The Law of Two Witnesses

I was reading a story this week about a man who had been accused of a very
serious crime by a woman. It seems that this man had served the nation well
and was in line to receive a very prominent position in government.
However, before that happened a woman came forward and claimed that this
man had made unwanted advances. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

You might think I was reading this in a newspaper or magazine article. You
would be wrong. I’m not talking about the recent uproar regarding the
newest Supreme Court justice. The incident I’m describing comes from the
Bible. Joseph found himself as a slave in Egypt and began to serve a royal
official named Potiphar. Joseph eventually became overseer of Potiphar’s
entire household. But Potiphar’s wife grabbed Joseph by his robe and tried
to seduce Him. When Joseph refused to dishonor his master this way and
quickly fled, leaving his robe in her hands, Potiphar’s wife felt insulted.
So she accused Joseph of trying to attack her. Since no one would believe a
slave over the wife of a royal official, Joseph was sent to jail.

Now, I’m not saying that the recent Supreme Court drama is exactly like
this story. We know Joseph was innocent because of what the Bible says
about the incident. We also know from Scripture the reason why Potiphar’s
wife lied. I’m no mind reader and regardless of what the pundits on
television may say, nobody can know for sure exactly what did or not happen
between Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who says he assaulted her. But what
can we learn from these stories?

First of all, God remains in control. Joseph was falsely accused and even
though he was sent to jail for a crime he did not commit, God never
abandoned Joseph. As a matter of fact, God was with Joseph and used what
this woman had meant for evil to produce something good. Through a series
of encounters and circumstances, Joseph rose to be Pharoah’s right hand man
and was in a position to help his people when a famine struck the land.
So, I don’t worry that someone is “getting away with something” by telling
a lie. God is all-powerful and the schemes of the wicked can’t thwart His
perfect will for our lives.

Second, we need to remember that our legal principle of “innocent unless
proven guilty” is based on God’s Word. I’ve heard people declaring as a
matter of fact that, “he’s a liar”, “she’s a liar”, and even, “they’re all
lying!” So, in a case like this, do we believe something is true just
because one person says it is? The answer is no. Anybody could say anything
about someone else. That’s why the Bible says in Deuteronomy 19:15 that a
lone witness is not enough to indict someone of a crime. “Only on the
evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be sustained.” (NRSV).
But someone who committed a crime might go free! Yes, that’s a possibility.
But would we rather punish innocent people because a wicked person like
Potiphar’s wife is seeking revenge? I don’t know who is telling the truth.
Neither do you or anyone that you know. But we can trust our God who is in
control. His justice is the only perfect justice. Have faith in His ability
to accomplish His will.

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