And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
As we read yesterday, Potiphar had entrusted Joseph with charge of his entire household. Potiphar could leave Joseph unattended and still trust him to act honorably and fulfill his responsibilities. But the same could not be said for Potiphar’s wife.
Not only was Joseph a young man, he was also very handsome (Genesis 39:6). And as the days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, Potiphar’s wife became very attracted to this Hebrew slave. So attracted, in fact, that she pursued an adulterous affair with Joseph!
Joseph refused her advances because he knew it was dishonorable to sleep with the wife of his master (who deeply trusted him) and because it was sin—breaking God’s law against adultery and fornication (verses 8-9). This is one of many accounts in the Bible that prove that God’s law was in effect long before it was codified at Mount Sinai. To read more about this important topic, read our article “Were the 10 Commandments Around Before Moses?”
Yet, despite his rejection of her advances, Potiphar’s wife continually tried to seduce Joseph into an affair. Joseph remained strong and refused; he even avoided her to try to prevent confrontations (verse 10). Though Paul wrote many hundreds of years later, Joseph understood the principle of his words in 1 Corinthians 6:18: “Flee sexual immorality.” Fleeing sexual temptation is vital when the temptation is in front of you, but it’s even better if you flee the situation that can lead to the temptation. Read our article “The Courage to Run” to learn more about fleeing temptation in your life.
The situation came to a climax when Potiphar’s wife cornered Joseph and grabbed him. This time Joseph had to literally flee. He fled so fast that he left his garment in her hands (verses 11-12).
Realizing Joseph would never give in to her, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her (verses 13-18). In his anger, Potiphar didn’t listen to his faithful servant’s side of the story and imprisoned Joseph (verses 19-20).
Even though Joseph was wrongfully accused and jailed, God showed Joseph mercy and continued to bless him (verse 21). Joseph was mistreated and wronged, yet he endured his circumstances and continued living honorably (1 Peter 2:20).
To read more about the danger of sexual sins, read “Seventh Commandment: You Shall Not Commit Adultery.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “God Interprets Dreams.”