By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”
– Billy Graham
Joseph’s story is one of tragedy, betrayal, disappointment, and false
accusations. Death, slavery, and slander all find their place in his life. Yet, one of the reasons that we continue to find hope in Joseph’s story is, despite all of that, God worked it out for good!
After Joseph is sold into slavery, a glimpse of hope is found when he is promoted to Potiphar’s attendant. Maybe now Joseph can finally make a difference. But then comes the second act of Joseph’s story, the twist, the betrayal. Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce Joseph but he refuses multiple times. Potiphar’s wife then accuses him of trying to take advantage of her and Joseph is thrown into prison.
One thing that surprised me about Joseph is his reasoning for not committing adultery with Potiphar’s wife. Potiphar is his boss after all, so it makes sense that he says, “No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing?”
But Joseph’s values take him a step further. Not only does he feel like going away with Potiphar’s wife would be a wicked thing against Potiphar, but he says it would be a “sin against God.”
I think that what Joseph teaches us is that when we sin against one of his children, we are also sinning against God. Failing to follow His commandment to love others and love Him, means that when we fail to love someone else, we are failing to love God.
Joseph understood this distinction. He knew that mistreating his master not only affected that relationship, but it would affect his relationship with God as well. Joseph makes his choice quickly and carefully because he doesn’t want to sin against man or God.
Do we realize the consequences of our actions? Too often, I feel that we assume hurting or mistreating others is different from transgressing against God. But to our Lord, they are one and the same.
David said something similar in Psalm 51:
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,”
But it doesn’t end there. David knew his sin was sin against God, but he knew the solution.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
The good news is that, whether we sin against man or God, there is grace all the more. God, create in us a pure heart and renew your Holy Spirit in us.