Daily Thought for: 14th February

POTIPHAR AND HIS WIFE

Genesis 39 

Potiphar little realized when he purchased Joseph what a bargain he had obtained. He soon noticed that the Lord was with Joseph and that his affairs prospered as a result, no doubt because of his diligence, even in the most menial of tasks. After Joseph had proved himself in the small things, Potiphar trusts him with the overseeing of all the affairs of his household, v. 6. 

Potiphar was a man of some position and power and he appears to have exercised that power wisely. His wife was different altogether. No doubt finding Joseph an attractive young man, she seeks to tempt him and to commit adultery with him. Here is a sin that is to be guarded against with all diligence, for it is not only a sin against the spouse but also against God, v. 9; cf. Ps. 51. 4. No wonder that many times over we are instructed to be watchful, for let us remember that no one is immune from this kind of sin. The enemy of God’s people is ever busy. 

Joseph’s godly refusal immediately brings forth her enmity. Remember how the sinful love of Amnon for Tamar is soon changed to sinful hatred, 2 Sam. 13. Potiphar’s wife then weaves a web of deceit and false accusation around Joseph accusing him firstly before his fellow servants, who also may have been jealous of his position and virtue, v. 14. Once she had gone this far, she follows through her sin by accusing Joseph before Potiphar, whose wrath seems to have been restrained for he could surely have had Joseph put to death. In any case, Joseph is condemned to perpetual prison. 

One marvels at Joseph’s grace once he is appointed as ruler over Egypt. He must have remembered Potiphar’s wife’s evil treatment of him, yet we do not read anything of him taking revenge. He seems to leave the whole matter with the Lord. So is the exhortation to believers today; ‘Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good’, Rom. 12. 19-21. 

 

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