16 “Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house. 19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39:16–21a (ESV)
Proverbs 6:32–35 (ESV) says, “32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.”
It has been written, “Those that have broken the bonds of modesty will never be held by the bonds of truth.” Joseph maintained his modesty towards Potiphar’s wife and therefore held to the bonds of God’s truth. However, she did not. Potiphar’s wife lacked sense in her desire to commit adultery. Her behavior should have immediately brought her dishonor and disgrace.
To further compound her sin of adultery, she lied to Potiphar about Joseph. Potiphar reacted as most husbands would. He became angry. The Hebrew word for kindled means to become enraged and strongly displeased. Potiphar took Joseph and put him into the prison. The word prison literally means a round house which was used to confine the king’s prisoners.
Potiphar put Joseph into prison. There was no trial or any opportunity for Joseph to defend himself, but rather a quick confinement for something he did not do. The irony is that Joseph was confined even though he did the right thing by running away. How do we make sense of this?
The Scriptures do not attempt to explain to Joseph or to leaders today, the reason God permitted these events to occur. The Bible says only that “the LORD was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39:21a ESV).
Dr. Don Carson writes, “No marvel that she who had impudence enough to say, Lie with me, had front enough to say, “He would have lied with me.” Had the lie been told to conceal her own crime it would have been bad enough, yet, in some degree, excusable; but it was told to be revenged upon his virtue, a most malicious lie. And yet, she manages it so as to incense her husband against him, reflecting upon him for bringing this Hebrew servant among them, perhaps at first against her mind, because he was a Hebrew. It is no new thing for the best of men to be falsely accused of the worst. This was not the first time that Joseph’s coat was made use of as a false witness concerning him; his father had been deceived by it before, now his master.”
Proverbs 24:16 (ESV) says, “16 For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
Though Joseph found himself in another pit, the LORD will cause him to rise again from the depths. This is because the LORD was with Joseph as He is with you and me.
Soli deo Gloria!