Joseph (whose brothers tried to kill him and left him down a well) was sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph was good at being a house servant, and his master made him his personal servant. Joseph was trusted with the household, and with this God blessed the entire house. The masters wife took a liking to Joseph, and continuously asked him to sleep with her. Joseph always refused, seeing the act as a sin against God. One day she came onto him by grabbing his cloak. Joseph ran away, leaving his cloak in her hand. She then told the other servants and her husband that Joseph tried to have his way with her, but her screams prevented it. The master of the house had Joseph imprisoned. God remained with Joseph while in prison, causing the jailer to be well disposed towards Joseph. Joseph was put in charge of the prisoners, and just about anything else that had to be done.
What I see here is a case of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Joseph was right not to sleep with his master’s wife. But not doing it because it’s a sin against God shouldn’t be the main reason. Nothing is said about the danger this would present to the master’s marriage. Although that may be implied, it bothers me that it is completely skipped. This is wrong because the master and his wife are in what is assumed to be a committed monogamous relationship (skipping the historical facts of the likelihood of arranged marriage or some other less than consensual marriage style), and sleeping with her would be a breach of the masters trust. Wouldn’t it be better to teach the importance of respect for other people, instead of “don’t do this because it makes God angry?”
Lessons I Learned:
- God will be with you in unpleasant situations, help you do your job better, and even make people like you, but he will not help you when accused of attempted rape.