Be a Joseph

Michael Beck

“There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

There is a great gulf between what could be done and what should be done. Just because Jesus could turn stones into bread did not justify Him doing so. Opportunities to sin present themselves to us daily. Jeremiah lamented over his people: “Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.” (Jer. 3:5) Micah warned against doing evil simply because one was able to do so: “Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.” (Micah 2:1)

True worship of God involves submitting our bodies to Him. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) Paul knew that every desire of the body did not have to be yielded to. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27) “Deeds of the body” not permitted by the Spirit of God were to be put to death. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)

What the saint of God does should not be determined simply by what he can do. Joseph had the power and the opportunity to lie with his master’s wife. But when presented with the offer he declared: “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

Those animated by the spirit of the world jump at the chance to do whatever they feel like doing. If there is risk involved, the only deterrent is the fear of getting caught. Not so with those who love God. They daily have the power and opportunity to do many things contrary to the word and will of God. But they live by every word that proceeds from His mouth. The issue for them is not whether they have power, but permission.

Be a Joseph. Don’t ever be ashamed of declining any invitation to sin, no matter how tempting, with the words: “I can’t. My Father won’t let me.”

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.