“No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”—Genesis 39:9
Sometimes after we have had a little success, after we have come through the adversity, after we have climbed the social ladder, we are more vulnerable than we were before. There was a time we trusted in God because we had to. We trusted in God because if He didn’t come through, we weren’t eating that night. We trusted in God because if He didn’t come through, the rent wouldn’t get paid. If God didn’t come through, we weren’t going to make it through the week.
But now maybe we have a nice amount of money in savings and investments. Maybe we have done very well at work. Maybe we’re not as dependent upon God. Maybe we’ve lowered our guard just a little bit. Know this: greater success leads to greater times of vulnerability.
We see this in the life of Joseph. He was a total success in Potiphar’s house. And then came the temptation. Along came Potiphar’s wife. It must have been very flattering for her to pay attention to him and talk to him about how attractive he was. He had, for a time, been saturated with Egyptian values, and those values that came from his parents might have seemed very worn-out and archaic. He could have rationalized it and said, “Well, if I give in to her, I will move to the top more quickly.” But here is what Joseph knew: God was there, and God was watching. So Joseph refused her advances.
Joseph recognized that temptation isn’t a sin; it is a call to battle. He wasn’t made of stone. He was vulnerable in this area. Yet he resisted her.
You may think that if you’re really spiritual, you won’t be tempted. But it is not the bait that constitutes the temptation. It is the bite.