Lead us not into temptation...
The Lord's Prayer makes this request, that God would not lead us into temptation. This request seems to stand in direct contrast with Joseph's experience and our experience at times! Joseph worked as a slave in the household of Potiphar, a powerful Egyptian. Potiphar's wife became obsessed with her handsome slave. She kept harassing Joseph to be physically intimate with her. One day she got rid of all the other household servants so that it was only her and Joseph in the house. She commanded him to come to bed with her!
Joseph could have compromised. After all, it seems to me he was led into temptation. He was a slave against his will, he was harassed by his master's wife against his will. If anyone could have claimed he had no other choice but to have sex with a (most likely) beautiful woman it was Joseph. Joseph could have compromised, but he didn't. By God's grace he was able to say, "no". When we resist temptation, good things happen. Right? Well, in this case, good things did not happen. For Joseph, things went from bad to worse. He went from slavery to prison.
How is it possible that Joseph could be so righteous and yet suffer so much? Why is it that we do the right thing and we don't get rewarded? Isn't that what happened to the King we follow? Jesus did nothing wrong His whole life! And He was crucified. If we follow Him doesn't it make sense that we would experience the same kind of trials? I like Alistair Begg's statement, "How did we arrive at a Christianity where Jesus does all the dying?"
There will be times in our lives when it seems we are led into temptation. When we resist, the result may well be that we suffer. Sometimes our hurts may be small and sometimes they may be great. Will we do the right thing even when the results may make things worse for us? Ultimately, that is what Jesus did for us. He was able to see past the temptation and the suffering to blessing it would bring to us. I hope you'll take some time this week to read more of Joseph's story in Genesis 37-50. You'll get the most out of the weekend messages if you are familiar with the story. See you Sunday! - Pastor Kris