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Daily Reading

Resisting Temptation

View daily reading plan: Genesis 39.11-13

It is to Joseph’s credit that he immediately “refused” the offer of an illicit association with “his master’s wife” (Gen 39.8). He had two major reasons for resisting the temptation. First, it would have been a gross betrayal of the confidence that his master had shown in him.  Joseph had no wish to disturb that confidence or be seen to be unappreciative of  kindness; he took his master’s feelings into account. It has to be understood that an adulterous relationship has a serious emotional impact on the cheated spouse. To use New Testament language, they have “suffered wrong” (2 Cor 7.12); they have been “defrauded” (1 Thess 4.6); marital infidelity breaks hearts.
The second reason for rejecting her was his conviction that it would have been “great wickedness, and sin against God” (Gen 39.9). Centuries would pass before “Thou shalt not commit adultery” was incorporated in the ten commandments (Ex 20.14) but Joseph’s attitude illustrates that even people who never had the Law in writing had it “written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness” (Rom 2.15). In every human heart there is the innate knowledge that adultery is evil; Joseph knew instinctively that a relationship with his master’s wife would outrage God. These are serious issues in a day of loose morals. God avenges immorality (1 Thess 4.6); He judges fornicators and adulterers (Heb 13.4).

Friday, 9 February, 2024

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