The First Principle
Nature Of Temptation
Scheme of Temptation
Excuses for Sin
Strength of Temptation
Character of Potiphar's Wife
But what of Potiphar's wife? What, if any, could she use as an excuse? How did she rationalize? What excuses did she perhaps make to ease her troubled lustful conscience? With what balm of lies did she console her heart?
Certainly, the possibility exists that she did not attempt such an action by sheer wickedness and debauchery. It seems as if there may be evidence from the scriptures to suggest that Potiphars wife was more cunning than crude. We must ask some real questions to learn more of the nature of temptation and the deceitfulness of sin in our minds.
We must consider these questions for a beneficial reason. We too are like the wife of the noble Potiphar. Ask this question of yourself.
Do you rationalize when temptation comes in the midst of your life? Do the children of God become snared with the deceitfulness of the flesh into thinking they can get away with or deserve to enter into temptation? I think if we are truly honest with ourselves we must answer, "yes".
Consider some of Potiphars wifes possible excuses.
Notice the first verse in Gen. 39;
The word in the Hebrew for officer is the word eunuch. Potiphar may not have been only a nobleman but he very well may have been a eunuch also. Potiphars' wife, if she were to look for an excuse, perhaps this excuse, would suffice for her own deception and wicked consolation. Perhaps she would deceived herself by giving herself a rational lie to sin. This is practical warning. How often to folks excuse their sin because of circumstances as if circumstance was outside of the Sovereign Providence of God? Oh, I can hear her now. I can hear Mrs. Potiphar now,
"Joseph lie with me. Have pity upon me. Joseph, my husband is unable. Have pity upon me Joseph, he loves me not, he treats me harshly, he's out late at night and he seems so often preoccupied with the things of this and the things of that. Oh Joseph, O Joseph, at least lie by me that I may have some friendship. Oh Joseph, if thou will not lie with me, lie next to me. Minister to me oh man of God, look upon me and pity me. My circumstances are such that, of course, you can understand, if any woman has cause for adultery it is I. Mine own husband, is a eunuch in the Egyptian court."
I say unto you a warning brethren, beware lest ye too excuse sin and enter into temptation as Potiphar's wife by making excuses, rationalizing and devising certain things in the mind to satisfy your lusts. This is the mischief of temptation. The nature of it is to have the offense settle in by degrees. Little by little. A little bit here and a little bit there, to gain a foothold in the mind through the eyes and then a place in the heart. Rationalization sears the conscience and hardens the heart to that particular sin entertained. Self pity also plays a great part in the destruction of the soul. Perhaps, because her husband paid little attention to her, Potiphar's wife paraded herself through the house in her most seductive or costly apparel. Perhaps she would be about the man more than was required and certainly more than was necessary. Perhaps she would speak often to him in order to open up lines of communication. Here, she not only tempts Joseph but reinforces her own temptation. Beloved, sin cannot be communicated with. Temptation must be stopped immediately. There can be no reasoning with it. We should rather flee from it. Potiphars wife made it a point to flirt with destruction. Brethren, beware lest the sin that is hidden in your own breast come upon you suddenly and unawares because you refuse to watch and pray. Temptation is a great evil cautioned against, brethren.
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