Building a Good Reputation
Every parent will be delighted to know that his/her child’s reputation away from home draws respect and admiration and makes people want to assign greater responsibilities to the child. One such child was Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob. He was sold to Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s special guard, by Ishmaelite merchants that took him to Egypt having bought him from his brothers. Joseph quickly distinguished himself as someone that is attentive to needs, commits to doing what he could to provide for the needs, perseveres until he succeeds, and conveys the image of God in everything he did.
Slave in Charge of Household Affairs
This reputation earned him a high position of responsibility in Potiphar’s household. Potiphar handed his household affairs over to Joseph’s management and prospered as a result. Joseph was 17 years old at the time and had been at home all his life prior to being sold to slavery. Therefore, we can surmise that his character was developed at home through family interactions. His reputation at Potiphar’s house was a manifestation of his family training.
Temptation from the Inside
While everything was going well for Potiphar because of Joseph, temptation visited his household through his wife propositioning Joseph to have an affair with her. Joseph refused, but Potiphar’s wife framed him and convinced her husband that Joseph tried to force himself on her. Potiphar put Joseph in jail without trial or any opportunity for appeal. Potiphar’s harsh judgement of Joseph illustrates unconditional spousal trust. However, the consequences of his action, top among which is losing what essentially was his household lifeline, illustrate the risk in trusting someone that could take undue advantage of the trust.