Posted in forgiveness, Humility, joseph

Am I in the place of God?

When someone wrongs us, and they know it and you know it, the temptation is to lord it over them. The flesh seeks power in a relationship, to be the one on top. However, Jesus said that we are to seek the other’s good, to humble ourselves, to be the last, and to think more highly of the other person- in all our relationships.

If anyone had a reason to lord it over anyone, it was Joseph. The brothers could hardly believe the turn of events when they found Joseph in Egypt as second-in-command over the entire nation. Joseph loved his brothers and held no account against them for their plot to kill Joseph and sell him into slavery.

This attitude of Joseph’s was born of a Godly spirit, certainly. In the flesh we would hold all sorts of grudges against a person, but in the LORD Joseph had developed a forgiving and a truly loving spirit. He forgave the brothers’ sins against him. Overjoyed, the brothers held their peace. When their father Jacob died, however, the brothers began to worry again.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” (Genesis 50:15)

It was not so.

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? (Genesis 50:19). Joseph went on,

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21)

Oh, how often we put ourselves in the place of God! We withhold forgiveness, we lord it over people, we pridefully forget we are sinners too! We put ourselves in the place of God. At least, I do sometimes!

Matthew Henry Commentary explains:

Judging of Joseph from the general temper of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of Jacob’s God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete fulfillment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to them. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.

Lording it over a person puts ourselves in the place of God. Forgiving those who transgressed against us includes a full spirit of gentleness. How much more would a kind word to those who sinned against us help bind a broken spirit.

Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are fellow workers with you for your joy, because it is by faith that you stand firm. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Seek others’ joy. Lord, help me not give in to temptation to lord it over, but to fully forgive, seek others’ joy, and bind a broken spirit with a kind word.

Posted in bible, forgiveness, God, joseph, sovereign

Blame Game

Do you blame others? Try to dodge responsibility for your actions by blaming others? Are you full of excuses? I spent four decades on the planet as an unsaved person, I had honed blame-shifting to near perfection. I could rationalize away the worst sins. “What you did caused me to…” or “Despite what YOU did, I rose above…”

The mark of a spiritually mature person is one who not only accepts responsibility without excuses but seeks to give God glory and thinks of the other person first. Let’s look at three examples from the Bible.

The immediate blame-game that comes to mind are Adam and Eve. It’s disappointing that their first response was one of blaming each other. So much for Adam being a leader, he threw Eve under the bus at the first obstacle. God is asking Adam and Eve what they have done, since they knew they were naked and were hiding from God.

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13)

Neither of them were spiritually mature. But perhaps we can give them a slight break, neither of them had encountered sin before.

Let’s look at Cain and Abel. Cain worked the ground, and Abel was a shepherd (the first one in the Bible?). We know that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s.

In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. (Genesis 4:4-5)

Cain killed his brother Abel. When God asked Cain about it, Cain deflected his responsibility and denied knowing anything of Abel’s whereabouts. Eve had to be talking into her sin, but Cain couldn’t be talked out of it. Not even by God. Cain remained angry and surly towards God. (Genesis 4:9).

Joseph is the third example. You remember, he was the youngest at the time of Jacob’s sons, and the firstborn of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel. Joseph’s older brothers were jealous of Joseph, and conspired to kill Joseph, but then at the last minute decided to profit from their scheme and sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. That was the last the brothers saw of Joseph until they were facing death in a very severe famine, and traveled to Egypt to buy grain. After a period of time and testing, Joseph revealed who he was to his brothers.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (Genesis 45:4-5).

Of anyone who had reason to blame, it was Joseph. He had been an innocent party of his brother’s sins, and Joseph had suffered terribly for it. Adam, Eve, and Cain were overtly choosing wrong, and blamed others for their acts. Joseph chose right, and ever blamed anyone. Abandoned by his brothers, betrayed by them at a horrific level, (conspiracy of fratricide), falsely accused, being put in jail, attempted rape by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph had reason more than practically anyone in the Bible to blame his brothers.

He could have said,

“Look what you did, and God is repaying you, but I will forgive you!”
“You mocked me when I dreamed of you bowing down to me, and yet here you are, bowing down to me!”
“Don’t you know I hold your life in my hands?”

But Joseph didn’t. First of all Joseph praised God for His providential hand. Recognizing God’s sovereignty is always the best place to start. Then Joseph reassured the brothers, saying they should not be distressed by their act. Joseph sought their good, and removed opportunity for self-blame by emphatically showing he did not blame them. He was seeking the brothers’ good.

That’s what spiritually mature people do. They seek the good of the other person and ignore opportunities to lord it over them.

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26″It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, (Matthew 20:25)

In this great text, Jesus was teaching the disciples that the style of greatness and leadership for believers is different. Gentile leaders dominate in dictatorial fashion, using carnal power and authority, Believers are to do the opposite, they lead by being servants and giving themselves away for others, as Jesus did.

