If ancient Egypt had a newspaper in the days of Joseph, they may have reported something like this:
Sexual Predator Arrested
Egypt. A trusted slave of the Potiphar family was arrested by authorities today and held without bail on a charge of attempted rape. His employer brought the charges against him saying that the crime was a personal betrayal. He had purchased the slave, a Joseph Jacobson, and trusted him with household responsibilities and yet Jacobson had attempted to rape his wife.
She told her husband that while the two were alone in the house, the youth had attempted to rape her. The accused maintained his innocence, saying that he was a Hebrew who had been kidnapped and sold to Ishmaelites, before being purchased by Potiphar on the open market.
There was an independent testimony to his innocence:
And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:3-9)
However, this testimony wasn’t allowed to be submitted because slaves have no rights in Egypt. Jacobson was incarcerated for an undisclosed time as a sexual predator.
When Potiphar’s wife accosted him, Joseph found himself between a rock and a hard place. All he could do was to try and stay away from her, and if he had to be near her, he would make sure that they weren’t alone. But one day things got worse, and he found himself between the devil and the deep Red Sea:
But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” (Genesis 39:11-15)
Joseph ran. David didn’t. Both got into big trouble, but Joseph had God’s smile and kept free from sin. David caused God to frown and that lead to the death of his child and brought chaos for the rest of his life. Don’t follow in his steps.
When the trials come, stand tall. Don’t be a pushover. Stand with your loins gird about with truth. Don’t compromise with the father of lies. Keep your garment in hand and keep it clean.
We are targeted by a God-hating world and by demonic forces seeking to suffocate us. That’s why scripture tells us to stand: “And having done all, to stand” (see Ephesians 6:13). If you fall, get back up. When lust is thrown at you, use your sword to cut it down before it can stain your garment. Do the same with anger, bitterness, hatred, greed, pride, envy, jealousy and doubt.
Potiphar’s wife got close enough to Joseph to take hold of his garment. She may take you with her eyes and say, “Let us take our fill of love,” but don’t let her deceive you. Lust is not a bedfellow of love. It is selfish. It is a fire that burns. Her desire to be with Joseph turned to a viscous hatred when he refused to yield to sin. She hated him because he wouldn’t compromise. His righteousness was an offense to her. And like Herod’s adulterous mistress with an uncompromising John, she then wanted his head on a plate.
The Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places (see Ephesians 6:12). Believe the Bible when it says that we fight demonic forces that want to destroy you. Don’t compromise in any way. Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t lust, covet, dishonor your parents, don’t have a heart of unbelief, and don’t gossip about anyone. Bite your tongue off, pluck your eye out, cut off the hand before you give it to sin.
Adapted from How to Overcome Life’s Endless Trials.