I am struck by these back to back passages concerning fornication. I don't think it is an accident that God put Judah and Joseph's stories one after another in the Bible. In fact, it is probably very likely that God wanted us to contrast the very marked behavior between the two.
First we read about Judah and this very disturbing chapter concerning his daughter-in-law, Tamar. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Tamar bears her own father-in-law's child. The details are less than pretty and I would rather not delve into all the particulars, but had Judah reigned in some of his impulses, this could have been avoided. He was not one to avoid a pretty woman, veiled or unveiled. He ran into sin, not away from it. He is held responsible for his actions, though he nearly gets away with it excepting some shrewd planning on Tamar's part to be sure nobody else could be accused of being the father of her child.
|Joseph manages Potiphar's house|
Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book 4
By Lillie A. Faris
Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The Standard Publishing Company, 1927
Poor Joseph is trying to do right, and does do right, but how hard Mrs. Potiphar probably made it for him. How many nights did Joseph have to pray repeatedly for God to cleanse his heart and mind? The Bible doesn't tell us those things, but Joseph was a real man, with a real man's instincts. He fought them, but it couldn't have been easy to be confronted with that day after day. In the end, though Joseph ran away, he is still punished for a sin he did not commit. It seems a little unfair that Judah, a skirt chaser, nearly gets away with his sin, but Joseph, who leaves his robe behind in a frantic attempt to avoid sin, is wrongly convicted. Joseph spends several years in prison for this. That would have my justice-seeking heart outraged. Probably the thing that I hate most is being accused of something that I did not do. Yet Joseph, keeps a Godly attitude and earns promotions in prison. If he had faced a parole board, he would have been given an early release for good behavior, but unfortunately, Egyptian prisons did not work that way. His character will not go unnoticed later on though.
I am not the type of person that likes to stir up trouble. Really, I am not. Most people would find that I am a peacemaker. However, truth is truth, regardless whether you agree, and I realize that addressing women's dress is a hot button topic of our time. All I can say is if you are really offended by this post, you might want to think about why. I didn't even intend to go that direction but God somehow put it on my heart this morning. So I will post this knowing the backlash and run and duck for cover and hopefully, for those of you reading this, we can still be friends. Please don't be mad at me, she says, as she pushes the send button.