Joseph’s coats (2)
The second coat Joseph wore was: The coat of temptation. One day Joseph was tempted by his boss’ wife. The Bible says: ‘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’ (v.12 NIV). Joseph was young, handsome, lonely, far from home, and facing repeated temptation at the hands of his boss’s wife. Yet he resisted her advances and said, ‘How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ (v.9 NIV). His first concern was not that he couldn’t get away with it, but that he couldn’t live with himself if he said yes. Remembering how God had loved, preserved, and blessed him stopped him from giving in to the temptation in front of him. David was a different story. After his affair with Bathsheba, he wrote these words in his prayer of Psalm 51: ‘Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight’ (v. 4 NKJV). When we sin, we’re sinning against God. He is the One observing what we’re doing. God forgave David, and He’ll forgive us too. But David’s story proves that sometimes we have to live with the consequences of our actions, and they can devastate not only us but those around us. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, acknowledged this truth: ‘I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others’ (1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV). We have to discipline ourselves, and strengthen ourselves, so that we can stand against temptation and keep ourselves effective in God’s kingdom.
What’s tempting you right now? Ask God to help you be strong, stand firm, and resist it.