Genesis 37:23, “So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.”
People can take temporal things from us such as houses, cars, jobs, money, etc…, but there are some things that nobody can take. In the blockbuster movie Braveheart, William Wallace played by Mel Gibson Director of the Passion of the Christ was speaking to the people of Scotland that he was rallying together. He said, “Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you’ll live… at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”
Our enemies will try and take things from us sometimes those enemies may be our own family members or those that are close to us. This is precisely the predicament that Joseph found himself in twice during his life. Joseph was the favored son, and jealousy brewed among his brothers toward him. Eventually his brothers sold him as a slave and took the robe he was wearing. Joseph was unlike his brothers both in his attitude and character. Although they took his robe, they couldn’t take Joseph’s character or attitude from him. People can take the temporal things, but they cannot take the eternal things, such as our character from us.
Then Joseph is brought to Egypt as a slave and his gift and godly character cause him to rise up in Pharaoh’s ranks, second only to Pharaoh. He found himself in a compromising position with the Potiphar’s wife who wanted to have sex with him. Genesis 39:10 reads “And it came about as she spoke to Joseph day after day, that he didn’t listen to her to lie beside her, or be with her.” However, one day “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.”
Like Joseph’s brothers, she took a piece of clothing from Joseph. When he ran from her he had his character and integrity fully intact, because she couldn’t take that away, because it was not for the taking in Joseph’s estimation. The only way she could have received it, was if Joseph gave it away, not an option in his mind. This is a lesson to take from Joseph. He was not giving up the character
that had been developed within him through his trials. I’ve heard it rightly said, “Character is what you are in the dark, when no one is looking.”
Joseph teaches us:
1. People (even those close to us) will try to take things from us.
2. People may and can take temporal material things from us, but they cannot take eternal things.
3. People can’t take our character unless we give it away!
4. God is more concerned with our character than our possessions.
5. Our godly character is a staple of God working through our lives despite situations, status, or earthly possessions.
6. God allows trials to build character.
7. Your response to trials will reveal your character!
Until the nets are filled…
Blessings, Pastor Phil