Potiphar’s wife must have been shocked and taken aback at what Joseph did by leaving his garment in her hand and fleeing from her apartment naked, Genesis 39:12. As she looked at the garment in her hand nostalgically, she probably would have thought within herself something like this, “it is unbelievable that my well-planned ploy to make this Hebrew slave sleep with me failed woefully! But come to think of it; how on earth, did he manage to slip from his garment and escape from my grip? I never envisaged he could be this resolved not to commit sexual immorality with me as to remove his garment and flee naked from here. What can I do now to save myself from the scandal and ridicule his action would bring me among the other servants who might have seen him fleeing naked from here? My husband would hear about this but what would I tell him made Joseph leave his garment in my hand and fled away naked? I must think and act fast and prevent the servants from spreading the news. I must do everything to exonerate myself from this mess by lying against him before he tells others what actually happened between us and turn me to public ridicule and before my husband comes back. Joseph, I bet you, I am going to have my revenge on you for not only rejecting me but humiliating me in this manner. You would pay dearly for this with your life because I am going to frame you up with attempted rape! Let’s see how you would escape, this time around!”
She called the other servants of her house and accused Joseph to them, “…. saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; and he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: and it came to pass when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me and fled, and got him out.”
Why did she call the other servants in her house and accused Joseph falsely? (a) She did it to save her face from the scandal of their seeing Joseph fleeing out of her apartment naked. (b) She did as a means of giving him a bad name and destroying his good reputation before those under him who she knew held him in high esteem. (c) She needed support to establish her lies against Joseph before her husband because a case is established from the mouth of two or more witnesses. (d) She did it as a way to instigate/incense them against Joseph a Hebrew and a total stranger highly favored above them all and made an overseer over them and therefore would support anything done to remove him.
Having succeeded in her first plot of saving her face and giving Joseph a bad name with the other servants, she moved to the second part, which was to accuse him to Potiphar her husband. She laid up his garment by her until Potiphar his master who had the power to punish him came back home. And she said unto him, “the Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. With her statement, she indirectly accused the husband of being a contributor to what happened. When Potiphar heard the allegation she leveled against Joseph, his wrath was kindled against Joseph because he believed what his wife told him had happened. Potiphar did not allow Joseph to tell his side of the story despite knowing he was a very godly man who would never do such as he was falsely alleged. Joseph was not allowed to tell his side of the story because he was a servant and a stranger (Hebrew)! Joseph was far from home, alone in a strange land with no friends or family members to mediate for him. Potiphar took him and put him into the king’s prison (maximum prison), Genesis 39:17-20. Joseph was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit by the very person whose interest he tried to protect. He suffered for his righteousness sake.
Joseph at once accepted his fate in the prison and did not allow the pains, hurts, trauma and other emotional challenges associated with false accusations and injustice affect him. He remained strong and courageous in his God and God was with him. While there, he did the prison’s hard labor so faithfully and with all diligence, and God had mercy on him and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison who made him the overseer of the other prisoners, Genesis 39:20-23. He was in prison for more than two years.
THE EVIL OF FALSE ACCUSATION AND INJUSTICE
Among the challenges that one can face in life is false accusation and injustice. False accusations and injustice are two evils that go hand in hand and are among the commonest and most terrible ills of the society. False accusation and injustice are parts of the result of the fall of man and an indication that this fallen world is really under the rule of Satan – the accuser of brethren, a liar, and the father of all liars (John 8:44; Revelations 12:10). False accusations have to do with an innocent victim being accused falsely of doing something he/she has not done. Injustice has to do with human unfairness to fellow humans in judgment. False accusation and injustice thrive in every home, churches, schools, offices, and everywhere in human society. Most people are victims of this at one time or the other. The many faces of injustice include 1) not given a fair hearing. 2) condemning one in one’s absence. 3) judging based on hearsay without establishing the facts. 4) unequal treatment – favoritism, prejudice.
Injustice leads to undeserved punishment, imprisonment which implies being punished for what one did not do or when the punishment given does not tally with the offense committed.
Nothing pains one as being accused of doing what one did not do. Being falsely accused and being punished unjustly of any sort, especially by loved and trusted ones, pains more than when a dagger pierced one’s heart. These situations if not well handled are capable of making one very weak, sad, angry and bitter, traumatized, frustrated, withdrawn, ashamed, shattered, downcast, rejected and dejected, depressed, despair, and suicidal. Stigmatization is one of the terrible consequences innocent victims of false accusations suffer and it can last for years even after the truth has been duly established. The stigmatization coupled with finger-pointing, gossip, and the trauma of destroyed reputation suffered by the innocent victims is responsible for the depression and suicidal thoughts by victims who are not emotionally strong.
SUICIDE IS NOT AN OPTION.
False accusations and injustice are evil and are acts of wickedness. It causes so much pain and heartaches to the victims and it should not be encouraged. God hates anything of such. Therefore He commanded we should never do it, Leviticus 19:16; Exodus 20:16; Luke 3:14.
