Brothers and Sisters,
(1 Corinthians 10:12-13) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Adam, Eve, Cain, Samson, David—what do these people all have in common? They all had the opportunity to say no to sin and failed. Resisting temptation takes courage. Although it may be difficult, obeying God is always the best option because there are always consequences to sin. The principle of sowing and reaping is still in effect.
Even though we have numerous examples of people who have failed when it came to resisting sin in their lives, we do have a few who were successful in saying no to sin. For example, Joseph was sold into Egyptian slavery and was purchased by man named Potiphar. Joseph was a man of high character and soon he was placed in charge of Potiphar’s house and all that he owned. However, Potiphar’s wife was of questionable character and she kept asking Joseph to lie with her. Day after day she would try to get Joseph to have sexual relations with her, but Joseph refused. One day when she caught everyone else gone out of the house and it was just her and Joseph, she put the big squeeze on him. She took hold of his coat and when Joseph pulled loose and ran, she was left holding his garment. Even though Joseph was innocent, she falsely accused him of raping her and as a result he was cast into prison.
To many it would stand to reason that if he was going to get falsely accused of something and end up facing the punishment for it, he might as well just have gone ahead and committed the sin. But you see God knew the truth and He always does. No matter what others may think of us, God knows the truth. It may be sad if this is where the story of Joseph’s life ended in that prison, but you and I know the rest of the story. Joseph would eventually be raised up to a position of authority over the land of Egypt and as a result he would be used of God to save his family during the 7 years of drought.
Joseph could have committed the sin and may have never been caught, but he would still end up in Potiphar’s house as a slave and a servant. By refusing the sin, God raised him up to a position of prominence.
When Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were captured and carried away to Babylon, they were presented with the King’s meat and wine. Daniel refused to eat and drink this because in their law it was forbidden to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Instead he requested pulse (lintels) to eat and water to drink. Daniel said to try them for 10 days and see whose countenance turned out the best. (Daniel 1:11-13) Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
You know how that turned out. At the end of the 10-day trial period, the countenance of Daniel and his 3 friends were fairer and fatter than the children who had eaten the King’s meat and drank his wine. So even though it’s not easy to resist the temptations of the devil, it will always prove out to be the best thing for your life when you take God’s way of escape from the temptations to sin. It works every time.
May God grant us the courage to say no and the wisdom to see the escape route when we are faced with temptations in life.