Don't you just love these sermon titles? Our pastor is quite the creative guy. We continued the series on Joseph this week, and the sermon was based on Genesis 39:1-21. This is the story of Joseph's rise in Potiphar's house, and his subsequent fall after being falsely accused of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife.
The pastor focused on the theme of temptation--the way of it, and the way out. He began by describing a flight into L.A, how the city is covered in smog. Once you're out in the city streets, you don't notice it so much, but when you have a bird's eye view it becomes obvious. Temptation is very much like that. It can be sneaky and near impossible to see once you are in the midst of it. He encouraged us to heed Jesus' words from Matthew 26, verse 41:
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.We should be vigilant and discerning in our lives to see the temptation around us, and pray that the Lord will deliver us.
The pastor encouraged us to look at Joseph's situation. He had had a difficult experience being sold into slavery by his brothers, and things were now just looking up for him. He had risen to right-hand man of one of the most powerful men in Egypt. He could easily have felt everything was in his own power and not a gift from God. It would have been easy for him to justify sleeping with his master's wife. Instead of giving in, he said to Potiphar's wife:
Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?Joseph decide not to give in, because he knew to Whom he answered. In our lives, the greatest temptation is becoming complacent in our prosperity and thinking we have made ourselves great, when it is God who gives us all things.
When we deal with temptation, God will give us a way out. Like Joseph, who received time in prison for his obedience, it may not always seem as if God has delivered us, but He does if ask, even if it is not in this life. He gives us the ultimate prize, our Deliverer, His Son who died for our sins.
Labels: Sunday Ponderings