Last week we discussed the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into bondage from Genesis 37: 12-36. This is a popular story because we see sibling rivalry taken to its extreme. We can all probably agree Joseph did not help his cause with the family by telling them his visions that put him in a position of power and authority over them. We can also agree I am sure Jacob did not help the cause in making it so clear to everyone that Joseph was his favorite.
Many siblings, when asked without their parents present, can identify which child is the favorite of their parents. The kids know, even if they are not so obvious as Jacob was with the coat of many colors. So it is not any surprise the brothers of Joseph do not have his best interests in mind and are probably noticing they are out working the flocks without him. Of course when Jacob sends Joseph to inquire where his brothers are, they see an opportunity and begin plotting to kill him.
I can just imagine them sitting around the fire at night joking and kidding with each other about taking care of Joseph and getting rid of him. No one is taking it really serious until someone does. At this point ten of the brothers are serious, they are going to kill Joseph and be done with him forever. Reuben, seeing how wrong this is stops their plotting and says they ought to throw him in a pit instead. Reuben figures he will free Joseph after his brother leave and in this way ensure no blood gets spilled.
The brothers end up selling Joseph to a passing caravan on its way to Egypt. They take the robe and spoil it in blood so it looks like a lion ate Joseph and plan on tricking their dad with this story. Their father Jacob is very distraught over the story of how Joseph was killed by a lion and the story continues, but for this week lets stop here.
What are we learning from this story of Joseph and his brothers?
- The brothers were jealous of Joseph. Jealousy is an ugly sin and it will fester and grow.
- Jacob did not do Joseph any favors in the sight of his siblings by favoring him so much.
- Joseph did not do himself any favors by prancing about with his visions of leadership over his brothers.
- Even in the existence of a terrible wrong, God can make it turn into a good thing.
We discussed how this story might be used with someone we know under specific circumstances. Consider if someone is having something really bad going on in their life. Just like Joseph being sold into slavery and spending a bunch of time in jail, God can take us in our circumstances whatever they may be and turn them into a good thing.