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July 18, 2020 12:01 am
Just as Joseph's brothers hid their sin by bringing his tunic to their father, Potiphar's wife covered up her failed seduction by presenting Joseph's garment to her husband. Today, R.C. Sproul reflects on how Joseph remained faithful to God amid these false accusations.
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The life of Joseph is legendary. The colorful coat being sold into slavery in being tempted by his new bosses wife. Stay tuned.
Renewing Your Mind with RC Sproul's next we live in a day when we are been started with sexually explicit material.
The experts tell us that today's teenagers and young adults are more likely to be exposed to illicit images than any previous generation. It is a debilitating and discouraging soon. Today we will look at the life of Joseph and see how even this strong temptation can be overcome by the grace and mercy of our God hears doctors explore only once in my life have I undertaken right unlawful and when I was writing my novel. I at the same time was reading books on the art of fiction writing, trying to learn as I go along and one of the principles that should be obvious to anybody who watches drama and who reads novels that authors use that I was blind to.
Until I read one of these books is that you get your hero and your hero your protagonist gets into some kind of conflict or some kind of problem from which she seems to be rescued, but then the next stage in the story shows that he's out of the frying pan in the fire and when it seems as if they rescue is going to end the conflict. Actually, the conflict gets worse and that kind of technique you Robert Ludlum's the master of it.
Then of course the James Bond thrillers are the same way the old movie serials, but always and with the hero in some terrible predicament that which they seem to be no way out and then the next week that find their escape almost deus ex machina but by the end of the program. They were in a worse fix than they were at the beginning and that sort of thing happens while given that principle of flock conflict exacerbation in fiction, we may be inclined to think that Genesis is a book of fiction, at least when we come to the story of Joseph because Joseph just seems to get in one predicament after another and each one is worse than the first we saw the first predicament where he was sold into slavery by his brother, but that seemed determined by his brothers that seem to turn out all right when at least the slave master that purchased them at high regard for him and promoted him to a position of importance in which he was given absolute trust in his household. But now things take another turn for the worse and we will see this pattern repeated over and over again in the life of Joseph. Now let's look back to the text of Genesis to chapter 39 where we had finished in our last session at verse six, where Potiphar had left all that he had in Joseph's and and so on. All the very end of that verse six gives us another kind of foreboding hint of what is to come with the apparently innocuous physical description of Joseph where we read now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance as I say this is foreboding. It reminds me of the introductory verse of chapter 3 of Genesis. Now the serpent was more cunning than all of the beasts of the field. You know something bad is about to take place.
Even though the description here. Joseph is one that is quite positive that it's not given to the narrative without reason, Joseph is described as being handsome in form and appearance, and it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph and she said lie with me.
This is one of the most destructive attempts of's inducement that we read anywhere in Scripture other than of course the seducing of Adam and Eve by the serpent in the attempt of subduction exercised by Satan against Jesus and again we see a parallel between Joseph and Christ and that he too is the target of subduction.
We will also see that he resists the subduction and remains virtuous and chaste in this situation, but we see how this progresses. Joseph is handsome and the first step we read is that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph in the vernacular, we would say she gave him the I she was obviously being flirtatious, using her eyes as the weapon to bring about his destruction and finally she moved from the innuendo to the direct assault is the way subduction's usually come in she straight out says to Joseph, and lie with me, let's just listen for a moment to the scenario that we have here first place. We have a young man who is being the target of subduction from a much experienced woman obviously were talking about a single man, a lonely man, a man who is been for all intents and purposes, forsaken by his family, who is now living in a far country. Remember, the prodigal son how his licentious life began when he was removed from the normal moral restraints of his family and community environment, and found himself in a far country, where he was virtually anonymous. Here Joseph is in a land that does not share the values and the laws that were sacred to the people of Israel and yet we remember the statement the Lord was with Joseph. I mean, if ever a young man was vulnerable to temptation. It is Joseph and we have to ask the question what restrained him what kept him chaste in this environment. While there are some things that are certainly obvious. First of all, there was the grace of God and the presence of God. Second of all, there was Jacob or Joseph's commitment and loyalty to his earthly master to this woman's husband who was Joseph's master. And third, and certainly not least was Joseph's own personal integrity that he had to realize that this temptation was coming to him from a woman who had an enormous power over him and she's making an invitation to this young man as the mistress of the house. She is in a position of great power and she's obviously a woman who's not afraid to use that power. While let's see what happens but he refused just and said to his master's wife walk, my master does not know what is with me in the house and he has committed all that he has tomorrow. He there is no one greater in this house than I nor has he kept back anything from me, but you because you are his wife, before we get to the next statement. Let's look at that brief comment that Joseph says. First of all, he flat out refuses the seductive invitation and then he says to to this woman, don't you realize that your husband has given me authority over everything in this house. He's given me a high degree of freedom is only for one restriction on the and she and you are asking me to violate that one area in this environment in which I live. That is off limits to me when was the last time you heard that kind of a situation come up in the book of Genesis. Of all the trees of the garden you may freely eat God and said to Adam in the. He gave them freedom in the highest magnitude but get gave only one restriction, but of this tree, you shall not eat the day that you eat of it you shall surely die one portion of the garden was off limits to Adam and he and it was exactly that portion that became the focal point of satanic seduction and temptation and the same thing is happening here to Joseph to see and so his first response is basically high. Can't do this and violate Potiphar, but he doesn't stop there. Listen to what he says.
