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Saying No ... When Others Say Yes

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 4, 2021 12:00 am

Saying No ... When Others Say Yes

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 4, 2021 12:00 am

Joseph refused to violate his character. He refused to call sin a "romantic affair" or an "alternate lifestyle." And he wasn't awarded with a medal of honor for it . . . he was thrown in prison for it. How much are you willing to sacrifice in order to do the right thing?

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Temptation only resisted may not bring an expected result. I write about now you want to say okay Lord bless this 17 year turning down this woman 17 years of uprightness and character. Now the time to step into his role as prime minister. Yet, in fact, as a result of successfully resisting temptation. Joseph is now grown in prison and I can imagine him sitting there. They keep saying, Lord, thank a lot, our battle with temptation is hard enough, but it's really hard to say no to sin when people all around you are saying yes maybe you find yourself struggling with temptation. Maybe you have people in your life who even encourage you to do things that dishonor God. Today's lesson is for you. This is wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Devi continues his series through the life of Joseph. We've come to a place in the story where Joseph is encountering persistent temptation.

Let's learn from his example. Next foregoing thought about a subject that everyone faces that are later in life at all, sooner it makes it available to the young and to the old to the spiritually immature to the spiritually mature. It is the subject of temptation and no one better than Joseph gives us the principles on how to say no when everyone else is saying yes.

So let's dig right in Genesis chapter 39 and let's begin with verse one. Now Joe that had been taken down to Egypt where Joseph's brothers have sold him to the Midianites for the contemporary value of about $50 each of the brothers got about $4.50 out of the sale, but it was fine with them as long as they were random dreamer because they hated. They were incensed with his dream for one reason they knew his dreams were going to come through and they went out about the bow at his feet and they were incensed that God is in effect chosen him, rather than them. The joke of the been taken down to Egypt and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of The Bodyguard bought him from the Ishmaelite who had taken him down there.

I think it would help us men and women if we took a look at Egypt for just a brief moment because were talking about a faraway country that we know little about historians tell us that Joseph went to Egypt during the 15th dynasty. There were 31 dynasties and all this was a hike sauce or the dynasty, which means that Egypt is a 1000 year old power.

They are the dominating force. They are the wealthiest nation in the known world. Egypt was astounding its contemporaries with their architecture as they had already built the pyramids and guide they were astounding. Everyone with their creativity because the Sphinx had already been carved by the time Joseph arrived in Egypt they were astounding mathematically, architecturally and in medicine. They were the marble. I can't help but imagine what it must've been like for Joseph, who was a wanderer, the son of a nomad living his life in a 10 now being introduced to this magnificent civilization. This developed culture is Egypt when he was taken by Potiphar, the colorful words of one expositor I think would be helpful. FB Meyer writes these words. Potiphar was an Egyptian grandee, a member of a proud aristocracy hiding in office and in court favor, Joseph would no doubt live in a splendid palace covered with hieroglyphs and filled with slaves. The young captive must've trembled as he passed up the pillared Avenue through Sphinx guarded gate into the recesses of that vast Egyptian palace where they spoke a language which he could not understand the word and were always so new and so strange. All I can imagine that I have certainly tried to think would help us a little bit more to understand who Potiphar is, you probably know, the text says that he was the captain of The Bodyguard. What this means is that he was perhaps the most trusted man to Pharaoh. He was the individual responsible for his livelihood and he was the captain which meant that he had somehow reached the top of the very wealthy man.

Man whom Pharaoh had entrusted with great wealth.

So here is a man with incredible power with authority perhaps raking up there among the very top and Joe that the selected by him all in this you I think and see the hand of God will be leading to the temptation that he is facing verse two and the Lord was with Joseph. You will underline that phrase in your text because it occurs seven times. It's a theme that runs throughout this chapter, the Lord was with Joseph.

So he became a successful manager get that first he was successful with God before the Scriptures would record he was a successful man and he was in the house of his master, that this is a little confusing because we miss the chronology, he became successful. Up until this point. Joseph is probably sleeping and quartering with all of the rest of the slaves, but he became successful, he distinguished himself as a slave of great promise, and so Potiphar according to the text somewhere in their moves him into his house. So what happens next.

