Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Genesis, Chapters 38-40 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Genesis 39: 6-12: … [Integrity in the Face of Temptation] ... 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” … 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 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.
My Journal for Today: If you’ve read through Chapters 38-40 of Genesis, which was my chronological reading assignment today, you read first, in Chapter 38, of the broken leadership and character of Judah, the oldest son and designated heir of Jacob (aka, “Israel”). Then, for a character contrast lesson, in these next two chapters, we read of the plight and walk of faith of Joseph, the young brother Judah and his brothers had sold into slavery in Egypt. And in the focus passage today from Genesis 39: 6-12, which I’ve copied for you this morning, we come to a passage which means a lot to me, … personally.
It’s the very revealing confrontation between the wife of Potiphar, the rich man who had become Joseph’s slave master, and Joseph, whom Potiphar had appointed as steward of his home. “Potipharina,” as my Pastor likes to call this sex-driven temptress, came after Joseph repeatedly, doing all she could to lure the young man into a sexual encounter. But we see Joseph being a model for us of Godly character, doing all he can to avoid Potiphar’s wife and finally just simply fleeing this sex-starved woman, … who then, unjustly, had Joseph thrown into prison because of the rejection.
I say here that this story is very close to me personally because for many years I was not able to do what Joseph did, … to flee from the temptation of sexual sin; and my unGodly behavior almost cost me my marriage, my family, and my career. It was only much later in my life, after I came to know Christ as LORD, that our merciful God, whom Joseph stood for (see Verse 9 of Gen. 39 above), was able to disciple me into learning the strategy of righteousness, taught by Paul in 2nd Timothy 2: 22, which Joseph exhibited as a personal model, … and that is to do all one can to resist sexual temptations; … and then – if all else fails – to simply FLEE – no matter what the human cost.
I now lead a Christian discipleship ministry, called Battle Plan Ministry (“BPM” – website linked here), formed to help men of God to become more Godly and battle-strong warriors in our hypersexual culture. We call Joseph’s battle strategy the “2.2:22” battle plan, which is labeled after Paul’s exhortation in 2 Tim. 2: 22 [which I hope you know by heart – if not, please look it up!]. This strategy of spiritual warfare was exemplified in the encounter Joseph had with Potiphar’s wife. In BPM, we teach our men to do all they can to anticipate and avoid sexual temptations in their lives (which are extremely pervasive these days); but when all proactive strategies of avoidance are exhausted, the “2.2:22” strategy MUST be implemented … and we simply do what Paul exhorted, … to … Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Today, we live in a world where sexual triggers and temptations abound. Men, and women, but especially men, are surrounded by a culture which tries to lure them into dishonoring God by giving in to the ever-present sexual temptations we face EVERYDAY. Quite often, all one can do is to go to the “2.2:22” battle strategy and FLEE … FLEE … FLEE, remembering that – as with Joseph – bad things may happen. However, … in the end we know that God always – as HE did with Joseph, honors the warrior who’s willing to stand in the gap for righteousness and do the right thing.
My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me flee any ploy of the enemy which is stronger than my own will to resist. Amen