cast into prison where he met the baker and cupbearer and interpreted their dreams. Pharaoh wouldn’t have summoned Joseph to interpret his dreams of cows and haystacks. Pharaoh wouldn’t have made Joseph the second-highest official in Egypt, commissioned to gather food in preparation for the famine. God would have had to fulfill His purposes in some other way.
Our obedience to God can have far-reaching consequences; in the same way, our disobedience to Him can have devastating effects. In Joseph’s case, we see that a young man’s fidelity, refusing to compromise his honor with a lustful woman, resulted in enormous good.
Do you face strong temptations today? Don’t yield to them. Instead, flee from them. God will bless you for remaining true to his Word.