The First Principle
Nature Of Temptation
Scheme of Temptation
Excuses for Sin
Strength of Temptation
Character of Potiphar's Wife
Consider the natural danger of temptation for the saint. There is an ignorance as to the strength of temptations. Many look upon temptation in their good opinion of themselves and boast,
"Not I, I don't have that problem and certainly I don't have this problem over here. I am strong against this temptation. I have overcome these things. I am immune to this sin or that sin and this is not unto me a temptation."
It is true that in many instances, if we would look on an obvious forbidden fruit, perhaps we would say,
"No, not I! I know that is forbidden by the Scriptures. It is in my mind as a base thing. I will flee and be not tempted".
Perhaps we then would continue to look upon the forbidden fruit, toy with it and contemplate it, and say,
"To me that forbidden fruit, that particular sin, that particular temptation is harmless. I have overcome it in time past and have been delivered from it before. Therefore, I may then be in the presence of it. "
This is great deception and danger. The temptation that seems to be weak only needs time to become strong. Even against the strongest saint. The longer a soul toys with temptation, the more temptation gains its foothold. The soul both becomes weakened and the temptation becomes stronger. Temptation is always at work. As it works, it plots out strategies and seeks different areas and different ways to settle in by degrees. Give temptation time to get a foothold, give temptation time to advance in its seduction, give audience unto the temptation in the mind through the eye and mind will begin to cultivate all manner of wicked intents and excuses and rationalizations. It is at this moment when ye have entered in to temptation without even knowing it.
What did Potiphar's wife fail to consider? (Brethren, you can apply this to everything which has to do with the Christian life.) It was her lack of diligence in her duties. She failed to be about religious ordinances. She lacked devotions. Yet one would argue, she was an Egyptian, and an heathen. She still, I debate, neglected her God given duties as wife and marriage partner. Even if she worshipped some godless idol, the chances are that there may have been some form of morals associated with even those gods. Not so with her. She was entirely lax in moral observances.
The Pious Objection:
Then what exactly did Potiphar's wife fail to consider?
Firstly, she failed to consider the destructive nature of her sin and the power of temptation. She failed to consider that temptation is strong and seductive. She was ignorant of the reality and the nature of her own base lusts. She denied the clear admonition of the Word which saith, the heart of man is desperately wicked, and in it dwelleth only evil continually. Once her advances toward Joseph were stifled and rejected, she did not experience the affliction of remorse and shame. She rather was hardened and sought to take hold of her temptation to realize her sinful desire. She would cause Joseph to be put out. She failed to recognize the strategy and end of temptation, therefore, the flames of lust consumed her unto great hatred and conspiracy .
Secondly, she failed to consider her prey. Temptation takes no prisoners. It only destroys. By her lusts she degraded Joseph. She destroyed the testimony of a Godly man. She loved him not. She cared for him not. He was cattle to be consumed upon her lusts. How many times in our own pilgrimage do many tempters say, figuratively, "lie with me"? The world offers this daily. Our lusts speaketh to us in this way constantly. Those that tempt are devils. They loveth you not. They seek your death. They seek only your corruption. They seek only your blood. They seek the death and destruction of your loved ones. Ultimately they seek to defile the testimony of the Precious, Christ Jesus. Potiphars wife had no regard for Joseph. She had only regard for herself.
Thirdly, she took no thought for Potiphar. It is evident that Potiphar took great care of his wife in the temporal sense. She had a great house with servants, and position. There was want for nothing. This was the providential blessing of God. This she had at the hand of her husband. Instead of honoring him and rendering to him thanksgiving, she would rather make him a cuckold bringing shame and reproach upon him. This is the effect of temptation. It blinds the eye to all and any consequence.
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