Climbing the Rocks of Adversity 1 Sam 14:1-7; Gen. 39:7-23 EBC 6/21/09
God wants us to be faithful. He wants us to stay the course and run the race for His glory until He calls us home. Joseph teaches us how to be faithful in spite of what we may face in this life. In these passages, we are allowed to see the faithfulness of Joseph very clearly. He remains faithful to His God, and to himself, in the face of some problems that would cause many others to fail. Someone has said-“a man knows not his own strength until he is tested by adversity”. Adversity reveals what we are made of. A rubber band has little power until it’s been stretched.
J.Vernon McGee- this story of Joseph reveals that not every man has his price
I. His Faithfulness in Spite of Temptations (7-12)
A. The context of the temptation
1. As Joseph ministered in the house of Potiphar he caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife.
2. v.10- this temptation kept up day by day
B. The features of the temptation
1. Joseph was a long way from home
a. Some people might have adopted the motto: “When in Rome, do as the Romans”. A lot of people live like that. A salesman will do things on the road that he will not do at home. A young person will do things at a party they will not do at home. Joseph did not care where he was, he was determined to do the right thing.
b. Gen. 39:9- Joseph refused to violate the trust of his God. His family would never have known but his God would have known.
c. Prov. 15:3-
2. The temptation came when Joseph was on a high
a. Joseph had the favor of Potiphar and it seemed that nothing could go wrong.
b. Many are never more vulnerable than when they are coming off a great victory.
3. Temptation is never from God- James 1:13
4. There is always a way out of temptation- 1 Cor. 10:13-
a. Do you know why Joseph was able to stay faithful in this troubled time? He saw sin for what it really was. He didn’t try to sugar coat it.
b. Now we may never be tempted on this level- how about to tell a lie, to add to a bill, to talk bad about someone- call it what it is. Joseph was able to overcome it because he called it what it was- SIN.
Joseph is still climbing
II. His Faithfulness in spite of Trials (12-19)
A. Mrs. Pothiphar had been scorned and she sets her trap. We can just see her smearing her make-up, messing up her hair.
B. In V.17, we see Mrs. Pothiphar immediately tries to spread the blame around and blame her husband for Joseph being in the house.
C. Joseph had done nothing wrong but he still was being blamed for much.
1. I think Joseph understood that sometimes we ought to just let things play out- let God work. He refused to say anything- in his defense.
2. We must learn to be faithful- to continue to do what is right- even in times of trials.
3. Don’t let hardships and valleys throw you off course of life. When people talk bad about you don’t try to get them back- don’t try to have you say- proves them wrong by continuing to be faithful to your calling.
D. God is looking for some people who are faithful no matter which was the wind is blowing- many times in life we are on the down side of the winds of adversity- stay faithful to Him.
Joseph is still climbing.
III. His Faithfulness in Spite of Tragedies (20-23)
A.Joseph was now in a real prison. What did he do- the same things he had done in the home of his father and in the home of Potiphar. He continued to do what was right.
B. What did God do- he continued to bless Joseph.
1. There are going to be times when the bottom will fall out of your life- what do we do- continue to do what’s right.
2. In tragedy there is a real opportunity to quit on God. The flesh will say- I tried God and things just didn’t work out. God never promised us a smooth ride he just said we would land safely. God wants us to remain faithful in spite of circumstances.
a. Psa. 37:23- the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. There’s not a things that will happen in your life that god doesn’t know about and he is using all these things to shape you and I into the person he wants us to be—SO LET HIM DO HIS WORK.
C. God blessed Joseph and continued to use him in prison because Joseph remained faithful.
1. The greatest thing that can be said about us is that we were faithful to the end. Do you want to be found faithful to your call, to your church, to the one who has never been unfaithful to me.
2. What a difference one man who is faithful can make.
Joseph is still climbing
Stuart Briscoe- Joseph could look back on his meteoric rise from minor shepherd to major-domo and recognize the hand of the Lord. True he had been put back in a bad scene through no fault of his own, and true he could have questioned whether or not there was a God of justice but he chose rather to put his roots down deeper in the things to which he was committed. As a result it was not long before he made his mark in the prison, although it would be many years before he would understand the remarkable ways in which the Lord had been leading him. Sustained by what he knew had been done, he was strengthened to go on to discover what new wonders God would work in him and through him. This is the secret of true success.