Joseph lost two coats in his turbulent lifetime… at least that we know of. The first, and most famous, was given to him by his father. This is the “coat of many colors” that Andrew Lloyd Weber made famous on Broadway. The coat (along with other factors) caused his brothers to hate him with murderous jealousy. After they sold him to traders, the brothers doused this coat in goat’s blood and let their father believe he had been attacked by an animal in the wilderness.
Joseph loses his second coat a short time later. He had become the chief slave in the house of Potiphar, an Egyptian. He is respected by his master and give great responsibility. Joseph also caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife. Day after day, she asked him to lie with her. Joseph refused, explaining that this would violate his master’s trust and be a sin against God (Genesis 39:7-10). One day, she takes her enticements a step further and grabs Joseph by his cloak. His response? He leaves the garment with her and runs away. Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph of coming on to her. She shows his coat as proof. Joseph goes to jail for doing the right thing. From reading the rest of the story, we come to see that his jailing was part of God’s plan to put Joseph in position to save Egypt and Canaan from a great famine.
Of the two coats lost in Joseph’s younger days, the second stands out as far more important than the first. Losing the second coat was the result of standing firm in his integrity. Leaving that garment behind was his escape from a temptation that could have overwhelmed him. The first coat tells the world that Joseph is his father’s favorite. The second coat tells the world that Joseph desires the favor of God.
In our battles with temptation, sometimes the only option left is to run. Like Joseph, who got rid of his coat to turn away from sin, is there something you need to run from? Remember that God provides a means of escape when it comes to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). What do you need to leave behind? Forget the fancy-colord coat; let Joseph’s other coat inspire you to live for God’s favor.