Thursday, December 11, 2014

Against the Crowd

"So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, 'Lie with me.' But he refused and said to his master's wife, 'Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her to to be with her. But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, 'Lie with me.' But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house." Genesis 39:6-12

He was running.

Fast. And far.

Joseph darted around a corner, and threw himself against a wall when he spotted some servants walking down a connecting corridor at the end of the hallway. Thankfully, they continued walking, completely passing by him.

His heart was pounding. His hands were shaking. He needed to get out of here.

He tried to catch his breath. What was he doing? Why didn't he just... NO! He would not go there! That wasn't him, nor who he wanted to be. Even more important, that kind of man wasn't the man Yahweh had called him to be.

A scream followed by loud, overdone sobs resounded throughout the house. He heard shouting and running and screaming.

He really needed to get out of here.

Based on Genesis 39:12

I remember when my mother told me this story when I was little. I remember being shocked. How could he have run away with no clothes? Wasn't he embarrassed? The moral of this story has always stayed with me. As I was thinking about possible blogs for our kid blog, Snack Pack, I was thinking about the things I liked to learn about when I was that age, and this part of Joseph's story came to mind.

This stuck with me because he ran away so that he could stand firm in his faith and commitment to God. He would not compromise. So he left his robe and ran away.

I admire that. I respect that. Does this impact you the same way?

Too often, we would rather compromise then take the embarrassing route and run. That's just not right. God doesn't call us to compromise in our stand for Him.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

These are not just verses to pull out when we talk about standing firm for God. These verses are a call to us. Joseph lived up to that call, and yeah, things got bad for awhile, but after that things got incredibly good for him. Joseph was so faithful to this call, that he ran away from temptation, rather then compromise in any way. That is amazing. Can we live up to that kind of faithfulness? It's so easy to compromise, fit in, and just go with the flow. But since when have God's people ever gone with the flow? They are always the ones who run, who stand out, who eat bugs, who are different. They are the ones who slay giants, who rule nations, and who come up with ingenious plans in the face of devastating famine. Those are the people of God. That's who we are called to be and exceed.

Run against the crowd. Be that kind of person.

V. Joy Palmer

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