Consequences of sin – Joseph’s story

Read also:

  1. Jacob – (1) father of Israel (and of Joseph) (Chart of the 12 tribes of Israel)
  2. The Story of Jacob (2) the Father of Israel) Genesis 25-33 (D A Carson on Jacob)

God forgives sin.  Besides the danger of becoming enslaved to our sin (Romans 6:16) and finding ourselves  separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), there are also some personal and physical consequences that we will suffer for our sinful actions even though God has forgiven our sin. (Photo on right wikipedia)

You can read the Bible’s story of Joseph in the book of Genesis in chapters 37-50.

Some of the consequences of the sin Joseph’s brothers committed when they sold him into slavery:

  • Their sin was constantly before them-the brother they were so jealous of and wanted to forget about was in their mind daily as their father Jacob’s unceasing grief did not abate. They also feared, lest anything should happen to the youngest son Benjamin, whom Jacob now loved and favored.
  • Uncertainty- They always wondered whether God was punishing them for what they had done to Joseph.
  • Physical hardship- They had to make the approx 250 mile trek to Egypt on foot  (that Joseph made as a slave) 6 times  (3 trips) with little provisions.  See Map 2)

Joseph was the 11th son born to Jacob (also called Israel) and Rachel(who died in childbirth when Benjamin, the 12th, and youngest son was born.Gen 37:2 states that Joseph brings a bad report to his father about his brothers, then we read how Jacob favors Joseph by making him a coat of many colors, and thirdly Joseph has special dreams (Genesis 39:5-11). All 3 factors lead to conflict in the family and the unbridled jealousy of his brothers leads to plans for murder.

„The final episode (Genesis 37:31-35) shows the desperate brothers concocting yet another scheme  to be rid of Joseph. Their plan to dispose of Joseph ended in a fiasco, now their plan to erase his memory from the family, by faking his death, fails miserably. In a powerfully ironic twist, although Jacob is deceived by the sight of Joseph’s special coat stained with goat’s blood, his unceasing grieving means that the brothers can never forget Joseph and his exalted position in the family”. (Biblica P. 125)

Although the brothers planned to kill Joseph, in the end, due to the influence of his older brothers Reuben and Judah, they decide instead to sell him to passing Ishmaelite/Midianite traders.

If being sold into slavery by your own brothers isn’t bad enough, look at the long road Joseph had to walk on foot in order to get to Egypt. (I have seen the distance between Dothan, Israel and Heliopolis or Cairo Egypt to be estimated at about 240 to 280 miles depending on the old (spice) routes taken by caravans back then.

So, imagine being threatened by death from the hands of your own brothers, then being sold into slavery and then walking on foot through desert land, more than 250 miles to Egypt, and all this at the tender age of 17.

Map scanned from Biblica – The Bible Atlas. For a more detailed report on Joseph’s life click here.

And it doesn’t end there. Joseph is purchased by a wealthy man called Potiphar who was captain of the guards for Pharaoh. There Joseph prospered and found favor with Potiphar until Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him continuously. Joseph refused  the temptation on the grounds that it would be a sin against God. Potiphar’s wife framed Joseph with her household and Joseph was imprisoned. He spent 2 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Even in prison Joseph found favor with the warden and he interpreted Pharaoh’s baker and cupbearer’s dreams accurately. When the Pharaoh had a troubling dream, the cup bearer remembered Joseph’s correct interpretation of his dream and recommended Joseph to Pharaoh.  Joseph prophetically interpreted Pharaoh’s dream from God and 13 years after Joseph was sold into captivity by his brothers(and at the age of 30), Pharaoh makes Joseph Prime Minister, gives him his signet ring which made him second in command after Pharaoh and Joseph starts to gather the harvests in storehouses for 7 years as he prepares for the 7 lean years of famine to come (from Pharaoh’s dream).

Joseph then married Pharaoh’s priest’s daughter Asenath and had 2 sons-Manasseh and Ephraim. During the famine Joseph becomes the savior of the world with his surplus of stored grain. The famine reaches his father Jacob in Canaan, and Jacob is forced to send his sons to Egypt to buy food.

The brothers have 3 encounters with Joseph (read Genesis 42-45) before Joseph reveals to his brothers his true identity(Genesis 45:1-3).

The troubled and divided family is finally reunited in Egypt (Goshen in the northeastern Nile delta). With the family of Jacob/Israel safely in Egypt, the stage is set for the story of Israel in the book of Exodus.

Joseph’s brothers made 3 (round) trips, traveling the approx. 250 miles trek that Joseph was forced to take when they sold him into slavery. (Map scanned from Biblica – The Bible Atlas)

When it comes to sexual temptation- FLEE!

When it comes to sexual temptation, the only way to get out of it- the prompting- and you know what is the general guideline for sexual temptation? God says, „Flee fornication!” 

