Read Genesis 39
God Rewards Character
Sin affects more than just the sinner. Potiphar’s wife was filled with lust for Joseph, but he refused her advances. Frustrated with his rejections, she decides to get revenge by lying about him and accusing him of rape. Without any sort of trial, Joseph is seen as guilty in the eyes of Potiphar and all in his house. Notice that Potiphar’s wife used Joseph’s heritage against him, suggesting there may have already been some prejudice against the Hebrews as a people.
Is it not interesting, though, how Joseph views sin? When Joseph rebuffed Potiphar’s wife’s advances, he told her, “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 39:8-9).
The act of adultery would have been a sin against Potiphar, but Joseph saw it as a sin against someone even mightier than the captain of the guard. He called such a wicked act a “sin against God.” In truth, all sin is against God.
After committing adultery with Bathsheba and setting Uriah up to be killed in battle, David confessed to God, “For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:3-4).
The sins of lust and deception by Potiphar’s wife impacted Joseph, though he refused to be involved. The young man was sent to prison, but even there he was shown mercy by the Lord and his character allowed him to be elevated to such a position that the guard gave him authority, and he “did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority” (Genesis 39:23).
Joseph was faithful, and he was rewarded for his faithfulness. Wherever he found himself, even in less than ideal circumstances, God was with him because he was with God.