9 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? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
Before moving on, I wanted to review the three techniques I found in the past couple days for how Joseph maintained his purity in the face of temptation.
- Joseph’s desire to be pure was based in his relationship with God. He had evidently made a solemn determination to live according to God’s commandments. There are many of us who “say” that we have given our lives to God, but it is another thing to actually live as such. Joseph really meant it. He loved his God, and he would not betray Him.
- Joseph took the steps necessary to keep himself away from temptation. He had his personal resolve, but he wasn’t going to put himself unnecessarily in the firing line. He kept his distance from Potiphar’s wife, and when she did speak to him, he did not linger on her words.
- When all else failed, he ran from evil. He did not debate with it, or reason with it. Argument and reason are not enough to keep a man or woman pure; they have to develop the habit of impulsively and immediately following their conscience, abandoning any situation that is trying to compromise it.
By these three methods Joseph prevailed. He is about to be slandered by Potiphar’s wife and punished for it, but make no mistake about it, Joseph won. No matter where he was cast away to, Joseph would go there with his conscience preserved.