January 13

Read Genesis 37 -- 39

In Today's Reading:

Joseph's dreams; Joseph sold into slavery; the cruel lies of Potiphar's wife; Joseph imprisoned.

Joseph was the only one of Jacob's 12 sons who expressed interest in spiritual things. Joseph was deeply troubled about his older brothers' evil conduct while away from home. At 17 years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers and reported to his father the evil things they were doing(Genesis 37:2). The fact that Joseph was a son born to him (Jacob) in his old age (37:3), and probably his concern for his brothers' spiritual well-being, influenced Jacob to love him more than his other sons (37:4).

Some people discourage exposing wrongdoing, and others say they do not want to become involved. But Joseph possessed spiritual integrity and was willing to face abuse from his brothers for exposing their evil ways. Their envy turned to hatred when Joseph shared his prophetic dreams with them (37:5-7) His brothers scoffed, saying: Are you really going to reign over us? . . So they hated him even more because of his dream (37:8).

Joseph's brothers had gone to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem, which was a considerable distance from their home (37:12). Some time later, Jacob, concerned about his sons' welfare, sent Joseph to see if everything was all right with them (37:14). After a long search, Joseph found his brothers near the village of Dothan (37:17).

When his brothers saw Joseph coming, they plotted to kill him . . . and . . . say (lie to their father) that a vicious animal ate him (37:18-20). Shocking as it must have been to the poor teenager, they stripped off his . . . robe of many colors . . . and threw him into the pit (37:23-24). Joseph was sold as a slave to Ishmaelites, who sold him in the slave market to Potiphar, the captain of the royal guard (37:27-28,36; 39:1). Their last memories of their terrified brother were of him pleading for his life (42:21).

God used the experiences of Joseph in Egypt to prepare him to be the preserver of God's people and, thus, the lineage of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. All things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Christ Revealed:

By Joseph, who was lifted from the pit and eventually became a world ruler (Genesis 37:28; 41:39-40). Joseph, a type of Christ, was rejected by his own brothers, cast into a pit, sold to Gentiles, and imprisoned while waiting for the fulfillment of his prophetic dreams that he would one day rule.

Prayer Needs:

Country: Lithuania (4 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Lithuanian and Russian · Limited religious freedom · 80% Roman Catholic; 5% Russian Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins to the Lord; He is quick to forgive (Psalms 32:5).

Optional Reading: Matthew 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4