First three now his master saw that the Lord was with him. Interesting that the master saw circle or underline that because Joseph didn't tell him that the Lord was with him. I don't think he knocked on his door and he said I want to know that I am the servant of the living God. No, in effect, lived in such a distinguishing life that sooner or later Potiphar took note that this man was led by his God, and perhaps in there somewhere. Joseph was able to explain to him what happened and how the Lord caused all that he did last part of verse three to prosper in his hand so verse four Joseph found favor in his site and he became his personal servant here again is another promotion. He moved out of the slave quarters into the home of Potiphar and now among all the servants there and at home. He is now the personal slave.

The personal attendant who Potiphar himself. That's not all. Potiphar made him an overseer or could be translated in the Septuagint steward over his house and all that he owned.

He put in his chart. Now I have to stop here because the same thing happened when we study the life of Daniel. You remember, as I think the Daniel and Joseph are the only two individuals of the Bible records nothing negative about their lives, both of been similar in their lifestyles.

Taken from their homes and very taken in moral society and yet they both live such lives that God prospers them, but what I find fascinating is that both Joseph and Daniel had every reason in the world that check their jobs. They had every reason in the world to do all kinds of little sabotage you not to try to bring down this pagan kingdom.

If I had been Joseph, I would probably be tunneling out creating some way to escape. Maybe back home.

But somewhere in all of this.

Joseph resigned himself that this was God's plan, and rather than be the slave this all rather than be the servant then work at getting out of work never worked around someone like that Joseph was determined to be diligent and as a result his master took him and promoted him, and note verse five and it came about that from the time he made a overseer in his house, and over all that he owned the Lord blessed the Egyptians house on account of Joseph we know behind the scenes that God is responsible. Thus the Lord's blessing was upon all the Potiphar owned in the house and in the field vicinity gives him the promotion his cattle reproduce more rapidly the crops are bumper crop. This is great. He thinks so verse six Potiphar's no dummy. He left everything he owned, and Joseph chart and with him this, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Now the text is about to set us up. Look at the next brace. Now Joseph was handsome in warm and appearance.

That's the biblical way of saying Joseph was handsome and well built. He was handsome in form, that is, this man was good looking and well-built. There's nothing wrong with being good-looking and well-built is not fair, but this was Joseph sky hadn't made, we begin to cringe because we think of what may happen next. Now that stop here for just a moment, let me give you what one commentator is given is very helpful. Three kinds of temptations that you and I face you could categorize these. I doubt this is comprehensive, but most of what we face in our daily lives comes from one of the three categories. The first is material that is the last thing and I can be a lot for something is small as a ring to something as large as a new home, but there is a flame that burns it is a loss. It is a desire to have saying we all feel it.

We all face it. The second kind of temptation would be what we could call personal temptation and this is a lust for fame for prestige for airport position kind of individual will make sure that he shakes the right hands. He seen with the right people. He does everything possible to somehow claw and scratch his way to the top of the because that's where I want to be a loss for preeminent we battle with attitudinal to have our way. There is 1/3 and that is the sensual temptation that is gratification of physical desire lusting after someone else as I tried to apply this to Joseph I found that it matched and all three count. Joseph is a man who was facing. Perhaps the material temptation because you remember what it was like back with the old people there tending the sheep was in anything nice. There was rarely anything fancy, why he was just plain all living comfortable. Yes, but affluent now, and now he is taken from that and deposited in this wealthy civilized world with all kinds of luxury. Perhaps he faced the temptation of wanting desiring to have what these Egyptians had personal all yes I am sure that he was perhaps a bit handy at times when Potiphar calls a man and says Joseph I want to promote you, you don't live with the rest of the slaves. Now you live in my home and then he gives them the elevated position of stored and I can imagine Joseph looking in the mirror and say you are really something you're coming up fast. Quite a guy. He's human and then the sensual gratification of physical desires is about binoculars, door see how he handles for seven and it came about after these events, just a moment. This is been now 17 years he will be. I believe 32 years of age. When this happens, the longer a teenager. He's a grown man that after these things. After all of these promotions that his master's wife doesn't even give her name, look with desire. Joseph and she said lie with me now. This attack makes me blush. Stephen reach this text. She has no scruples but you'll notice at the end of her comment. There's just the period that you know down at verse 12, you should have!

