Reacting to Rubbish

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Reacting to Rubbish

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

To be wrongly charged for the most awful crimes is no surprise to the best of men and such was the case in the life of Joseph. You see, Potiphar's wife falsely accused him of rape and today in our continued reading of Genesis chapter 39 verses 17-20, we'll see how the rest of the story unfolds and how Joseph reacted to being prosecuted as a scandalous criminal…

And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

And it came to pass… Ladies, whatever comes to pass in our lives, whether we are falsely accused or thrown into prison etc. is in the hands of the Lord. Though Potiphar's wife proudly thought Joseph's circumstances - and her own - were in her control, we know differently! Even Potiphar, as powerful as he was, may have thought he had the power to decide Joseph's fate, but no man can overrule the decisions of the Lord. As Christians, we are owned and righted by God only. Our times rest in His hand and in this knowledge we can find great comfort in the face of evil men and women or in the midst of troubling circumstances that may come upon us.

Psalm 31:14-15
But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

Potiphar, persuaded by the lying words of his wicked wife, most likely chose prison for Joseph, because it was the worst. After all, this man's wrath had been fed by his wife's colorfully repeated, slanderous lie and he was provoked to jealousy. God however, designed this prison to open the way to Joseph's honor, as we'll see in our next study. But today we're going to consider this young man's response to that which he had abhorred and never committed. Indeed Joseph must have grieved deeply to be falsely accused of something he fought against long and hard, even fled from. How he must have been saddened to witness the man who trusted in him implicitly be so easily and quickly persuaded to believe the worst about him when he had been nothing but loyal to Potiphar. As you reread our text for today, can you find a description of Joseph's reaction to this dilemma? I could find only a calm, silent example hiding between the lines of scripture, proving that Joseph responded to malice in a Christ like manner…

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

We learn from our Savior that silence is often an effective response to false accusations. Ladies, if it comes to pass that you face jealous critics because of your desire to live righteously, be glad they're criticizing that part of your life rather than the wrong you may have done! Perhaps others need this time to focus on your faith and trust in the Lord… Respond by continuing to believe and live as God says you should. Remember that the Lord is always in control, fighting this battle for you and then you'll have the power to react properly.

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…

Jesus tells us that prayer is another effective response to false accusations. The Lord promises to help the persecuted and bring judgment on unrepentant sinners. Cry out to Him to defend you when you are unjustly accused. Our natural reaction may be to lash out in revenge or to give a detailed defense of our every move when we are unjustly accused. But prayer covers all those details for us! Rest in the fact that the Lord will clear your name in the eyes of those who really matter.

Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my name sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus tells us that joy is also a vital response to false accusations. As a matter of fact, Christ actually defines our taxing circumstances as a blessing and exhorts us to rejoice whenever we're persecuted wrongfully, not retreat or go into hiding as most would do! Our persecution means we have shown ourselves faithful to God and we will one day be greatly rewarded. Certainly this truth takes our eyes off our earthly circumstances and puts our focus on heavenly compensation.

In closing, we have seen both in the life of Christ and the life of Joseph that we do not need to retaliate, we do not need to take circumstances into our own hands when an injustice has been done us. When society is not your friend, hold your peace, don't give it away, no words are necessary at all! In the testimony of a good conscience, instead of demanding our rights, we must be willing to surrender them. Otherwise, suffering has nothing but misery in it, amen? Instead of planning vengeance, pray. God guarantees justice, but His punishment of evil is not on our timetable. In the "mean-time", those who have fully given themselves to the Lord can overcome evil with good! It is the most powerful way to win the cruelest of hearts.

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

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