I don't think Potiphar believed his wife.
The Bible says Potiphar was angry when he heard his wife's story, but it doesn't say specifically to whom this anger was directed. I don't think it's at all far fetched to think he was angry at his wife.
Potiphar knew his wife, and he knew what type of person she was. It's unlikely that she was throwing himself at Joseph continually without him noticing.
Potiphar also knew and trusted Joseph. He had placed everything under Joseph's charge, and his household had flourished. He knew Joseph's character and integrity.
But Potiphar's wife made a blatant and public accusation. And that was probably what Potiphar was angry about. In order to save face, he would have to throw Joseph into prison, the very man responsible for how well his household was doing. Indeed, if Potiphar had believed his wife, it's highly unlikely he would've thrown Joseph in jail - and much more likely that he would have had him killed.
Either way, it is conjecture, and rather unimportant to the story.
What is important is Joseph's reaction to temptation.
A lesser man would've given in. Joseph was young and good looking. Potiphar's wife was powerful and offering herself up to him. Not just once, but over and over.
It seems like their society had a flippant view of sex, like our society today. But Joseph didn't fall for that lie. He knew that an affair with her was sin. Sin with her, sin against Potiphar, and most importantly, a sin against God. Not only did he know this, he said it outright, and then he ran from the temptation. He wasn't naive enough (or proud enough!) to think that he could continually resist the temptation without actively naming it as sin and removing himself from the situation.
So often we like to flirt with sin, we dance along the edges thinking we won't ever actually cross the line, we justify minor "infractions", we think we can play with fire and not get burned.
Joseph knew it.
We should know it too.
And we should act on that knowledge.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 41:17-42:17, Matthew 13:24-46, Psalm 18:1-15, Proverbs 4:1-6
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