Genesis 37 -- 39
Joseph was the only one of Jacob's 12 sons who expressed any interest in spiritual things. Joseph was deeply troubled about his older brothers' evil conduct while away from home, and he shared this concern with his father. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers and he reported to his father the evil things they were doing (Genesis 37:2). The fact that Joseph was the son of his (Jacob's) old age (37:3) and Joseph's concern for his brothers' spiritual well-being influenced Jacob to love him more than all his children. Every Christian parent can appreciate the joy that Jacob experienced when, the son of his old age expressed his own spiritual values.
Some people discourage the exposing of wrongdoing, while 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 (37:4). Their envy turned to hatred when Joseph shared his prophetic dreams with them, revealing that God had a special position of leadership coming for him (37:5-7). His brothers scoffed at him, saying: Shall you indeed reign over us? . . . And they hated him even more for . . . his words (37:8).
Joseph's brothers went to feed their father's flock in 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 where they had moved their flocks (37:17).
When his brothers saw Joseph coming, they plotted to slay him. . . . And . . . say [lie to their father], some evil beast had devoured him (37:18-20). Reuben, the oldest, did not agree with the plan to kill Joseph and intended to deliver him to his father again (37:21-22). Shocking as it must have been, they stripped Joseph of . . . his coat of many colors . . . and cast him into a (well-like) pit (37:23-24). After Reuben left, the remaining brothers sat down to enjoy the food that Joseph had brought them as they discussed how to kill him (37:25). When Reuben returned to the "pit" (37:29), he learned that, seeing a caravan of Ishmaelites on its way to Egypt, Judah had encouraged the other brothers to sell Joseph as a slave to the Ishmaelites, and they did so for twenty pieces of silver (37:27-28). Their last memories of their terrified brother were of him pleading for his life (42:21).
Upon entering Egypt, the Ishmaelites sold Joseph in the slave market to Potiphar, the captain of the royal guard (37:36; 39:1). For about 10 years Joseph served Potiphar -- first as an assistant, then as overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (39:4). During this time, his master's wife . . . said, Lie with me (39:7). But Joseph would not commit fornication with Potiphar's wife, and said to her: How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (39:9). When he would not yield to her wishes, she falsely accused him of trying to seduce her. Joseph spent the next three years in prison for a crime he had refused to commit, but he still had confidence that the Lord was with him (39:21-23).
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 good to those who love the Lord, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
37:9 made obeisance = did reverence; 37:22 rid = rescue; 38:2 took = married; 38:18 signet = ring of authority; 38:28 travailed = gave birth; 39:8 wotteth not = does not know.
Government Official: Rep. Patricia Danner (MO) · Pray for Direct Connection Faith Ministries and Cindy Oliver, Director · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Helen M. Prater · Country: Senegal (8 million) in western Africa · Major language: French · Religious freedom · 92% Muslim; 4% animism and ancestor worship; 3% Roman Catholic; .1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for your nation and friends in prayer with fasting and a self-sacrificing spirit (Esther 4:16).
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