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Frank Jamerson

   God made man a creature of choice, and all men are tempted in the same ways: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16). Notice how two men in the Old Testament dealt with temptation.

   In Proverbs seven, the writer describes “a young man devoid of understanding” who saw a woman “with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart” (Prov. 7:7,10). She said “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day” (Prov. 7:17-20). The writer said that her enticing speech and flattering lips seduced him and “Immediately he went after her, as an ox  goes to  the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks” (Prov. 7:22), and concluded “Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death” (Prov. 7:27).

   Another young man, who was enticed by a married woman, reacted differently. The wife of Potipher “cast longing eyes on Joseph, and said, Lie with me,” but he “refused and said to his master’s wife, Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:7-9). This happened over a period of time and finally she grabbed his garment, saying “Lie with me,” but he left the garment in her hand and fled fornication (Gen. 39:12).

   One temptation led to sin, the other led to righteousness, patience and strength to help overcome the next temptation (Jas. 1:3,4). Temptation is not a sin, but deciding to act upon it, or actually doing it results in sin. Joseph said that fornication would have been a “sin against God.” Paul said, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). Every sin is against God, but this sin involves the whole of man in an intimate way and violates God’s purpose for the body.


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