Resist The Devil And He Will Flee From You

3 min


James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The Almost Overmastering Temptation
But Joseph’s master’s wife tried to entice the young man to transgress the law of God. He had remained pure of the corruption filling that heathen land, but this temptation, so sudden, so strong, so seductive—how should he deal with it? BOE 100.4

Joseph knew very well what refusing would bring. On the one hand were concealment, favor, and rewards; on the other, disgrace, imprisonment, perhaps death. His whole future life depended on the decision of the moment. Would Joseph be true to God? With inexpressible anxiety, angels looked on the scene. BOE 100.5

Joseph’s answer reveals the power of religious principle. He would not betray the confidence of his master on earth, and, whatever the consequences, he would be true to his Master in heaven. Joseph’s first thought was of God. “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” he said. BOE 100.6

Young people should always remember that wherever they are and whatever they do, they are in the presence of God. No part of our conduct escapes God’s notice. We cannot hide our ways from the Most High. To every deed there is an unseen witness. Every act, every word, every thought is as distinctly noted as though there were only one person in the whole world. BOE 100.7

Joseph suffered for his integrity. His tempter took revenge by causing him to be put into prison. If Potiphar had believed his wife’s charge against Joseph, the young Hebrew would have lost his life, but the modesty and uprightness that had characterized his conduct were proof of his innocence, yet to save the reputation of his master’s house, he was sent to disgrace and bondage. BOE 100.8

At first Joseph was treated harshly by his jailers. The psalmist says, “They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (Psalm 105:18, 19). BOE 101.1

Joseph in Prison
But Joseph’s real character shone even in the dungeon. His years of faithful service had been most cruelly repaid, yet this did not turn him gloomy or make him distrustful. He had peace and trusted his case with God. He did not brood over his own wrongs but forgot his sorrow in trying to lighten the sorrows of others. He found a work to do, even in the prison. God was preparing him in the school of affliction for greater usefulness, and he did not refuse the needed discipline. He learned lessons of justice, sympathy, and mercy that prepared him to exercise power with wisdom and compassion. BOE 101.2

Joseph gradually gained the confidence of the keeper of the prison, who finally entrusted him with the charge of all the prisoners. His conduct in the prison—his integrity and his sympathy for those in trouble and distress—opened the way for his future prosperity and honor. If prompted by a right motive, every kind word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to the needy, will result in blessings to the giver. BOE 101.3

From Prisoner to Prime Minister
Then the astonishing announcement came to Joseph, “‘Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, all my people shall be ruled and according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.’” … “Then Pharaoh took his ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, ‘Bow the knee!’” BOE 103.3

From the dungeon, Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt, a position of high honor, yet surrounded with peril. One cannot stand on a lofty height without danger. The tempest leaves the lowly flower of the valley unharmed while it uproots the stately tree on the mountaintop—so those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down by the temptations that come with worldly success and honor. But Joseph’s character bore the test of adversity and prosperity alike. He was a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his family, but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his life. In constant reliance on God he faithfully carried out the duties of his position. The attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God, and they learned to respect the principles revealed in Joseph as a worshiper of Jehovah. BOE 103.4

In his early years Joseph had followed duty rather than inclination, and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature of the youth bore fruit in the deeds of the man. BOE 103.5

The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and qualify us for greater trusts. By sticking to principle the mind becomes used to holding the claims of duty above pleasure and desire. Minds that are disciplined in this way are not wavering between right and wrong like the tall grass trembling in the wind. By faithfulness in that which is least, they acquire strength to be faithful in greater matters. BOE 104.1

An upright character is of greater value than precious gold. Without it none can rise to an honorable height. The formation of a noble character is the work of a lifetime. God gives opportunities; success depends on the use we make of them. BOE 104.2


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