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Flee- you know what’s ‘flee’? Run! Like Joseph. Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. You know, this guy Potiphar, he’s a high ranking officer of Pharaoh. Potiphar can have any woman he wants. He had nobility, he was a high ranking official and he has all the women he wants for his harem. But, for his wife he would choose the very best and she was probably very beautiful. And that’s why when she tried to seduce Joseph, Joseph ran. There were no commandments because Joseph lived before the commandments. But, Joseph knew how to face sexual temptation. This is one temptation you don’t stand there saying, „Come on.. I’ll fight you in Jesus name.” No, just run, flee.

Flee means- you are driving along and you meet an old friend, someone you had been attracted to last time or whatever and she says, „Will you give me a lift?” And you say, „No, because… testimony… people see me and…you know, you understand…. here’s some money for a taxi. Flee, flee. In my case, I don’t counsel the opposite sex and because I don’t, I can tell all my (assistant) pastors, „Don’t counsel the opposite sex.” Our church has invested heavily in the training of female counselors  and these ladies are trained by me, the guidelines are set by me and they counsel the ladies of the church.  Because problems start with good intentions.

The problem is that you are not fleeing. There is something unique about sexual sin. It affects your body. The Bible tells you that this sin will affect your body, the other sins won’t. Is it your health? Will you age so much faster? I do not know, but I do know it will affect your body. I remember some years ago, I noticed a counselor in our church, he was very popular, ladies were coming to him to be counseled. So, I talked to the wife and told her: watch him. We don’t allow guys to counsel women, but, sometimes situations are such…  that we are flexible. But, keep an eye on your husband. She said, „You know what pastor? I trust my husband.” You know what, I said, „I don’t want my wife to trust me in this area.” Why? Because I am red blooded. I’m a man. I don’t want my wife to trust me in this area. No, no, no.

You know why? Because evreything starts out innocently. A little flirtation, a little attraction. The guy really wants to counsel the girl. The forces of attraction are very strong. So, the best thing is not to trust yourself in this area. PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH. You need to understand why people fall into sin. It works like this in the cycle:

  1. First of all temptation comes. It can come in a talk, or something you saw, something you remembered,
  2. Then, before it becomes sin, this always happens. The in between is this: Confidence in the flesh (I can handle this). The apostle Paul says in Philippians 3, „Put no confidence in the flesh.” We must not trust in this area. For example, take a boy, your computer is outside the room (or on his cellphone). The boy says, „you don’t trust me dad?” Tell him, „I trust you, I just don’t trust your flesh.” That’s a smart dad. Because I don’t trust my own flesh. When you don’t trust your flesh you are safe. The moment you say, „I can handle this, I can watch this show, no problem,” and you may mean it but, you are putting confidence in the flesh. And your flesh will always bring you to the dark side. You think: Oh, it’s getting late and an attractive girl like her should not be going home alone. I think I’ll take her back. Innocent, alright? I can handle this. Or I’ll just open this email. You know, there’s some suggestive photos but the website is okay. Or this movie, there’s some good elements… I can handle this. It starts with confidence in the flesh. You’re smart if you learn to run like Joseph. And you know something? (In the end) God could trust him to rule. Does that mean poor Joseph was repressed for the rest of his life? No, he had a lovely wife, had children, had double fruitfulness. He enjoyed married life and best of all, he was able to have a clear conscience.
  3. If you have utter confidence in the flesh you fall into sin, indulgence.
  4. And the prompt of sin is guilt. In guilt you have new resolutions. „From now on, I’ll never turn on the computer. From now on, I’ll never look at the opposite sex. From now on, I won’t even talk to the opposite sex.” You know, some extreme stupidity. „From now on, never again, never again…” When the devil hears that, the devil says, „Good!” Resolutions don’t work because they presume on man’s strength. The more you distrust in yourself in this matter, the better it is for you.  Once you have these guilt resolution, you have a propensity for fresh temptations.

The way Jesus broke this is He counseled a woman, He ministered a woman caught in adultery. She wasn’t a prostitute. She was caught in adultery and what did Jesus tell her? „I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.” The church has it backwards. The church says, „Go and sin no more first, then we won’t condemn you.” In other words, Jesus gave her the gift of no condemnation and that became an empowerment to go and sin no more.

Addiction to pornography has destroyed countless lives and marriages, even in the church. What is at the root of this addiction, and how can this and all destructive addictions be truly broken once and for all? Joseph Prince tackles these questions head-on and shows from God’s Word how only God’s grace and gift of no condemnation can truly set one free. Listen to this life-changing message today, and allow God’s grace to deliver, lead and empower you to experience victory over condemnation and every destructive habit in your life!

Uploaded by  on Jun 1, 2011

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