4 Ways to Respond Like Potiphar’s Wife

Pharaoh agreed to Joseph’s request. “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise,” he said. Genesis 50:6 NLT

What else would a man in a high-powered position say to the one man who not only saved his kingdom from starvation but made him a wealthy man in doing so?

Duh. Permission granted.

But do all the perks Joseph receives, the “freedom” to travel out of the country to bury his father, the prestige of being almost as powerful as Pharaoh himself repay Joseph for the time he spent in jail for a crime he never even considered committing?

Pharaoh doesn’t seem to spend any time contemplating whether to let Joseph leave the country and go home to bury his father. He just says, “Go.”

Why then, after Joseph is released from prison, interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, and successfully manages Pharaoh’s food supply in bad circumstances for fourteen years, doesn’t he bring retribution to Potiphar’s wife for falsely accusing Joseph? 

Based on what we know of Joseph and Pharaoh’s relationship, we can believe that if Joseph were to tell him what she did Pharaoh would believe him. Shouldn’t she be dealt with for destroying a man’s reputation and having him thrown in jail?

If you aren’t familiar with what Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph, you can read it in Genesis 39:7-20. Basically she came on to him repeatedly even though she was married. When she’d had enough of him saying no she claimed he tried to rape her. He went from the top position in the household to prison.

I want to see Potiphar’s wife punished. She deserves it. What she did was wrong on all accounts.

Don’t you agree? 

Joseph is guilty of nothing in this situation. I know God works the whole situation out for good, but she still should reap the consequences of her actions! Right?

If Pharaoh can grant Joseph permission to leave with not so much as a blink of his eye, he can have Potiphar’s wife tried and punished. Come on, Pharaoh. Her husband let her get away with this. Don’t you let her get away with this too!

And then a whisper says, “You are just like Potiphar’s wife.”

Say what?!?!

No. No, Lord. I’ve never chased a man. Never trapped someone alone in a room. Never falsely accused someone of rape.

How often do we respond just like Potiphar’s wife?

Four Ways to Respond Like Potiphar’s Wife

No, we probably haven’t had someone jailed on false rape charges, but how do we respond when someone doesn’t do what we want them to do? 

1.  If someone won’t do something the way we want, we’ll choose 
     someone else to do what they were called to do out of spite.

2.  Someone makes us mad, so we leave them out.

3.  We get them in trouble with others. Yes, even adults are tattle-

4.  We don’t help them when we see a need simply based on what 
     they haven’t done.

This list could go on forever. And at the end of it what would I find?

A reflection of Potiphar’s wife staring back from mirror.

All of the sudden I’m not so quick to want Potiphar’s wife’s blood on my hands. As a matter of fact, there’s a plank in my own eye I need to see a Savior about before I go throwing stones.

photo credit: geekygirlnyc via photopin cc

8 responses to this post.

  1. She's actually terrifying!
    I love the portrayal of her character in the musical “Joseph”


  2. And that, at the end of the day, is the moral of the story. We all can act like she did, and we need to know that and not judge others.


  3. Really insightful devotion. I am going to have to watch my reactions to make sure i do not become like Potiphar's wife. Thanks for sharing.


  4. So often we don't take time to really evaluate our actions. We love to justify our methods. Yet if we truly took the time to step away and be honest about the situation, we would see the faults of our own behavior. Honest self-evaluation is key to living a fulfilled life. Enjoyed reading this. God bless 🙂


  5. Sophie, Thank you for adding your experience to the conversation! I wonder how many of us would be shocked an offended by her character, yet would discover at judgement that we exhibited those same characteristics? I always try to reflect on the character traits of Bible personalities and compare myself to them. What do I do that is similar? How am I different? Are these similarities and differences good things or bad things?

    I think we can learn so much about our own motivations through these types of experiences, don't you?

    Please stop in to chat again!


  6. Lynda, Yes, it's easy to say I've never accused someone of a rape they didn't commit, but not so much fun to realize that oppressed people for way less.

    We may not like the implication, but there is a great lesson here for each of us.

    Thank you so much for dropping in again! I so appreciate seeing your name on my list of comments to reply to!!!


  7. Mary,

    Thank you for dropping in to chat. This is one of those posts that wasn't “fun” to write. I don't like being called out in my sin anymore than the next person, but that's exactly what happened as I studied this situation. We sure don't have to go to the extreme of crying rape to behave like Potiphar's wife did.

    Please drop in to chat with us again!!!


  8. Jason,

    I think we shy away from self-reflection, and from inviting the Holy Spirit to convict us, because we're afraid of what we'll find. It's easy to convince ourselves that we're ok because we haven't murdered anyone, accused someone falsely of rape, committed sexual sins, or any other heinous act. It's when we start looking at the everyday sin that becomes like a rotten apple in a barrel of apples that we get a little nervous.

    Thank you so much for dropping in! Please come back again!


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