Was Joseph really a rapist?

By Edwin Christiaan

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5:11-12 NLT

One of the ancient prophets – who was persecuted, lied about, and falsely accused – was the very good looking Joseph, a godly man, who was the second youngest son of Jacob and also the favorite. Joseph became second man in command in Egypt, and he also had his name changed to Zaphnath-Paaneah.

This is his story:

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of their father Jacob’s love for Joseph. They were also offended by Joseph’s prophetic dreams – which told of them all bowing down to Joseph – so they plotted to kill him, but ultimately, they decided to sell Joseph into slavery.

He was bought by the Egyptian captain of the guard for Pharaoh. His name was Potiphar, and he eventually made Joseph his personal attendant in his household, since he saw that God was with Joseph, as He was making Joseph succeed in everything he did. One day, Potiphar’s wife decided to try to seduce Joseph to have sex with her, and she came on to him very strongly. He resisted her, and ran away. She was insulted by Joseph’s lack of interest in her, and so she made a big fuss and said that Joseph had been the one pushing himself on her, and had tried to rape her. Joseph was thrown in prison for this by Potiphar, who believed his evil wife.

“Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.

But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”

She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.

When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.”

She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home. Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”

Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.”
Genesis 39:6-20 NLT

Joseph’s good reputation was immediately trashed, and now everybody was thinking and believing that he really attempted to rape Potiphar’s wife, and therefore righteously belonged in prison.

If this situation that happened to Joseph would take place right now, would you, as a Christian believer be able to discern whether Joseph’s spirit is from God and that he is walking righteously and was innocent of the charges against him, or would you rather believe Potiphar’s wife, that Joseph forced himself on her and tried to rape her?

I would imagine that Joseph’s name would be plastered all over the media and the internet, saying that this so-called man of God has been convicted of attempted rape on the wife of Potiphar.

Would Joseph receive any loving support from us fellow Christians, or would he not be believed and treated suspiciously because they heard and read all the bad things about him on the internet?

Unfortunately, it is the latter part that we so often encounter among Christians, who base their opinion about fellow believers solely by what they hear or read about them on the internet, without personally seeking to talk to them and find out the real truth about their situation. Instead, rumors, gossip, and accusations are coming out of their mouth, saying things like: “I always felt something fishy and dark about him,” or, “He must have done it,” or, “I cannot trust him,” or, “He only does it for the money,” or, “He is a deceiver,” or, “Everything about him is wrong,” and “Who does he thinks he is?”

Through our years of ministry travel, we have met so many Christians who absolutely have no discernment. They are unable to make a distinction between what comes from God, and what comes from the Devil. And I am not talking about baby Christians, who did not develop their spiritual antennas yet, but I am talking about longtime Christians, including pastors and ministers who lack understanding and knowledge of the Word of God. They are clueless, and therefore an easy target for the Devil, who makes them believe any rumor or bad thing that is being said or written about a man or woman of God, and in doing so, causing division among believers.

The prophet Jeremiah, who also went through severe persecution, said the following about his situation:

“Then the people said, “Come on, let’s plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.Jeremiah 18:18 NLT

It is important to notice what Jesus Christ said when He was teaching His disciples:

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26 NKJV

In other words, when you are a true disciple of Jesus, you will be persecuted and talked bad about. No question about it! If everybody is speaking well about you, something is seriously amiss with you.

“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2. Timothy 3:12 NLT

Copyright©2012 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan