Ever been punished for something you did not do? As a father with four children, I know that a couple of my kids are great actors. One will have something very minimal done to them yet they will play it up as if their sibling had done the most horrendous thing to them. Being the loving Dad I rush to their rescues blaming the other child for that they have done many times pronouncing judgement before I even hear the whole story. This is similarly what happens to Joseph next in the story. Check it out;
After a while, his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Joseph didn’t stand a chance against Potiphar’s wife. A good husband trusts his wife and why would he have any concern not to. Yet in this particular instance with everything that Potiphar knew about Josephs character, it should have set warning bells off for this man. Yet it did not. Just like when I hear my child upset in pain I want to do what I quickly can to fix it so that it does not continue. Potiphar acted quickly to relieve the pain his wife was going through. He did not take the time to hear Josephs side of the story, we do not read of him every asking him what truly happened, even after tossing him in jail.
Yet here in the story we see do not see Joseph fighting what was going on, no protesting or defending his reputation. We do not know if this happened but from what we read about his character he was loyal and just and accepted his punishment. In jail now for a crime he did not commit we would expect a man to be fighting for his release. Fighting or depressed about his situation. Yet we read that even in this situation Joseph worked hard and gained the favour of his jailers. Joseph was still trusting the God who gave him the dreams as a child of his family bowing at his feet. He trusted that God would not have given him that vision without an endgame in sight. Because of his faithfulness, the Lord was with Joseph.
I wonder how we react when we are thrown into situations beyond our control? Ever been accused of something that you had nothing to do with? Instinctively we fight to get out of the situation, we did not do it so we should not have to pay for it. Yet if Joseph had fought for his innocence and demanded that he be heard more than likely he would have been found innocent, what then would have become of Potiphar’s wife. More than likely she may have been killed for her infidelity tendencies, of course, we can only speculate. Will your actions reveal the heart of God to those around you? If you are freed in Christ are you willing to lay down your life for another so they may find hope in Christ?
Father, all to often we are fighting to defend ourselves, in this we do not allow you to help. Reveal to us how to trust you more in our daily struggles so that you are glorified. Forgiveness and grace are your tools to freedom and I pray we start using them. We want to be a light to our community and we cannot do that if we are not acting like Christ. Help us to be like Joseph willing to accept what is happening so that another may experience your love. Bless our faithfulness as we serve others. Give us opportunities to reach others for you even today. Amen