August 4th, 2019
Slandering A Righteous Person with Sexual Accusations is Nothing New
Genesis 39:7-10 (KJB) And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
We have all heard it many times before. A person, most often an influential man, is accused of sexual harassment. While not all such accusations are frivolous, there are certainly some that are brought about for nefarious reasons that have nothing to do with any improper sexual act or connotation.
Most often, but not always, it is a woman who accuses a man of some sort of improper sexual suggestion or acts; with some found to be true with others not. This ancient case that this verse presents involves Joseph and his master’s wife. A slave and the wife of his master.
You see, Joseph was in a position in which this woman by her position had the upper hand. Her story seemed credulous and she was believed outright without any question. She even had his garment to add certainty to her tale. Joseph had nothing he could add that could clear him of any perceived wrongdoing and in fact, was not asked to give his side of this situation.
If Joseph was given an opportunity to speak it would not have mattered for, he would have been unable to clear himself of any wrongdoing for there was no proof available for his innocence. He had allowed himself to be placed in a position alone with a woman. There was no other person who could verify his story. Further, there was not a soul who could vouch for the sultry and purposeful “coming on” and perhaps unexpected flat out rejection that Potiphar’s wife faced when approaching Joseph. In this instance, a scorned woman did seek revenge for being rejected and this man had to pay a high price.
Why was Potiphar’s wife so believable? Because of her power, position, and piece of Joseph’s left behind clothing coupled together with Joseph’s failure to protect himself. He allowed himself, perhaps unknowingly, to be placed in a situation where he could not prove his actions and character were above board to the purposeful fleshly advances of this woman.
The bottom line: God always knows the truth of any situation even when the outward circumstances seem different than reality. Secondly, a person (man or woman) must resolve to protect his or her standing and purity as they serve God in this world.
You see, slandering a righteous person with unfounded sexual accusations, especially when leveled against an individual in a position of authority or preference, is nothing new. Though there are times and situations where a man or woman does boldly cross the line in their choice of actions and/or words against the opposite sex. Slander, and accusations, whether proven right or wrong, are perhaps dramatic news, a cause for personal concern of one’s intention and choices, but never new actions at work in this world today.