Tempt means to entice one to commit an unwise or immoral act. Something that tempts or entices causes one to be in a state of temptation.
Today we will look at three examples from the Bible that teach us important lessons about temptation and how we can be victorious over the temptations in our own lives. Our first example is about a young man named Joseph. You can find Joseph’s story in the book of Genesis. Joseph is one of the two youngest sons of Jacob, and he was about seventeen years old at the time of this story. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of their father’s love for him, and because of their jealousy, his brothers hated him. So they sought to do Joseph harm, and eventually, his brothers sold him into slavery to a man named Potiphar.
Gênesis 39: 1-5
“1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
2 E o Senhor estava com José, e ele era um homem próspero; e ele estava na casa de seu mestre, o egípcio.
3 E seu mestre viu que o Senhor estava com ele, e que o Senhor fez tudo o que ele fez para prosperar em suas mãos.
4 E José achou graça aos olhos dele, e o serviu: e ele o fez superintendente de sua casa, e tudo o que ele tinha ele colocou em suas mãos.
5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.”
At the beginning of Genesis chapter 39, we read that Joseph’s brothers treated him cruelly because they were incredibly jealous of their father’s love for him. So the brothers plotted to kill Joseph but instead sold him to an Egyptian household as an enslaved person. God did not abandon Joseph but had His hand on him, and Joseph quickly advanced in the house of Potiphar. Joseph feared God, and God was with him. So instead of keeping him as a mere slave, Potiphar made him his steward and overseer of his whole house.
Gênesis 39: 6
“6 E ele deixou tudo o que ele tinha na mão de José; e ele não sabia o que devia ter, exceto o pão que comia. E José era uma pessoa boa e favorecido. ”
While Joseph was in these prosperous circumstances, a great temptation met him in his master’s house. As a goodly person and well-favored, the Bible tells us that Joseph’s mistress cast her eyes upon him in lust and then tempted him. Now this temptation was not just a one-time occurrence, but it happened over and over. The Bible shows us; the greatest temptation came when no one was around.
Gênesis 39: 10-12
10 E aconteceu que, como ela falava a José dia após dia, ele não lhe dava ouvidos para se deitar com ela ou para estar com ela.
11 E aconteceu mais ou menos nessa hora que José entrou em casa para tratar de seus negócios; e não havia nenhum dos homens da casa lá dentro.
12 E ela o agarrou pela capa, dizendo: Deita-te comigo; e ele deixou a sua capa na mão dela, e fugiu, e o tirou.
What did Joseph do when this temptation came at its strongest? He not only refused her, but he fled from her as he would have done as if someone were trying to kill him. Joseph escaped for his life! This behavior of Joseph, without doubt, is recorded for the instruction of all. We have to avoid the things that are themselves sinful and those that lead to sin. Any sin we commit is evil and separates us from God.
“18 Se eu contemplar a iniqüidade no meu coração, o Senhor não me ouvirá:
Isaías 59: 2
“2 Mas as tuas iniqüidades separaram-te do teu Deus, e os teus pecados esconderam de ti a face dele, para que ele não ouça.”
We need to hate sin and love God’s laws with our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
Josué 22: 5
“5 Mas tende diligente atenção em cumprir o mandamento e a lei que Moisés, o servo do Senhor, te ordenou: amar ao Senhor teu Deus e andar em todos os seus caminhos, guardar os seus mandamentos e apegar-te a ele , e servi-lo de todo o seu coração e de toda a sua alma. ”
Deuteronômio 4: 9
“9 Limita-te a ti mesmo, e guarda diligentemente a tua alma, para que não te esqueças das coisas que os teus olhos viram, e que elas não se desviem do teu coração todos os dias da tua vida; mas ensina-lhes teus filhos e os filhos de teus filhos ; ”
O que é pecado? O pecado é uma transgressão intencional e deliberada contra Deus.
“17 Aquele, pois, que sabe fazer o bem e não o faz, comete pecado.”
Before we sin, there is always a temptation. Temptation is not a sin, but it is the testing point for sin. Joseph did not know that his boss’s wife would tempt him, but if he had given in and not fled, he would have sinned. What do we do when temptation meets us? Are we fleeing from the wrong, or are we giving in? What happens when the temptation to lie, get angry or do anything that transgresses God’s commandments challenges us?
Would you walk across a river where the ice was all broken up? No, you would avoid it. Would you take your money and throw it into the sea? No. Would you walk off the edge of a cliff? No, you would flee from the area. If we say we love God and follow Him, we will flee from doing anything sinful. We will stay as far away from sin as possible.
Our second example is about a man named Achan, whose story we can find in the book of Joshua. Before the Israelites would conquer Jericho, God commanded them not to take specific items from spoils because they were accursed. Achan was tempted in Jericho by things he’d seen and then desired to have, which God said not to take. Achan took the accursed items anyway and hid them in his tent. God told Joshua there was sin among the Israelites, and Achan finally confessed. God became very angry, and Achan’s action became responsible for the defeat against the Israelites when Joshua sent the men into Ai.
“21 Quando vi entre os despojos uma bela vestimenta babilônica, e duzentos siclos de prata e uma cunha de ouro do peso de cinquenta siclos, cobicei-os e tomei-os; e eis que estão escondidos na terra, no meio da minha tenda, e a prata debaixo dela. ”
Achan was different than Joseph. When Achan became tempted, he did not flee, and what happened? The Israelites put Achan and his family to death. When we sin today, we, in essence, die, and we no longer have communion with God.
Our last example is our Lord Himself. When the devil tempted Jesus, what did He do? Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” In other words, get out of here, devil! I am sure Jesus was not timid about this either. Instead, Jesus was forceful and commanding. He rebuked the devil amid temptation. Jesus knew we would experience temptation, so He taught us to pray in this way:
“13 E não nos deixes cair em tentação, mas livra-nos do mal; porque teu é o reino, e o poder, e a glória, para sempre. Um homem."
“41 Vigiai e orai, para que não entreis em tentação: o espírito, na verdade, está pronto, mas a carne é fraca.”
Do you think these commands are any less important today? No, we need to watch lest we enter into temptation or, in other words, SIN. We need to flee anything that looks, acts, or talks like SIN.
How have you been doing in your life? Have you been letting temptations lead you to sin? If yes, God gives you the power to defeat and overcome temptation through His Son. When we get saved and stay close to God, we can flee whenever the temptation arises.
1 Coríntios 10: 12-14
“12 Portanto, aquele que pensa estar em pé, olhe para que não caia.
13 Nenhuma tentação vos sobreveio senão a comum ao homem; mas fiel é Deus, que não permitirá que sejais tentados acima do que podeis; mas com a tentação darei também uma maneira de escapar, para que possais suportá-la.
14 Portanto, meus amados, foge da idolatria. ”