A mark of spiritual authority is to accept responsibility for our sins, and if we are the innocent party, to love the sinner and seek their good without lording it over.

I pray the Lord continues His work of reforming me from the inside out, growing me in maturity and to have the strength to humbly repent when I’m wrong; and to love others with a servant attitude who may have harmed me, always pointing to Christ as the one who is sovereign over all.

Posted in burden, joseph, old testament, sin

Who was the real prisoner?

We know the story of Joseph and his brothers. Genesis 37 to 47 recounts Joseph’s two dreams of superiority over his elder brothers, his coat of many colors, the murderous plot to kill Joseph (Genesis 38:18) and his sale into slavery in Egypt. (Genesis 38:28)

We know that Joseph’s faith was great, and that despite arriving in Egypt as a slave, God was with him. Joseph rose to a place of prominence in Potiphar’s house, (Genesis 39:2), was then unjustly accused of rape and thrown into jail. Even in jail, Joseph’s faith was great and he rose to a place of authority within the jail, (Genesis 39:23) then to a place of prominence in all of Egypt. (Genesis 41:40). Twenty-four years or thereabouts pass before Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt a second time.

Initially the brothers had plotted to kill Joseph. But Judah said “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites…” (Genesis 37:26a).

Indulge your sin of jealousy, conspiracy, fratricide, anger, AND profit from it.

So they did, they waffled on killing their brother, they ended up stuffing Joseph in a pit but then dragged him out when the caravan passed by so they could sell him into slavery. And that seemed to be the end of Joseph for the brothers, for all they knew.

Decades later, the famine had become very severe in all the surrounding region. Unbeknownst to the brothers, Joseph had foreseen the famine coming, thanks to a dream the LORD had sent to Pharaoh, and which Joseph and interpreted by His grace. Facing starvation, the brothers decided to travel to Egypt to buy grain, and they were of course faced with Joseph who had become vizier to Pharaoh, second most powerful man in all of Egypt. The brothers did not recognize Joseph, but Joseph recognized the brothers. Joseph accused the brothers of being spies and held them in custody. He told them to return to Canaan and bring back Benjamin, the youngest, to him. The brothers huddled and said to one another,

In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” (Genesis 42:21-22).

Reuben was referring to the death penalty for taking a life, but there is also a spiritual aspect to this.

Source Wikimedia

Joseph had been in actual prison, and no doubt had some dark days. But the LORD was with Joseph, it says so during the recounting of Joseph’s life, many times. (Genesis 39:2, Genesis 39:21, Genesis 39:23…). When the LORD is with you, no matter the circumstance, one can dwell in joy and peace. (Philippians 4:4). Being “in the Lord” brings with it a sphere of peace that is unrelated to the circumstances of this worldly life. Being in the Lord means you possess an unchanging, invincible bubble of joy that none can penetrate. (Philippians 4:7).

Contrast Joseph’s spiritual success with his brothers’. When accused, they crumbled at once under the weight of their collective guilt. They’d been carrying this tremendous burden of guilt since the day they rode off, deaf to the pleas of the teenager they conspired to sell. It was their prison.

The scriptures declare we are all prisoners of sin, release only comes in faith in the Lord Jesus. (Galatians 3:22, John 8:34, Romans 7:14).

That is why Joseph, though imprisoned, was free; and the brothers, though free, were imprisoned. The burden of sin is heavy, but a clean conscience is light.

The solution:

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24–25).

Are you like Christian, the man in the allegory Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan? Christian was weighted by a burden on his back of which he could not rid himself and was causing much distress.

Christian: I cannot go as fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.
Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew nigh to a very miry slough that was in the midst of the plain: and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.

Slough of Despond, Dyer Library, Saco, Maine

Evangelist explained to Christian why the ground was so bad at the Slough of Despond:

‘This miry Slough is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called the Slough of Despond: for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place; and this is the reason of the badness of this ground.

Are you sinking deep into guilt and shame, as were Joseph’s brothers, weighted in guilt by their heinous acts? Do you long for freedom from sin and a cleansed heart, forgiven of the sins which are burdening you? Only Jesus can provide that, and He has.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

THE GOSPEL

Posted in christmas, incarnation, joseph, nativity

The Christmas Story: Joseph

We rightly focus on the Incarnation at this time of year. And we rightly study the main people associated with it, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, Gabriel the messenger, the Shepherds, the Wise Men…but what of Joseph? Here is a small scene which gives us much rich insight into the foster father of our Lord and Savior.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21)

–v. 18: “her husband Joseph“. Betrothals in ancient Israel were different than engagements of our day. They were contracts and the betrothal was as good as the actual marriage-without the consummation. That’s why in the next verse, Joseph is recorded as considering a divorce.

