How to Keep Your Clothes Pure and Tidy
Joseph running away from temptation
How to keep your clothes pure and tidy
I think after food and air, the most important thing for a man to live in this world is his clothes. (I am not forgetting the Digambar monks who have reached the highest stages of spiritual state, who do not wear any clothes.) Without proper clothing, we would not get out of our home. Appropriate clothing is must. It would be an embarrassing moment for you, if you are not wearing appropriate clothes in public. Many of us who are in good sense will not go out without proper clothing. Let me introduce one young man who lost his cloth few times.
"Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him."
Jacob had 12 sons. But he loved Joseph more than any of them. That is why Jacob made a new ornate robe for his son Joseph. We know if we loved by our parents, we often get presents in the form of new clothes. Frequency of your receiving the gifts depend on you. It mostly depend on how you please your father or mother. If you get A+ in the school, they would be happy to give you gifts. If you are not living up to the expectations of your parents, there are less chances of getting good gifts. Our heavenly father loves us just like our earthly parents. He is ready to give you gifts. If you are leading a life that pleasing your God, you will get many gifts from your heavenly father. It could be material or spiritual blessings. It could be mental peace or happiness in your life. Whatever you wish, He would be happy to provide you.
"When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him". Here his brothers hated him due to the love of his father. They were not able to speak a kind word to him. To add fuel to the flame, Joseph got some dreams. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
When you loved by your God, He has a plan to prosper you. He will inform you about it through dreams and visions. But it made his brothers to hate him all the more. It is usual in our every day life. When someone blessed by God, others feel jealous and envious towards the blessed one. Why this Jealousy? I don't know. They could also do good and be blessed. No one is preventing you from getting the blessings. It is open for everyone. But they are not ready for paying the price to get that blessings. Everyone want to live a life that pleases themselves and Satan. Then they feel envy and jealous about the blessed ones. If they all were done well, Jacob would have made 12 robes and given it to them. But they were not ready to obey their father and do good. They were doing bad things. That is why Joseph brought bad report about them. You can do bad things. Saying about it offend you. If they does good work, Joseph would have reported that good report to his father. Instead of doing good, they turned to sin again. They had a rebellious heart. Let us examine our heart. How rebellious we are? Are we obeying the word of God? Are we doing good? Do not be like the brothers of Joseph. They had a evil heart. Let us see how evil they are.
Joseph a Slave boy
Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,
and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the
flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
"Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
God has a plan for Joseph. That is why he worked in the hart of Ruben. Otherwise they would have killed him. I think God was the one who had given a good idea to Judah. The idea to sell Joseph to Midianite merchants. If God has a plan for you - a plan to prosper you - no one can stop you. No one can change it. If you are getting God's protection, if you are a God's child, He will keep you from harm. He will fulfill his plan in your life. No force can stop God. No force can stop you. See here Joseph lost his cloth. A young man who was very proud of wearing that robe is now without that robe. I think Midianite merchants may have given Joseph a new cloth to take him along with. A cloth of a slave. But Joseph did not accuse God for all that happened in his life. He trust in his God. His faith grown in the adversity. He was ready to face the disaster. Because he had a vision. He was waiting for the fulfillment of that vision. If you do not have a vision, wait on the feet of God. He will show you some visions. Be prayerful and meditate the word of God. He will give you a vision.
Joseph at the House of Potiphar
The Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
See, what a blessing it is to have someone who is blessed by God as your servant! God blessed Potiphar and his household and all of that he owned, because of Joseph. Potiphar had a good servant. He did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Rest all the affairs were taken care of young Joseph.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
This is the second time he lost his cloth. When someone is blessed by God, Satan will come and tempt him to do sin. He want to pull down from his position and destroy him. But Joseph was a man who had good faith in God. He feared God. He kept himself away from all the sinful schemes. One trick of Satan is to tempt to do evil. If he fail to do so, he use other ways to make you shameful. He want to make you cloth-less and make you shameful.
We know from the beginning Satan tried this trick of tempting people and make them naked. At the Garden of Eden, Satan deceived Eve and Adam. He put forward the same desire which made him fall from his glory. He told Adam and Eve that you will be like God. Satan also wanted to put his throne equal to God. That was the reason for his fall. Satan told Adam and Eve that you will be like God if you eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. He was successful in his plan. As soon as they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, they felt naked. At the Garden of Eden he was successful in removing the heavenly cloth of human being. Here also Satan wanted to make Joseph naked. But Joseph flee from sin. He don't want to mess up his life with someone else wife. We need to have a heart like Joseph to get the heavenly blessings. He refused to do sin. Many of us are not doing such sins because we are not getting an opportunity. But Joseph had the opportunity, still he feared God and refused to do sin. If you need blessings, you need to have a heart like Joseph. Say not to sin for ever.
Cloth of the demon-possessed man
Let me show you another person who lived without clothes. When Jesus reached the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus drive out that demon from him. Then he came to his sense and dressed. Jesus is here to give him back his clothes. If you lost your cloth, Come to the feet of Jesus, he will cloth you. He will cloth you with a wedding cloth. Let me show you another guy who was without wedding clothes.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
To the church in Sardis the message was "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. If you want that cloth, which Satan took at the Garden of Eden. Jesus returned it on the cross. It is your's. Claim it.
In the message to the Church in Laodicea it was said that: You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness. If you have not received the cloth to cover your shameful nakedness, this is the right time to ask Jesus for your cloth. See satan always trying to make you naked. He started his work right from the Garden of Eden. He still continue in his scheme. To take you away from your inheritance.
Let us go back to the story of Joseph. When she ( Potiphar's wife) saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” See. This is the pattern of an evil heart. She tried to do sin. When Joseph refused to bed with her, she is now accusing Joseph. Evil heart always looking for evil schemes. Pure heart always does good things. This is the time to examine our heart. Is it pure or evil. Is it controlled by holy spirit or evil spirit. To get the blessings, we need to have a heart that lead by the Holy spirit.
Then Joseph had to wear a prison cloth for the next few years. But God did not forget Joseph. Joseph did not forget his dream. At the appointed time Joseph was brought in front of the King. And the king honored him. So King Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
What a wonderful end. First he lost his robe given by his father. Then he had to wear a cloth of a slave. Then he had to were a cloth of prison. Eventually he was clothed by the king. Robes of fine linen was given to him. And also put a gold chain around his neck. He was honoured in an another land. The story does not end here. His brothers came and bowed before him. That was the day, the day of his dreams come true. If you have a dream, be patient and wait for it. One day your dreams will come true. It won't take much time. It will come very soon.
The marvelous thing in the story is that when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, he gave them clothes. To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. What a kind heart Joseph had. To the same brothers who stripped of his robe, he had given new cloths. He never kept a grudge in his heart. What a wonderful heart he had. We have many things to learn from this story of Joseph. Let us be a Joseph in this world. The one who brings blessings, prosperity and kindness to this world. He never allowed to soil his clothes. He kept it pure and tidy.
© 2010 Neha J