Summary: If we want our kids to be more than survivors... conquerors... we must teach them to flee the sin that is easy.
FLEE ALL-TOO-CONVENIENT EVIL
Scripture Text: Genesis 39:1–23
Preaching theme: Those who are more than survivors
You can be more than a survivor!
Although you live on an island, you are not survivors in danger of being voted off—you are more than survivors!
After all, Jesus lost his life so you might do more than survive. He died for you so that you might learn to thrive spiritually.
I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10
Last Sunday, we looked at Moses.
Today we look at Joseph.
Whoever would say that sexual temptation is more prevalent today than in Old Testament times hasn’t spent much time in the Scriptures. Between the covers of our Bibles are numerous accounts of bedroom scenes and moral dilemmas of the kind we have read about this morning.
Perhaps what is more prevalent today is the convenience of sexual allurement.
In our culture, moral compromise is but a click away.
If statistics are true, more than a few men in this congregation are trapped by an addiction to pornography on the Internet.
The embarrassment of having to carry a Penthouse or Playboy from the newsstand to the checkout counter (which has hindered many a young man from giving in to this desire) is no longer a deterrent. The Web offers embarrassment-free valet service, although it doesn’t advertise how entrapping the invisible strands of this particular web can be.
But it’s not just the Internet. And it’s not just men.
Pornography undermines the spiritual health of men and women alike.
You who travel as part of your job know that you can watch sexually explicit programs and movies in your hotel room without anybody ever knowing.
No longer is it necessary to risk the embarrassment of going to an adult bookstore to buy or rent material to fuel lustful passions. Just order premium channels as part of your cable system. Or call the 900 phone number that flashes across your TV screen in the early morning hours.
The “Mrs. Potiphars” in our lives are not always as obvious as what I’ve just described.
Billboards on the interstate appeal to our sexual instincts while attempting to sell us perfume, soft drinks, or new cars.
Music on our favorite radio stations includes seductive lyrics that subconsciously lower our standards and increase our appetite for physical gratification.
Sitcoms on network television consistently rely on sexual situations for storylines.
Back to the story...
Joseph was trapped. Most likely he was tempted, too. It’s quite possible that Potiphar’s wife was very attractive.
But Joseph, Jacob’s son (his second to youngest son) had been trapped before. Remember?
Before going to work for Potiphar in Egypt, he’d been ditched by his jealous brothers. Left in an abandoned well and then sold into slavery to a passing caravan.
He’d experienced God’s faithfulness that first time, so when painted into a corner by this painted woman with mischief on her mind, he had reason to expect God to be faithful once again.
And God was. If you look at this passage of Scripture on your own, beginning with verse 1, you will notice over and over again this phrase, “and the Lord was with Joseph.”
It’s a good news/bad news thing.
The bad news is this: Temptations are sure to come.
We are surrounded by all-too-convenient evil. That’s a given for all those living on a fallen planet.
Someone once said, “I wouldn’t be tempted if temptation wasn’t so tempting.”
Sam Levenson said, “Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we’ll find it.”
Temptation comes... to everyone...in various forms.
The good news is that when things are moving fast and furious and you’re speeding down the highway of personal destruction and career-ending compromise, God promises an exit ramp.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, but God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Cor. 10:12–13).
Joseph recognized the escape route God had provided for him to flee temptation. We can decipher his flight plan by looking briefly at the passage.
Take an honest look at yourself and make an honest evaluation.
YOU ARE A SINNER! You are not a sinner because you sin.
You sin because you are a sinner.
((You are not a basketball player because you dribble, you dribble because you are a basketball player))
((You are not sick because you sneeze, you sneeze because you are sick))
S.E.E. the enemy
This past weekend I completed... successfully, I might add, a Motorcycle Safety Course.
I am now a bona fide motorcycle rider.
In the course we learned that one of the most important things a rider can do to reduce risks of an accident is something called S.E.E. an acronym for Search... Evaluate and Execute.