How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God is not only saying I won't he say I physically think you must be crazy. You're not asking me to be involved in some peccadillo here some minor transgression. You're asking me to be involved not only in the sin, but in a great sin and a great sin that is not simply a betrayal of your husband. My master but you're asking me to commit a great sin against God to remember in the early days of my teaching career and I was teaching in a Christian college New England and we came in teaching in the New Testament to Paul's teaching on the sex ethic of the Christian and I realized that the students who were there in this class on 250 of them were living through the sexual revolution of RA and I knew that the arguments that their parents had made to them before they went to school and while they were in high school, in behalf of virginity and chastity arguments such as these, that if you are involved in premarital sexual relationships. You may contract a serious disease, then the second thing that they were told, particularly the girls was if you get involved sexually.
You might get pregnant and you will be disgraced those of the kinds of restraints.
The parents in the 50s in the early 60s used to try to dissuade their children from being involved in un-biblical sexual patterns of behavior and I said to the students of that.
This was before AIDS and that whole thing is a nominative you're really afraid of venereal disease. Today, at that point is the young people in America believe that antibiotics would cure any venereal disease that was no longer a deterrent. Now they knew that they could have a they could get the pill to prevent a pregnancy if they they didn't get the pill and didn't prevent pregnancy.
They could get an abortion and Gail Greene had done a study in New England is the mores of single college girls and discovered in the 60s that if it became known that a girl in college was active sexually were so far from being a shame what was shameful in that environment was if a girl was considered a virgin when she was in college.
In other words, the whole custom foundation and social taboos and sanction had been reversed as to so what reason is there now for a young person to refrain from this kind of sexual activities as a will there's one thing that hasn't changed. It's an offense against the holiness of God. God says no and I never forget the reaction to that lecture I had scheduled more counseling appointments after that lecture than after any lecture in my teaching career ever before or since.
I realized I was dealing with a professing Christian group of students who were very much involved in illicit sexual activity because this culture is completely thrown away the moral restraints of Scripture plus the young people of our day are bombarded every hour of the day with sexual stimuli and erotic stimulation. Joseph understood the law of God.
He said I can't do this because it would be a great sin and evil against God. And so what restrained him was his devotion to God, so it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day that he did not heed her to lie with her, or to be with her. Notice that this was not a one time temptation. This woman was relentless day after day after day. She kept coming to Joseph, trying to find his moral weakness, trying to get him to surrender her charms trying to get him to compromise his position. You know that in our culture, at least. And I'm sure was true in that culture as well. For the most part in the so-called sexual dance that goes on the pattern.
Historically, though, I noticed changed dramatically in the last few years. Historically, the pattern is the man is the aggressor and the woman is taught to be evasive and to be protective and in that kind of environment where it is the man who has to be the seducer, rather than the seducing. It is a tremendous, tremendous kind of flattery to the male ego to have the woman initiate the seduction and that makes Joseph's vulnerability. All the greater and she is I said was relentless is just like Satan tempting Christ in the wilderness that even after he survived that temptation experience and Satan left him. We are told in Scripture that Satan left him what for a season. He wasn't through yet and so this woman doesn't know how to quit. She keeps it up and Joseph is trying to avoid her, but it happened. About this time when Joseph went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was inside that she caught him by his garment saying lie with me, but he left his garment in her hand and fled and ran outside. And so it was when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside that she called to the mentor for house and spoke to them saying see he is brought into us. The Hebrew to Marcus once again Joseph is the center of a crime that involves circumstantial evidence. The first was when his brothers presented the evidence of a tunic drenched in blood to cover up their crime of selling Joseph into slavery. Now Joseph is putting the situation where she attempts the seduction again when nobody else is there.
There are no eyewitnesses and she comes on physically to him, grabbing his garment and he flees from her clutches and in his flight loses the coat that she's grabbed hold of. While he runs outside, leaving behind physical evidence that will be used against him. When she charges him falsely with attempted rape. Only the eyes of God were there. And God knew the innocence of his servant Joseph, but what happens to him. As a result of his virtue is for the short term and not so short of the calamitous is notoriously scroll from his series on the life of Joseph is the apostle Paul tells us in first Corinthians. We are called to flee sexual immorality.
The world may think is strange though the road may be difficult. We remember that God provides us with all we need to live godly lives. The same God who came to Joseph Sayed promises to be our help as well. He is our refuge, our strength is a mighty Fortress. Thank you for joining us for the Saturday addition of Renewing Your Mind, that through this series by Dr. scroll. We have seen how Joseph's life stands as a testimony to God's faithfulness toward his people it serves as a helpful reminder that even when we face evil even when we face temptation. God is at work to do good toward us. We like for you to have every lesson from this series for your own library and that when you give a donation of any amount to later ministries will send them to you as part of a special resource.
We put together that includes several teaching series.
We call it the RC Sproul teaching collection and it contains four complete DVD series, including knowing Christ knowing Scripture, the parables of Jesus bless you receive four complete audio series including the message we heard today from the life of Joseph call us with your gift at 800-435-4343.
You can also make a request firstname.lastname@example.org phone number again is 800-435-4343 well before we go today. Peers RC with a final thought force.
When we look at this event in the life of Joseph. We can help with contrasted with David.
David was a man after God's own heart.
A friend of God. He was a righteous man, a devout man, but all it took for him was to see Bathsheba at her bath before David became preoccupied with lust and he set aside all of his ethics, all of his commitment and plunged himself into this wickedness that was so destructive for him and for his whole nation of one moment fall but with Joseph in contrast to David. His virtue remained steadfast. Day after day after day in this relentless pursuit of him by the woman.
There is a saying in our culture. Hell knows no fury like a woman scorned and the fury of hell fell upon the head of Joseph, just when we think things can't get any worse for Joseph. He gets thrown into prison, that will be Dr. scroll's focus next week will consider what a Hebrew slave can teach us about living will, before the Lord. We hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind, etc.