Compare Mt 1:20, “Mary, thy wife.” Betrothal was, in Jewish law, valid marriage. In giving Mary up, therefore, Joseph had to take legal steps to effect the separation. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

–v. 19: Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (ESV). The NIV says
Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

The Holy Spirit in His wisdom chose to include the word “just” here. Joseph is a just man. The Spirit didn’t inspire Matthew to write Joseph was a good man, or Joseph was a kind man, or Joseph, being a man, but notes that Joseph was “just”. What does this mean? Strong’s word definition explains that here, just, or righteous means “relates to conformity to God’s standard (justice; especially, just in the eyes of God; righteous).”

Joseph did not become angry, or run to his friends and complain about Mary, or immediately seek the rabbis. According to the Law in Deuteronomy 22:23-24, and Mary and Joseph were a couple living under the Law (Luke 2:22), this was supposed to happen:

If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”

Yet Joseph did not want to make her a public example. Matthew Henry says,

But he was not willing to take the advantage of the law against her; if she be guilty, yet it is not known, nor shall it be known from him. How different was the spirit which Joseph displayed from that of Judah, who in a similar case hastily passed that severe sentence, Bring her forth and let her be burnt! Gen. 38:24. How good it is to think on things, as Joseph did here! Were there more of deliberation in our censures and judgments, there would be more of mercy and moderation in them. Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible.

–v. 20a: “But as he considered these things,”

Joseph was thoughtful mulling over his responsibility as a husband, as a God-fearer, as a citizen under the Law. Joseph was just in the eyes of God so he…”resolved to divorce her quietly.” One can hardly imagine the spiritual and emotional distress of those moments. Here, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown have some words:

Who would not feel for him after receiving such intelligence, and before receiving any light from above? As he brooded over the matter alone, in the stillness of the night, his domestic prospects darkened and his happiness blasted for life, his mind slowly making itself up to the painful step, yet planning how to do it in the way least offensive—at the last extremity the Lord Himself interposes. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D., Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.)

–v. 20b: behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord’s timing is gracious indeed. One may have suspected Joseph of feelings of betrayal or anger. Or we may also alternately suspect Joseph of knowing Mary’s character, believing her tale of conception by Spirit to bear the Messiah and thus perhaps Joseph was fearful of marrying a woman who was bearing the Messiah, and did not want to presume himself into such an exalted event. Is that why the angel said, “Joseph, do not fear to take Mary as your wife”? The word “fear” is the word phobos, meaning “I fear, dread, reverence, am afraid, terrified” according to Strong’s. Was Joseph’s reverence of the holy event part of his fear to continue with Mary? Or was his fear of taking on a harlot and assuming her guilt and reproach for her [perceived] immoral behavior? We do not know for sure, all we do know is the angel said that proceeding in marriage with Mary is something not to fear.

Our God salved Joseph’s heart with a confirmation of the message that the Messiah is within his Mary, and Joseph knew a great, Divine work was progressing. Joseph obeyed God and continued with Mary. Matthew Henry says, “Note, It is a great mercy to be delivered from our fears, and to have our doubts resolved, so as to proceed in our affairs with satisfaction.”

–v. 21: She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew Henry again,

“He is here informed concerning that holy thing with which his espoused wife was now pregnant. That which is conceived in her is of a divine original. He is so far from being in danger of sharing in an impurity by marrying her, that he will thereby share in the highest dignity he is capable of. Two things he is told, (1.) That she had conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost; not by the power of nature. The Holy Spirit, who produced the world, now produced the Saviour of the world, and prepared him a body, as was promised him, when he said, Lo, I come, Heb. 10:5.
That she should bring forth the Saviour of the world (v. 21). She shall bring forth a Son; what he shall be is intimated,

[2.] In the name that should be given to her Son: Thou shalt call his name Jesus, a Saviour. Jesus is the same name with Joshua, the termination only being changed, for the sake of conforming it to the Greek. Joshua is called Jesus (Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8), from the Seventy. There were two of that name under the Old Testament, who were both illustrious types of Christ, Joshua who was Israel’s captain at their first settlement in Canaan, and Joshua who was their high priest at their second settlement after the captivity, Zec. 6:11, 12. Christ is our Joshua; both the Captain of our salvation, and the High Priest of our profession, and, in both, our Saviour … he is therefore able to save to the uttermost, neither is there salvation in any other.

A righteous, kind, just, patient, thoughtful, responsible man was Joseph, foster-father to Jesus. A righteous, kind, just, patient, thoughtful, responsible God is our Jesus, a name given to Joseph by heaven and the only name under which there is salvation

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Posted in christmas, jesus, joseph, nazareth, prophecy

"He shall be called a Nazarene": God is the author of the future

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:19-23)

God is the author of the future. He ordained it and only He knows it. Sometimes, He tells us before it happens. That is what’s called prophecy.

