“…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
Joseph faced a temptation that many would have succumbed to, yet he resisted, even when it cost him his job, reputation and freedom. There were many factors that could have influenced him to fail. His difficulties could have caused him to blame God for losing his family and his freedom; making him bitter toward God. The constant pressure from Mrs. Potifer, could have caused him to justify their relationship. After all, she must not have been treated properly by her husband, or she would not have been looking to the “help.” The customs of Egypt were, no doubt, much freer than those of Scripture. He could have thought “everybody else is involved in these kinds of behaviors.” While there were many things that could have led Joseph to sin, there was one factor compelling him to withstand the temptation. Joseph realized that a relationship with Potifer’s wife was a sin against God.
God has given us His Word, so we will understand His ways. Instead of blindly walking through life using our own experience, or intellect as our compass, we have been given the Word of God. The psalmist spoke of it as a light that illuminates our paths (Psalm 119:105). Peter referred to it as a light that shines in the darkness until the dawn appears and the morning star arises (2 Peter 1:19). Instead of blindly walking through life, we can have the Word illuminate the way. Tragically, many neglect the Word and use their own desire as a guide. Thinking of themselves as a “good person”, they do whatever seems best to them at the time. The end result is violating the ways of God, and suffering the consequences that come with it.
Joseph’s story was not over when the guards arrested him and threw him into prison. God still had plans for him, and would richly bless his life. Doing things God’s way, did not derail the life of Joseph, but if he had slipped, the story would have taken a turn for the worse. The key to the blessed life is not doing things our own way, but doing them His way. A decision to obey the Word, is a decision that will be blessed by the Lord.