And I think that's significant because the first is something more like a suggestion. The latter one is an imperative. It's a command well the first time she approaches him, she probably all of the text doesn't tell us, but he refuses. It gives us the nature of his refusal know. You'll note that this time he stands and he talks with her, perhaps because she approaches him without that demanding that will come later and so he basically gives her three reasons I love this, why he will not sin the first you're taking notes.

He basically said I would break across of my master, I would violate or break the trust of my master look he says in verse eight, he refused and said to his master's wife balder lock with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house and he spent all that he owns in my chart that is he's left everything up to me. He's given me great responsibility. I can violate the trust of this man in my life. He had professional integrity that is incredibly rare, but he doesn't stop there.

He says not only what I violate my Masters trust.

I would also violate my character. Look at verse nine. I love this. There is no one greater in this house than I I think this could be translated.

There's no one with greater responsibility than I and he is withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife, how then could I do this great evil enough that how then could I do this great evil. One man wrote that he is about to lose his coat but he will keep his character. I like that he would not violate his character and do this great compromise.

Fudge a little bit you to start a romantic affair. An alternate lifestyle. No. While our society today is all kinds of clever little phrases about things that go on Joseph nails it down. He says this great evil. He says I cannot violate my character. It is worth more to me than you. He goes on the say.

I think the third and the most powerful element in this refusal, he says let's begin with verse nine. There is no one greater in this house tonight. He is withheld nothing for me except you because you are his wife. How then can I do this great evil. And number three sin against God. In other words, I would forfeit my fellowship with God. I would violate the trust of my master, I would violate the nature of my character and I would violate or forfeit the fellowship with my God and I think it's interesting that seven times you hear the phrase is God was with him.

Somehow, someway, he lived with the sense that God was involved in his life, and I think that strikes at the very core of personal purity saying no to temptation that is having a relationship with God, we fear more than anything else.

While Plato used to tell a story to his students of a shepherd boy to discover the ring out of the field when he slipped that ring on it would make him unknown or unrecognizable to anyone in his village so he was given anonymity in the shepherd prior to this discovery was a very moral young man, an upstanding hard worker, but he began slipping that ring on and soon Plato says he became a terrible wicked center. With that thought in mind, I thought of Joseph, who has been given anonymity. Nobody knows them in Egypt. Nobody, if there is a perfect time to send it now no one recognizes in all of his family back way over there somewhere. He didn't think the R low back and listen.

I can come up with some good reasons why I should do this on the on single God. His it seems abandon me.

This is the lifestyle. This is accepted and no one will know and yet even in the light of anonymity. Joseph says no when you come to the last part of that verse Tenneco. Glad that's over with. Next verse, and he came about as she spoke to Joseph J after day. What a woman that he did not listen to her to lie beside her, or note this be with her. He makes it clear now that these minute products here are clear of this woman because every time he sees her. It's another opposition, so he tries to stay away. He tries to steer clear.

Doesn't work very well because it's the vote in every day so somewhere along the line she corners. You know, in terms of a woman who doesn't know God, Joseph had every reason to be attracted to her handsome young moral, upright, hard-working Joseph was a cat and it's interesting if you study Proverbs chapter 6 and seven, does the temptress or the tempter seek after it is the what a precious life.

People like you. It's the one who was seeking to glorify God, is the individual who is seeking to live in upright life. That's the kind of person that's attractive to a needy in a lost world that has no moral bearing your very attractive person to the world system. Finally, verse 11, she sets the stage. Now it happened one day and I think she planned it the rest of it. He went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the household were there inside another words admit of all of the servants. No one was inside and she caught him by the garment, this time saying!

Why with me. It was a demand and I tried to understand why she felt she had the right to demand that. I think if you go back into that culture.

You have to remember he's still a slave. She feels like she owns him. She felt like she had rights and I imagine that Satan could whisper in his ear. She does have right she owns you. He may have been a slave but she did known as soul and he left his garment in her hand and fled and went outside. The Hebrew indicates literally to the street he left the garment in her hand and ran out into the street, have often wonder what he did out there. He probably just there waiting for.

