Hola Divas! Welcome to week two of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“. You should also read the post on the original bad girl “EVE“.
This week, we are talking about a girl who was bad to the bone! A girl who was so bad, she didn’t even get a name. She was only referred to as her husband’s (Potiphar) wife. For the purposes of this discussion, we will simply call her “Mrs. P”.
Mrs. P’s story is told in Genesis chapter 39. The chapter opens with a description of the whereabouts of a Hebrew man named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. (Talk about a reality TV show). Joseph was bought by Mrs. P’s husband Potiphar and because of God’s hand on Joseph, every thing Potiphar touched prospered.
So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” Genesis 39:6-7
What just happened here? Did she just say what I think she said?
Oh yes Divas, she did. As Potiphar’s wife, it is easy to assume that Mrs. P enjoyed the comfort of her husband’s prosperity. Yet although she may have been comfortable, something tells me that she was not happy.
A happy wife with a wealthy, endearing husband does not usually act as desperate as our dear Mrs. P. It is simple math, an inattentive husband who is gone away on business often equals a lonely, unfulfilled wife with nothing to do. This is the square root of the saying: “While the cat is away the mouse will play”.
Mrs. P was the original Desperate Housewife!
So what did ol’ Joseph say to Mrs. P after she invited him to bed with her?
…..he refused..……Genesis 39:8 (NIV)
Yep, a big fat NO.
Now when you really want something and you believe that it will make you happy, a simple NO is NOT going to stop you…and it didn’t stop Mrs. P.
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. Genesis 39:10-12 (NLT)
Accepting NO can be a bitter pill to swallow. If we are not careful, unfulfilled dreams and desires can grow into depression, anger and in Mrs.P’s case down right wickedness:
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. Genesis 39:13-14 (NIV)
I didn’t hear a scream. Did you?
I can just see Mrs. P smiling inside when her husband became enraged and threw Joseph in jail for attempting to dishonor his wife.
By the very next sentence, her glib smile was probably turned into a frown:
“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.” Genesis 39:21-22
Boredom, restlessness, and a sense of entitlement can lead to trouble with a capital T. How well do you accept the answer “No” when you really want something? What steps can you take to steer clear of those things that appeal to your flesh at the risk of your spiritual growth?