Summary: No matter where we are we can be free if God is first in our life
FREEDOM TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS US TO BE
Joseph was the next to youngest of Jacob’s twelve sons. Joseph had to face much to get his freedom as a ruler but he was free all the time because God was with him. Can it be said of you the lord is with you? He came from a great home but a father who favored him and this made his brothers hate him. As we meet Joseph in Genesis 39 his circumstances are not good at all. Upon coming to Egypt, Joseph was purchased as a slave by Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guards. He had gone down from being a privileged son of a wealthy herdsman to being a slave. Circumstances were not good for Joseph, but there is an encouraging thought found here in verse 2. The Lord was with Joseph, but Joseph did not use this fact as an excuse for not doing his best. Because the Lord was with Joseph, he demonstrated certain qualities that should be true of us, if the Lord is with us. You have some responsibilities because God is with you? One of the biggest responsibilities that you have is to live a changed life in His power. Let us look at the tests he came under and learn that we can withstand tests if we like him have the stamp of "the Lord was with Joseph." I would like to make it known here that God was with Joseph because Joseph choose to let God be with him.
1. The first TEST WAS ONE OF ADVERSITY. Trials and temptations involve both God and Satan and we can expect them. Satan is out t o ruin us and God wants to make us holy. God had given Joseph a dream two times that one day he would become a ruler over many. He thought it would be good to share it with his family but that was a mistake. His brothers became very jealous and plotted his death. He was only 17 when his brothers caught him and threw him in a dry hole to die. His hopes were raised when they raise him out of the hole but they sold him to some salve traders. He was a favored son a short time before and now he was one of many slaves with seeming no hope. He was sold to an Egyptian and was surrounded by pomp and beauty. His master saw that he was favored by God and made him to be the top man in his household affairs. Still he was a slave over other slaves. The lord was with him and in this test he was used of God because he was free from the pleasures and desires of this world. Can it be said of you the lord is with you? He still believed that God was in control.
2. THE TEST OF ALLUREMENT. Joseph has done well and now has reached the age of 27. He is quite handsome and now faces another test of his godliness. It would seem as you read this story that all things were working together to make it easy to sin. He was a slave living in a polluted society, was away from home, family and friends and no one to help him. Along comes his boss’s wife and she likes him. She is a slave to sin so does not feel bad about her doings. She comes to tempt him. It was totally unexpected. It came at an unexpected time for it seems to us that everything was going right for Joseph as a slave. He entered the house just to do his household duties and there she was. You have found as I have that temptation does not wait until we are ready for it with a good defense. Could we even say that it comes like lightening that we have no control? It was a daily repeated recurrence. Those who would have been around him would not have faulted him for giving in. vs.9 "No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God." It would have been a favorable opportunity. The place was clear. There was no one else around and who would know? It could have been to Joseph’s personal advantage to have his master’s wife. He refused and it would cost him. Desire is not a wrong thing and temptation is not a sin or Jesus would have been a sinful man for He was tempted. If we walk into temptation knowingly we forfeit our right for divine help. He did not spend any more time with this woman than he had to get his work done. When the day came that she got aggressive he fled as she grabbed his cloak. The temptation was upon him and he ran away. The Lord was with Joseph. Can it be said of you the lord is with you?