As we continue our journey through the story of relationships in the Bible, we find a peculiar incident in Numbers 12:1-15. It begins with a statement about how Aaron and Miriam “disapproved” of Moses’ new wife who had Cushite origins. In other words, they didn’t approve of her racial or cultural background. Read and you will become very aware that God does not approve of our prejudices. Ask Miriam. Her result for her hateful behavior was a short term experience of leprosy.
I have has friends ask me how I felt about “interracial” dating or marriage. I have had to address my own upbringing and deal with my own preferences. And, I have also observed the changes in attitudes of friends and family. My opinion is this: you are blessed to find someone who loves you! God wants you to be with someone who loves him first with all their heart. After that, skin tone, height, weight and eye color are trivial. We all have opinions on what is physically attractive. But my grandmother used to say “pretty is as pretty does”. I hope you spend your time with pretty does people!
BTW: remember to tell your preachers and elders that it is just as wrong to discriminate with the budget and planning committees against unmarried people as it t discriminate racially.
Several weeks ago “news” announced that football great and sports commentator, Tim Tebow, was dumped by his girlfriend, Miss Universe- Olivia Culpo. The problem? Tim is a faithful believer in Jesus Christ. He has chosen to wait until he is married to have sex. Miss Universe didn’t like it and walked away. It is one thing to talk about what your believe and another to put it into practice. I have appreciate Tim’s choice to honor God.
Which takes us to Joseph. First of all, I see so many lessons in life in a short span of scripture in Joseph’s life. Lessons about how his dad was not a fair father. The problems with having too many baby mamas. Peer competition and jealousy going bad. Being arrogant when you are the favorite.
Three lessons are evident in Genesis 39. The first is that we all should do a good job! Regardless of the circumstances, do what you are supposed to and a little bit more. The second? An attractive single man or woman will get attention! That can be a good thing. In this case, a married woman noticed the handsome Joseph and tried to seduce him. And she had leverage. She was the boss’s wife. You couldn’t have blamed a lonely guy for folding under pressure and giving in. She’s beautiful. She’s available. And she is holding the cards. Joseph saw the situation (and the wife) for what it was and fled from it. Temptation will always be around the corner and if you crumble it will own you. So, Joseph did the right thing. And his reward was the third lesson. Life is not fair. He did the right thing and still ended up fired and in prison. Add another lesson and call it…being faithful.
We will be tempted. If you see trouble coming, avoid it! If it is beside you, walk away! And if you still suffer consequences, remember that God is in control and he knows you did what was right.
The end of the story? In Joseph’s case, after years of faithful living and compassionate treatment of his brothers, they still didn’t fully trust him. How heartbreaking it must have been. In Tim’s case, God will provide the right person when the time is right. Until then, I guess he will have to keep himself busy. I heard he was on some lip synch TV show coming soon.