Potiphar’s wife makes her cameo in the Bible in Genesis 39. To summarise the chapter, for those who don’t recognise this name, she was the one responsible for having Joseph (of technicolour dream coat fame) put in jail under false rape allegations. She is therefore usually represented as one of the vixens or femme fatales of the Bible. Villain though she may (rightly or wrongly) be viewed as- her life was significant and therefore contains content that we can learn from, especially regarding “footstools”. By the way, if you'd prefer to listen to this devotional rather than continue to read it- just press play on the audio below. Feel free to download also:
There is a scripture that says that God will make our enemies our footstools. Most people rejoice over it because they interpret it as a promise that one day they will overcome their enemies and be made lord over them (put in a more superior position than them) or be able to lord (or flaunt) their success in their face one day. I mean footstools were made to be beneath us, no? Well, yes they were, but I submit to you that this scripture may also hold another truth. You see, another function of footstools is to help us to step up and elevate ourselves. They help us to access previously unreachable places. Therefore, our “enemies” (whether they be people or negative circumstances) can actually be blessings in disguise serving as “footstools” because without them we would never ascend towards our purpose. This was certainly true of Joseph. If Potiphar’s wife had not falsely accused him, he would never have met the Pharaoh’s butler and baker in prison (Genesis 40). If he had not met them and interpreted their dreams, then he would never have been called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and definitely would then never have become second only to Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 41:38-45). More importantly than that, is that if Joseph had not assumed this position then God would never have been able to fulfil His word to his great grandfather, Abraham, that the descendants that He promised Abraham would multiply, be enslaved in a strange land but also escape with riches (Genesis 15:5 and 13-16). This was God’s ultimate plan and part of the higher purpose that Potiphar’s wife served (because Joseph opened the door for his people to enter Egypt and fulfil this prophesy (Exodus 1:6-14; Exodus 12:30-40)).
We all either have or have had a “Potiphar’s wife” in our own lives. On a personal level, I have always had a burden for women. This was born out of growing up seeing my female role-models either sell themselves short or stay in abusive situations due to factors such as tradition, control and low self-worth. However, these negative circumstances are currently serving as a footstool in my life and will hopefully do the same in the lives of others. You see, in November 2015 I began a project. Put simply, my aim was to launch a website that would encourage women through the testimonies of modern Christian women in addition to devotionals such as this one. Thank God it has now come to pass! There is a host of hidden treasure to be found in matriarchs of the faith, such as Potiphar’s wife. and applied in our own lives so that we, particularly modern women, can break negative cycles by being the role-models that future generations will need. Although this does not diminish the reality of the trauma witnessing these negative situations caused me, I, like Joseph, can say that what the enemy “meant for evil against me…God meant it for good”.
What about you, lovely? Take stock of your life as it stands right now. Who or what is currently serving as your Potiphar’s wife? Could it be that the enemy that may have risen against you so suddenly has actually not been sent to destroy you but to force your progress? Remember God’s thoughts are not of evil towards you. Even when it doesn’t look like it, He wishes you nothing but peace; wants to establish your hopes and give you a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Want to know how?