The case of false accusation and injustice of Joseph by his master and his wife was a perfect example of how false accusation and injustice happens. There is the victim, oftentimes helpless, poor, downtrodden, and truthful, easy-going, honest, and innocent. There is the accuser, who in order to conceal his or her crime or out of revenge, hatred, envy, jealousy, and other reasons best known against their innocent victim would come up with a false story/accusation against their victim. Most times to establish their evil atrocities, they would involve other base and wicked souls like themselves and would accuse the innocent before them to incense and instigate them against the victim so that they would bear false witness to something they never witnessed happen. For Jezebel to establish false accusation against Naboth for his refusal to part with his heritance, she got some vain people to lie against him, 1 Kings 21:1-16. For the priests to finally have Jesus penalized, they falsely accused him of many things, Matthew 27:12; Mark 15:3. Then, there is the accusation itself which is untrue made up stories and the exhibits. In Joseph’s case, it was his garment. Finally, there is always a higher authority in position power to hear, judge, and punish who the aggrieved would report to
The case between Potiphar’s wife and Joseph is a perfect example of what is obtainable in the fallen world system from the time immemorial between the poor and the rich; a system where the poor and the downtrodden are declared guilty without been heard. A system where employers could take laws into their hands and mete out severe punishments upon their innocent employees over false allegations simply because they know they are poor and have no one to defend them against the evil acts of wickedness and cruelty. A system where the poor are jailed and left to rot away in the prisons for years for crimes they did not commit without been taken to court for trial simply because they are voiceless. A system where one is criminalized based on one’s color or race or for just being different. A system where innocent poor persons are picked up from the streets and taken to prisons as replacements for convicted rich criminals. A system where the poor that commit trivial offenses are given severe punishment while the rich who commit serious offenses are given light punishment or been set off the hook. A system where judges take bribes to pervert judgment in favor of the rich and where the poor accuser would become the accused (Psalm 10: 2, 9-10; Isaiah 3:14-15; Jeremiah 2:34; Amos 2; 6-7; 5: 12; James 2:6).
Unfortunately, many of the innocent victims are languishing in different prisons littered on the planet earth for years for offenses they did not commit. Many have been maimed, lynched, and executed for sins they knew nothing about.
DARE TO BE LIKE JOSEPH
False accusations and injustice is something one cannot avoid as long as one lives in this fallen world among humans who are envious, hateful, jealous, cruel, selfish, and people who derive joy from hurting others, especially when one tries to live a godly and righteous life as in the case of Joseph. Therefore, to dare to be like Joseph staying strong and courageous in the face of false accusations and injustice is to do all that he did. Joseph had a personal intimate faith relationship with God and knew experientially. I have always reiterated in this write-up so far that Joseph’s strong faith in God, obedience, love, a life of consecration, and God’s grace upon his life contributed greatly to the victories over his life challenges, same are applicable here. God’s mercy and favor was very much at work in his life even in Potiphar’s putting him in jail. Potiphar could have decided to kill Joseph instantly instead of sending him to the prison because the false accusation of attempted rape leveled against him by Potiphar’s wife was a very grave one, one that attracts the death penalty.
Furthermore, the simple fact that justice is handled by fallen men who see things in part and not wholly, who are liars and are respecters of persons means that injustice cannot be avoided or overcome when it happens. It is therefore important to give one’s life in prayers for deliverance from all evil and studying God’s words continually for his grace and strength to go through it in case it happens.
Joseph’s ability to remain strong and emotionally stable tells much about the condition of his heart. He was a man whose heart was in right standing with God – pure and devoid of any form of evil, fears and obeys God, dwells in the awareness of God’s presence with him always, whose actions and words are motivated by love. Such a man has a fixed heart and very strong confidence in God and his power to protect and save him from all evil. Such a man is fearless, courageous, optimistic, and steadfast (Psalm 16:8; 112: 1-8; Isaiah 26:3; Jeremiah 17: 7-8). Such a man has clear conscience and fears no accusations and imprisonment.
To dare to be like Joseph is to also know that anything that happens to one even when done by our haters is for a reason. Joseph’s false accusations and imprisonment brought him to the divine helper of his destiny and closer to the place of the fulfillment of his destiny. It is also to know that as a child of God, one is not alone in anything one is passing through in life because God is in it with us and because in God’s presence anointing breaks the yoke, going through it becomes easy and gainful for one.
Are you battling with false accusations and injustice? Please cheer up because respite is here! Give the burdens to Jesus Christ, the burden-bearer to bare for you, and receive rest for your soul, Matthew 11: 28-30.
Don’t allow Satan or anyone make you believe it happened because God does not care or love you. God does love you and care so much about you. You are not alone in it for God is with you and He has promised He will help you (Isaiah 41:10). Be strong and courageous, because you will not be put to shame, the Lord will vindicate you. Know that it will soon pass away as Joseph’s own did and it will end in praise.
Jesus Christ remains the only option the falsely accused and those who suffer injustice can run to for help. He passed through the harrowing experience of being falsely accused and crucified by those He loved and did good for, therefore, he understands your feelings, pains, and sorrows. Jesus came to set the prisoners free and He is the defender of the defenseless and our advocate. He is the one no prison gates, chains, or bars of iron can shut out His presence from reaching you wherever you are. He is the Father of the fatherless and the help of the helpless (Psalm 40:17; 70:5) and deliverer (Psalm 12:5; 34:6; 35:10:147:7 Luke 2:52-53).
Come to Jesus today without delay by confessing your sins and believing in Him.
PLEASE DON’T KILL YOURSELF BECAUSE OF FALSE ACCUSATION OR INJUSTICE. DOING SO IS A GREAT SIN AGAINST GOD AND HUMANITY. YOU CAN ONLY TELL YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY WHEN YOU ARE ALIVE. KNOW THAT NO MATTER THE NUMBER OF YEARS LIES HAVE MOVED, TRUTH WILL CATCH UP WITH IT ONE DAY. HOLD ON TO GOD, YOU WILL BE VINDICATED ONE DAY.
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.