He knows what would happen because of what she'll do next. I like the King James here he fled. He got himself out is like nobody else will get me out of here so I'll get myself outta here and ran out into the she's not finished when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside begins literally to screen verse 14 she called the men of her household and said to them, see, he came into me to lie with me and I screamed and it came about when he heard that I raise my voice and screen that he left his garment beside me and fled in. He's out there in the street so she left his garment beside her until his master.

Her husband came home. Then she spoke to him with these words.

The Hebrew slave you brought to us came into me to make supportive of me and it happened as I raise my voice and screamed that he left his garment beside me and fled outside. Now it came about when his master heard the words of his wife and she spoke to him that his anger burned. You know it's missing who is his anger burning again. Here is limit conjecture with you for just a moment that his anger is not because he is the chief executioner and at this young slave has attempted rape.

These dead but you know what he does. He took in verse 20 and put them in the jail is jail the place where the kings prisoners were confined in other words, he puts him into the prison. He is responsible for he puts him in with those in bonds that he over see he allows them to live. I think if we could pull back the pages of history and observe that occasion. That part of her was very angry with himself. I have no doubt that he knew his wife well.

In fact, she indicates in verse 14. Her disrespect of him when she says see brought in a Hebrew slave husband of mine, an indication that there were problems.

He's also angry at her, but he allows them to live what happens. Verse 21, but the Lord was with Joseph. Extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer and the chief jailer committed the Joseph in charge of all the prisoners were in the jail, so that whatever was done there he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph charge because the Lord was within its like he gave him a key ring and he said Joseph look over everything to make sure everything is in order to God promotes him even there and what ever the last part of verse 23 he did the Lord made him depressed. What a story familiar and yet so applicable. In fact, let me give you take an honest look at temptation any kind, whether it's material, whether you are struggling with something you want to purchase.

You want to have or personal. Perhaps you feel God is in dealing you the right deck and so your Dennis creepier way to get just a notch higher, perhaps it's sensual. It is struggling with the gratification of physical desires. Let's take an honest look. Let me give you two things. First of all, from the story we learn temptation. Once resisted may not immediately disappear twice and honestly this I don't really like that. We like to think that if we resisted once God does God care that went all of her face that again in my life. No, it does not immediately disappear.

In fact, with Joseph. It was a reoccurring for perhaps this secondly temptation successfully resisted may not bring expected results. That's obvious. I mean, right about now you want to say okay Lord bless this 17 years turning down this woman 17 years of uprightness and character.

Now is the time to grease the skids. It's now time to step into his role as prime minister not yet. In fact, as a result of successfully resisting temptation. Joseph is now thrown in prison and I can imagine him sitting there in a heap, saying, Lord, thanks a lot see built that way we like to think that if we find $1000 in a wallet and we return the wallet, the forgiveness would it with us as a reward for you to get a thank you.

I read recently of a young fellow who was writing in his paper route and he discovered dissected and somehow full and all forgotten loss. I have no idea how would a break armored car and it was something like $60,000 and this guy returned it to God, and they gave him $500 in the paper quoted him saying I wish I had kept it all think I would've to I know I wanted to call them on the phone is a look I return this if you can only give him a figure we would like to think that when we resist God towards us. It's time for thanks Joseph feels the dampness of a prison cell surrounded by legitimate criminal.

One phrase makes it worse at all. He doesn't know this right now. By the way that you and I can read it back in verse 21, but the Lord was with Joseph Hill discovering very soon, but look back in verse two and the Lord was with Joseph. That is, as a successful servant rising the ranks being stored in responsible for all that his master has God was with them and we see that's obvious, God with them but verse 21 God was with him in the prison cell. You and I can in no way resist the constant bombardment of temptation. Apart from that phrase. The Lord was with him.

That is the cultivation of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and I trust that you can say the Lord is with me. He is giving me the strength when others say yes to say no, just like the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord is with you and he wants to help you overcome the sin and temptation in your life. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts this daily broadcast features the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey, I encourage you to install the wisdom international To your phone so that you can quickly access all of our Bible-based resources.

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