January 13, 2006
Read Genesis 37 -- 39
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 an interest in spiritual things in their younger years. But Joseph was deeply troubled about his older brothers' evil conduct while they were away from home. At 17 years of age, Joseph . . . was feeding the flock with his brethren and reported to his father the evil things they were doing (Genesis 37:2). The fact that Joseph was the son of his old age (37:3) and the son of his favorite wife, Rachel, and possibly because of Joseph's concern for his brothers' spiritual well-being, caused Jacob to love him more than all his brethren (37:4).
Some people discourage exposing others' wrongdoing and some say they do not want to become involved. But Joseph possessed spiritual integrity and was willing to face abuse from his brothers for revealing their evil ways. Their hatred of him increased (37:4) when Joseph shared his prophetic dreams with them (37:5-7). His brothers scoffed, saying: Shalt thou indeed reign over us? . . . they hated him yet the more for his dreams (37:8). After this, 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
When his brothers saw Joseph coming, they plotted to slay him. . . . and . . . say, Some evil beast hath devoured him (37:18-20). It must have been shocking to him as they stript Joseph out of his coat . . . of many colours . . . and cast him into a pit (37:23-24). A short time later they sold Joseph as a slave to traveling Ishmaelites, who, in turn, sold him in the Egyptian slave market to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's royal guard (37:27-28,36; 39:1). Their last memories of their terrified younger brother were of him pleading for his life (42:21).
Although we tend to seek the ways of comfort and ease, the Christian life as foreshadowed by Joseph's ordeal proves Peter's words to the Church: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you (I Peter 4:12).
God used the difficult experiences of Joseph in
By Joseph,who was rejected by his own brothers, sold for 20 pieces of silver to Gentiles, and unjustly imprisoned, but who eventually became their savior and a world ruler (Genesis 37:28; 41:39-40). Jesus came unto His own (people), and His own received Him not (John 1:11). He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, imprisoned, and crucified; and He became our Savior who soon will return to rule the world (Revelation 19:11-16; 22:3).
37:9 made obeisance to = bowed or prostrated before; 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.
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Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:13