“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9
Joseph was a slave and in a strange country; he was tempted by a wanton and revengeful mistress. Had he complied, he would have been sure of secrecy and rewards — but if he resisted, he might expect her keenest resentment, if not the loss of his life. Yet all these could not influence him. He chose to submit to every inconvenience and danger, rather than be guilty of so foul a crime and sin against God. Hence we may learn that the fear of God is a most effectual preservative against all criminal indulgences. It was this that restrained Joseph, and will, where it is possessed, have the same effect on all mankind. It regulates every passion, every spring of human actions, and includes in it all the most powerful motives by which the conduct of mankind is determined.
- If interest be the principal thing that sways us, it surely cannot be so certainly promoted as by securing the favor of God and avoiding His displeasure.
- If we regard our fears, He is the most formidable Being in the universe to a mind that has perverted its faculties and transgressed the laws of its nature.
- If we are swayed by hope, He is the supreme Good; if by love, He is the most amiable and perfect Excellence; if by gratitude, He is the Author of all our happiness.
Give me, O Lord, such godly fear,
As feels Your presence nigh;
And looks to You when sin is near,
And makes the tempter fly.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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