This past week was the start of Hello Mornings new study, God’s Prevailing Purpose. There were many insights which brought good discussion and personal reflection.
The story unfolds in Genesis 37:1-11, where we find a seventeen year old Joseph. He’s a tattler who comes back to tell his father all the wrong his step-siblings had been doing.
Favoritism sparks hatred between all the brothers, as we are told Joseph is his father’s beloved son.
Sure, Joseph was wrong for tattling but then, at 17 YO who of us has not done a foolish thing or 2? I’m not looking to make excuses for Joseph but to point out this was a recipe for contention.
The were step brothers who were very aware of their father’s bent towards loving Joseph more than any of them. He was the bratty brother who keeps telling on them. Insecurity. And then let’s throw in a gift – a coat of many colors.
We may not know exactly what the coat looked like, but we can be sure it was vibrant in color and rich in the fabric.
“It was the robe of a rich ruler and not that of a shepherd out in the fields.” (Wiersbe Study Bible)
Joseph shared the dreams God had given to him prematurely. His brothers feelings of increased insecurity and jealousy are understandable but still wrong.
“So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.” (Genesis 37:8, NLT)
Hatred is a terrible emotion as it generates other wrong emotions.
“Envy causes inward pain when we see others succeed, and malice produces inward satisfaction when we see others fail. Envy and malice usually generate slander, and unwarranted criticism … the poison they produce is even more deadly.” (Wiersbe Study Bible)
Feelings of hatred, jealousy, and insecurity are emotions we need to discuss, and deal with in our lives. They not only harm those around us but are deadly to ourselves – they will kill our spiritual walk.
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12, NKJV)
We continue unfolding the story in Genesis 37:25-36, where we find Joseph stripped of his coat and thrown into a pit. And the brothers?
They sit down to eat a meal.
Anyone but me wonder how they are able to do this?
If I let my thoughts wander a bit, I would imagine Joseph screaming for help. Did they not hear him? Or did they just choose to ignore him as they sat eating and discussing their success in getting rid of him?
We don’t know the answers to those questions but what we do know is this – their hearts have been hardened by sin and poisoned by thoughts of murder, and they aren’t caring about the cries of their brother.
One sin leads to another as they continue to fabricate the story they are going to tell their father about Joseph’s disappearance.
Before we go getting too hard on all the boys, we must keep our focus as God’s hand was at work in all this. God was busy positioning Joseph where he would need to be for at the end of his story.
Joseph is on his way to Egypt.
Egypt – the place where God was going to use him mightily.
May this encourage you right where you are today. God may be strengthening and developing you, giving you abilities which will one day be used for His glory.
We brought the week to a close with reading Genesis 39:11-18 and here we find Joseph being put in a compromising andÂ position.
Long story short, we find Potipher’s wife putting the moves on handsome Joseph. Joseph resists temptation and flees. Potipher’s wife, however, feels rebuffed and cries rape.
Very unfair and unjust situation. But it raises the question for today’s discussion: How can we know what’s right and follow God quickly?
Two thoughts from the Warren Wiersbe Study Bible:
“Each trial we go through forces us to study the Word of God to find God’s will. As we rightly use the Word, we succeed in overcoming our trials, and we are approved by God.”
“Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.”
The week delivered three takeaways for pondering:
- We must deal with our emotions before they deal with us.
- In all situations, God is always positioning us for the future.
- Joseph ran in the face of temptation. We can be people who will do the same.