Genesis 39:12b. “…But he (Joseph) left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
It was 10:18 PM. Everyone was asleep when Uncle Chuck called to talk. I went out onto our side porch and settled into my new Cracker Barrel rocker to catch up on life. After we hung up I remained on the porch to think and pray. The cool breeze caressed my skin as I breathed in the fresh air. Bright pinpoints of light shone in the clear sky giving a sense of peace.
Suddenly the calm silence was broken by a scratching noise beside me. I looked down expecting to see our kittens enjoying a late night romp but was shocked to see a much bigger and funny looking kitty. In the dim light two shining eyes embedded in a black head with a white stripe stared up at me. This unwelcome midnight visitor must have smelled the remnants of the cat food and come up on the porch for a late evening snack.
The rocker stopped and I froze in my seat. Yikes! What should I do now? A number of options flew through my brain: 1) Stay still and hope it went away; 2) Try to scare it, stomp my feet, and yell hoping it would rush off into the darkness; or 3) Make a dash for it and run.
I chose option three. The other two options were too dangerous. I really didn’t want to get sprayed, so I jumped from the chair and beat it into the house as fast as I could. He finally wandered off but left a faint reminder of his visit wafting through the open windows.
When we are faced with temptations we also have options. We can stay where we are and try to conjure up the willpower to remain strong in the situation. This is almost always a failure because when the pull is the strongest; our human flesh usually gives in.
Other times when we are faced with temptations we may try to fight back by arguing with ourselves or figuring out a plan on how to stand firm. This tactic might work for a while, but if the allurement is nearby we will often give in again to its siren call.
Option 3 is usually the answer for strong temptation. When faced with a decision that could end badly, our best bet is to run. That is what Joseph did in a difficult situation. He had been given authority over Potiphar’s household and Potiphar trusted him completely. When Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph’s handsome features and well-built physique she tried to seduce him.
Joseph did not stand around trying to resist. He didn’t try to figure out a way to argue with her or remedy the situation. He left his cloak that she had grabbed in her hand and ran out of the house as fast as he could. Though there were repercussions for his actions (the wayward wife lied about him and he ended up in prison) He knew that he had done right and God honored that and blessed him.
So the next time, whether you have a black and white striped visitor trying to snuggle up to you or whether you are tempted to do something wrong, unwise, or immoral, take Option 3. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!