The Righteous Run
Monday - July 6th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Genesis 39:1-19
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:13-16
Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness.
2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
Sold by his brothers into slavery, Joseph found himself a servant in the household of Potiphar, the second in command of all of Egypt's ancient empire. Genesis chapter 39 tells us that the Lord made everything Joseph did a success. Potiphar noticed Joseph's faithfulness and hard work. The fourth verse of the chapter says, "Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned." Potiphar made it clear that Joseph was in charge of everything in his estate - other than Potiphar's wife.
Besides being a diligent and wise household manager, the Bible says that Joseph was well-built and handsome (v.6). One day when Potiphar was away, his wife simply said to Joseph, "Come to bed with me" (v.7). Joseph refused her advances. He told her he was put in charge of everything except her. Joseph knew this would be a wicked thing, it would upset Potiphar, and it would be a sin against God. He made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he would never sleep with her. She badgered him daily. She threw herself at Joseph whenever they were alone.
Finally, one day she again invited him to come to bed with her. He refused. But this time, she had his outer garment in her grasp. He turned her down and ran from the house. As he ran, his outer clothing was torn from him, and he left it behind with Potiphar's wife. He ran out of the house in his underwear (if that). The text indicates that Joseph didn't care. He never looked back. He chose to flee the temptation.
In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul tells the young pastor, Timothy, to "flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness." Joseph did precisely that. When tempted to sin, righteous people do not stick around to argue or to explain. The righteous run!
How about you? Do you run when tempted, or do you try to bargain with or explain to those involved in the temptation why you cannot be involved? When you are tempted to click on a website that will feed your own lusts, shut the computer off, and run. Get away. When you are surfing channels on the TV and see something that draws you in because of your passions, get up and get out. Don't mess with temptation or with tempters! Run!
When tempted, don't hang around to explain your reasoning, run!