Summary: This is the last in my summer series on the Fruit of the Spirit, uses Joseph and Potiphars wife as the main example
What more could a young man ask for? He was young and handsome and he had risen up through the ranks becoming one of his boss’s favourite and most trusted employees and had become fairly well to do in the process. He had everything he could possibly want. And to top it off a beautiful woman wanted him. If you know what I mean, nod nod, wink wink, nudge nudge.
The only problem, was that she was the boss’s wife.
At first she was coy, dropping hints about a possible relationship, dropping clues about what illicit pleasures might await him, but he never bit. When that didn’t work she got a little more direct, “Hey big boy, you wanna get lucky.” And he got a little bit more direct and said “No.”
Actually what he said is found in Genesis 39:8-9 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 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.”
You have to admire Joseph’s integrity and more then that you need to admire his self control, because after his initial refusal She turned up the heat so to speak, Genesis 39:10 She kept putting pressure on him day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.
When nothing else worked she tossed caution to the wind grabbed his shirt and said “If you don’t sleep with me pal, you are toast.” At which point he pushed her away and vacated leaving his shirt behind. Well to quote William Congreve “Heav’n has no Rage like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”
And she had definitely been scorned, I don’t know if she was more upset because he wouldn’t sleep with her or because she took it as a personal insult, “What’s wrong with me, do these robes make me look fat?’
We don’t know how she perceived his refusal but the end result was the same. Well maybe you know the story, with our hero’s shirt in hand she calls her husband and accuses Joseph of trying to rape her and he’s chucked into prison.
Maybe you remember the entire story of Joseph, perhaps you’ve seen the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” If not I have it and you can borrow it if you like.
Joseph was Abraham’s great grand-son and he was one of 12 brothers. You might recall that he had a habit of annoying his older brothers by telling them about dreams he had where he was in charge and they were all bowing down to him. So let’s pull up a map here. One day when they were attending their father’s sheep in Cana, which is right here, Joe was sent out with their lunch. When he got there he couldn’t wait to tell them about his latest dream. Well they had had enough, so they decided to do young Joe in. So they tore his coat off dipped it in blood so they could tell their father that a wild animal had obviously had Joe for lunch and then threw him in a well to starve to death. Right about then a caravan of traders happened by and the guys thought, we could sell him. Ever wished you could have sold one of your siblings? Well they did and the traders took him from Cana to Egypt and that is where the story that Karen read started.
And we discover Joseph being courted, wooed or harassed by his boss’s wife. And when he wouldn’t be part of the plan he ended up in prison. So what was it that kept Joseph from succumbing to her offer?
Over the past two months we been looking at the fruit of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
We’ve looked at how these are referred to in the singular that is they were the fruit of the spirit, not the fruits of the spirit. And because of that it is an all or nothing proposition. If you are controlled by the spirit you will exhibit these characteristics. It’s not going to be a pick and choice, buffet kind of thing. You can’t say, “Well I’d like a little love, a lot of joy, a bit of gentleness, but I think I’ll pass on the self control and patience.” Nope doesn’t work that way, the bible, God’s word says “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit.” Not he might or he may, but he will, not some of this fruit or most of this fruit but all of this fruit.