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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYeshev 9-6

And (he) settled

Genesis 39:7-23

There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

Gen. 39:9 NKJV

How to avoid corruption?

When Yosef was tempted to commit adultery with the wife of his master, he remained very firm against her wishes. Even though she insisted day after day and even being one day alone in the house with her, he refused adamantly and fled from her.

Now, what does his answer when she invited him to have relations with her mean? He said that there was no one greater than he in the house and that his master had not kept anything back from him except his wife. That's why he couldn't do such great wickedness and sin against the Almighty.

In the first place we see that all sin against our neighbour is also a sin against the Almighty. Yosef knew that the Eternal was watching him at all times and that every one of his actions was going to be judged by Him. He didn't want to offend his God and that's why he didn't give room to sin.

In the second place, we can see that Yosef considers adultery to be a very serious sin – and it is true – it is a very serious sin with serious consequences even if a person commits it and repents of it.

But the most noticeable part of his answer is when he talks about the great responsibility he had received. Since he had received great responsibility he couldn't accept her proposal. What does one thing have to do with the other?

Instead of taking advantage of his position and of the trust of his master – something common among those with responsibility positions in all kinds of organizations – he considered that, because of being entrusted with such responsibility, he should manage it correctly without benefiting from it. This is the heart of a true leader. One with such a heart is able to be lifted up over a whole nation because he doesn't seek his own interest but the others' and he knows how to make a difference between what is his and what isn't.

The heart of a corrupted man says: “Since I am so trusted, I will take advantage as much as I can of it without being exposed and humiliated.” 

The heart of a righteous man says: “Since I am so trusted, I will have to be loyal and faithful.”

This behaviour is worthy of praise. If everyone were like that, we would have a wonderful world.

Be faithful and loyal. Don't take advantage of your position and the trust others have in you to get a personal benefit. Understand the principle of being faithful over little in the innermost part of your heart, and then you will receive more and more trust, responsibility and honour. Even if men are not watching you, there are thousands of eyes watching you all the time from the invisible world.

Faithfulness is more valuable than pleasure and profit and "The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness…" (1 Sam. 26:23a ESV) "Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." (Ps. 37:3 ESV) And so, you will receive a great reward.

 Kol tuv,


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