God tells us in different ways what His plans are for the future. In the Old Testament, He told Adam directly there would be a savior. Other times, He selected men as Prophets to receive His word. In the NT, He selected men as Apostles and told them to speak His future. Then finally, He spoke through His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2). The life and death and resurrection of Christ is part of that amazing reliability of God’s ordination of events, because all the events prior to His coming pointed to Him!

I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” 
(Psalm 2:7)

And after Jesus rose and went to heaven, God sent His Spirit to inspire men to write it all down so we could read the past, the present and the future all at once, in one book.

John MacArthur wrote,
There is no way to explain the Bible’s ability to predict the future unless we see God as its Author. For example, the Old Testament contains more than three hundred references to the Messiah of Israel that were precisely fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah).

Peter Stoner, a scientist in the area of mathematical probabilities, said in his book Science Speaks that if we take just eight of the Old Testament prophecies Christ fulfilled, we find that the probability of their coming to pass is one in 1017. He illustrates that staggering amount this way:

We take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas . They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly. . . . Blindfold a man and tell him he must pick up one silver dollar. . . . What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them come true in any one man. ([ Chicago : Moody, 1963], 100-107)

And Jesus fulfilled hundreds more than just eight prophecies!

God is the author of the future. In eons past, He ordained that His Son would redeem a sinful humanity, and do it in a way that stops our heart just thinking about it. His Son would voluntarily depart from His holy habitation in heaven and descend into a helpless babe’s body. He would live and grow on earth as a human, amid the pollution, curse, and sin we created. He would teach and prophesy and die a bodily death as the Spotless Lamb of God, and pleased with His Son, God would raise Him on the third day.

Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for He is aroused from His holy habitation.
(Zechariah 2:13)

This was His plan since the beginning and made known to us since Genesis 3. Jesus is a fulfillment of God’s prophecies, His plan since the beginning of time, and the very embodiment of love.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him…” 
(John 3:16-17)

And He was and is called The Nazarene. Believe on Him and be saved.

Posted in end time, joseph, potiphar's wife

Are you Potiphar’s wife, or are you Joseph?

Genesis 39:7-12 has an interesting lesson for us Christians in the last days. Now, the following really happened to two real people. The scene is part of a continually unfolding lesson to us through scripture of God’s love and His ultimate control of all circumstances. It shows us His long-term plan for His people. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately on the truth of the Word and the way that sin in the world winds around it, like a strangler fig, trying to kill it. Sin does that. Kills you. Potiphar’s wife and Joseph’s reaction to her came to mind as I was thinking.

I love the truth of God. The bible is an incredible book, written by 40 or so authors over 1500 years yet it contains a single message unified over time and through time. It can only have been written by Someone outside of time, and that is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who God-breathed it to men. (John 1:1, 2 Timothy 3:16). We are told repeatedly that the last days would be filled with deception.  (2 Peter 2:1-3; Mt 7:15; 1 John 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:1). We are told not to cling to the things of the world. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).

So many Christians these days are seeking the world. Or at least, they are distracted by the world and are failing to stay strong, to run for your life when the world seeks you. Worse, many Christians are flirting with the world, thinking that they can dabble and stay strong in Jesus at the same time. Well, you can’t. Look what Joseph did when the world sought him:

“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 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 and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.”

“One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (Genesis 39:7-12).

Joseph ran. He didn’t make friends with sin. He didn’t tolerate sin. He didn’t flirt with sin. He didn’t reason with sin. He ran. Now, the world will seek us the same way, with outstretched hands, with a winning smile, with pleading and guile. When those fail, sin will try to grab you. Don’t let it. Run.

Painting by Hendrik van the Elder Balen, ~1615

The Prince who is to come is the antichrist. (Daniel 9:26-27). He is also called the man of Lawlessness. Lawlessness in this case means he has not one scrap of God’s Law in his heart. (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  He is completely devoid of anything good. He also will seek the world and the world will accept him. (John 5:43). He also will outstretch his hands and with guile and a winning smile and flattery, and insinuating himself he will make a grab for the world. (Daniel 7:8, Daniel 8:25; Zechariah 11:15-16).

Jesus said that when you see this, run. (Matthew 24:16). Don’t even stop to get your cloak. (Matthew 24:17-18). Christians who are left behind and living in the Tribulation are warned severely to stop for nothing but like Joseph, flee even if it means leaving behind what you are wearing.

Flee from the sin in the world. Don’t become entranced by it, flirt with it, enjoy it, or otherwise become entangled in it. Leave it behind. Joseph ran, leaving behind his coat. The tribulation survivors are urged to run, leaving behind their coats. We should heed that advice and run from lawlessness. You can be Potiphar’s wife, grasping for the things of the world or you can be Joseph, running from the world’s unrighteousness reaching for you. You know which one will profit you in the long run…
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