Summary: This is part 2... Joseph is our example of how to be successful under trials and temptations
Recipe for Success
Last week I started a two part sermon series called Recipes from The Book… the Bible
The Bible is truly God’s recipe book for happiness, success, joy, purity, eternal life, etc
Last week we looked at the Recipe for Disaster, and our example was King David
This week we will look at the Recipe for Success
Who is the example? Let’s look at The Book
Our example is Joseph. You remember Joseph don’t you? Next to the youngest son of Jacob... the one with the big dreams, the pretty coat and the special place in his father’s heart?
Remember he was hated by his brothers him and schemed to kill him but instead they sold him, as a slave, to some traveling salesmen.
Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to a man named Potiphar.
It did not take long before Potiphar realized that Joseph was special. Whatever Joseph touched turned to gold… or at least turned a tremendous profit. So Potiphar placed this young man in charge of EVERYTHING… every nuance of his business and house… all except his wife, she was off limits.
But the scripture tells us that Potiphar’s wife did not see Joseph as off limits… in fact she wanted him… a lot!!!
Now I want to paint this picture as clearly as I can for you.
In those days, marriages were most often arranged, the girl having no choice. These marriages were usually arranged for fiscal or business reasons. Usually, the husband would be 10 or 20 years older than the girl, already successful and would arrange with the father of the girl to marry her in exchange for money, position or power. It is at least possible and very probable that Potiphar was such a man. Perhaps he had married a much younger girl, for her beauty or for sex. In such a case, this girl may be closer to Joseph’s age and resentful of her older husband. She may have cared nothing for him. He was old, she was young, and she was tempted by this younger, virile young man. Joseph was most likely a virgin. Here was a young, sexually experienced, sexually starved, young beauty with the hots for him.
She would maybe be like one of those young teachers who have sex with their students.
The students, and Joseph would be young and have raging hormones and … well, you know where this is going!!
Or perhaps Potiphar’s wife was not younger than Potiphar and was what we today call a “cougar”… an older woman on the prowl for younger men.
Either way, it would have been hard for this young man filled with raging hormones and pursued by a sexually mature woman to say, “NO.”
You know where it would go… naturally… normally.
But that is not how the story goes, Joseph does say, “NO.”
Before you ask… NO Joseph was not Gay. He later married and had two sons.
Then why did it not go the way we would expect?
That is what the Recipe for Success will teach us.
Do you remember last week’s Recipe for Disaster… I won’t ask you to tell me the points because I don’t want to be embarrassed when you can’t
The first two ingredients to the fall were …
BEING WHERE YOU DON’T BELONG
Joseph REFUSED TO BE WHERE HE DID NOT BELONG
Only one place he did not belong… with HER
10 She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.
He would not be alone with her
What is the first ingredient to Success?
1. A CLEAR, NON-NEGOTIABLE DECISION
Joseph, somehow had a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong, he had given it much thought and he had decided where the line was drawn… what he would do and what he would not.
I don’t think you can credit his father… his other ten brothers certainly had not learned such things
I believe it was Joseph’s character and a sum of many decisions he had made before this time
He had planned and practiced… the line was plainly discernible and, therefore, not easily crossed.
Let me make a statement that you can take to the bank…
If you don’t know where the line is, in the light, you’ll never find it in the darkness
Here is an analogy… Imagine a blind man walking around in his house. He can negotiate the furniture and the doorways just as though he could see them.
And if you turn off the light… he still knows where they are.
But a sighted person, even though they know the house well, and can generally find their way around in the darkness, they will walk like this… hunting for the furniture, bumping into things