The Joseph Stories: Lying Lips


This series takes a creative approach to the Joseph stories. Each day’s reflection imagines what one of the characters might have written in both their diary and their memoirs about the events in that day’s Scripture passage. While this approach sometimes requires us to “fill in the blanks” a bit with regard to what the characters are thinking and feeling, every effort has been made to stay as close to the Bible’s details as possible. The diary/memoir approach underscores how we often perceive—or don’t perceive—God’s hand in our lives.


Lying Lips

Read: Genesis 39:6b-18

After a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” (v. 7, NRSV)

If Joseph had written in his diary after Mrs. Potiphar’s accusation, what might he have said? DIARY: Just when I thought my life was getting better, Potiphar’s wife accuses me of attacking her! I knew she wanted me—she’d made that pretty clear. But I’d told her in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t interested. I tried to make her understand that such a thing would be a sin against God. I was proud of that argument, first because it was true, and second because it rejected her without insulting her. But now she’s accusing me of attempted rape. I can only hope that when Potiphar hears her story he’ll consider the source. Surely he knows I’m neither stupid enough nor disloyal enough to try something like that!

If Joseph had written in his memoirs years after this experience, what might he have said? MEMOIR: I remember that incident like it was yesterday. For years I tried to imagine what I might have done differently. But I’ve learned to let it go. What I DO hang on to—as tightly as Potiphar’s wife hung onto my garment—is the fact that God used her false accusation to set me on a true path. If she hadn’t accused me, I might still be Potiphar’s right hand man. If I were, things would have turned out very differently for both me and my people.

Prayer: Help us to forgive those who tell lies about us, and fill us with compassion, truthfulness, and trust.