Potiphar drinks the last of his orange juice, grabs another slice of toast and sprints out of the kitchen as if his iPhone had been timing him. “Goodbye honey,” he says as he kisses his wife on the cheek. “I wish I could stay and finish breakfast, but I’ve got an early meeting. Joseph should be here any minute. Tell him I left the blueprints on my desk.” Potiphar’s wife smiles and waves through the window as her husband disappears inside the black BMW and backs out of the driveway. Mrs. Potiphar heads upstairs to the loft. Reclining on a divan, she pulls up her favorite web store on her tablet and begins a round of online shopping. Suddenly there’s a knock at the door, then another one. Mrs. Potiphar debates whether or not she should get the door, then she hears a voice. “Hello?” “Hello?” Mrs. Potiphar walks over to the banister to see a handsome, well-built young man standing in the foyer. “Good morning, Joseph,” she says. Joseph looks up to the banister, “Oh, hey Mrs. P. Umm, I knocked. I didn’t get any answer so I used my key. I hope it’s alright.” Mrs. Potiphar smiles, “Of course, don’t be ridiculous. You’re always welcome here.” Joseph nods his head in appreciation, “I was just dropping by for some blueprints Mr. P. left for me.” “Oh, yes, those,” Mrs. Potiphar says. “They’re up here on his desk,” she says, walking back to her divan. Noticing that Joseph has made no effort to move, she calls over her shoulder, “You can come get them. I don’t bite.” Joseph makes his way to the loft and locates the blueprints on Potiphar’s desk. “Thanks, Mrs. P. I’ll be in the yard if you need me.” Mrs. Potiphar walks over to Joseph, “Actually, I do need something,” she says. “Yeah?” Joseph asks. Mrs. Potiphar grabs Joseph by his shirt, “Come to bed with me!” …And scene
No, this isn’t some long lost script of the tales of Wisteria Lane. This is Genesis 39 (well, minus all of the modern day amenities). Basically, Joseph worked for Potiphar, an Egyptian official. Potiphar trusted Joseph enough to put him in charge of his household and everything he owned. Gen.39:7 says, “And after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said ‘Come to bed with me!'”(NIV) As we continue to read in verse 10, we see that this wasn’t one isolated incident. “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her (Gen.39:10 NIV).
At this point, Potiphar’s wife has made a few things clear, 1) She has no boundaries, 2) She doesn’t understand what ‘NO’ means, and 3) She has no regard for her husband. But the story doesn’t end there, we’re about to see just how desperate Potiphar’s wife really is.
In the very next verse, Joseph shows up to work and none of the other servants are inside, that’s when Potiphar’s wife grabs him by his cloak and again, tells him to “Come to bed” with her. Joseph runs away from her, leaving his cloak in her hands. Having been rejected by Joseph for the last time, she decides to make him pay. She calls her servants in, and tells them that Joseph tried to rape her, and when Potiphar hears this, he throws Joseph in jail.
Potiphar’s wife is the epitome of a desperate housewife or desperate woman altogether. Not only was she desperate, but also shameless and resentful. Her selfishness and lies caused an innocent man to go to prison.
We can learn a few things from Potiphar’s wife. Number 1, being that no means no. All jokes aside, if you’ve ever you lied to cover yourself; your actions are parallel to that of Potiphar’s wife’s actions. We need to own up to our mistakes instead of deflecting them on to someone else. Also, everyone deals with rejection at one time or another. In high school, I didn’t get asked to the prom by the guy I liked, and I’ve gotten passed up for positions at work that I really wanted. It happens. Revenge isn’t the answer. It should never be the answer. What are some ways that you deal with rejection?