Updated: Oct 15, 2020
September 6, 2020
Devotional Reading: Psalms 105:1-6, 16-22
Background Scripture: Genesis 25:28, 35:23-26
Key Verse: Genesis 37:11
Today’s lesson centers on Joseph, (favorite, golden child, beloved). Sibling rivalry has existed since the beginning of time (Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, the Prodigal Son). Sometimes parents add fuel to the fire (first born, last born, preference of the sexes male versus female). Can you imagine all your siblings upset and hating on you? Therefore, it is safe to say as with the beginning of time, to present day; there are no “perfect” families, but there is a “perfect” God and with Him love is rekindled, throughout the good and the bad times , so let us begin our journey.
I. A Family’s Discord (Genesis 37:2-4)
In verses 2-4, we learn of the generations of Jacob, who was the grandson of Abraham, with whom God made a personal covenant. Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel, Jacobs’s “true” love. Jacob went out of his way to ensure both Rachel and Joseph were kept safe at any cost. Jacob shared experiences/teachings with Joseph that he did not share with the brothers of Joseph (sons from two previous wives/handmaids).
To add to existing strife, Joseph was a shepherd in training (learning the trade, being groomed) for the same occupation as his father. More than likely, Joseph told on his brothers, what he may have seen and/or heard (tattle-tail). Here we have preferential treatment, show of affection/fondness, tattling, and to top it all off – it was no secret that Jacob loved and favored Joseph more because Rachel bore him and his old age (Jacob was ninety years old – unimaginable at his age). For confirmation, Jacob gives Joseph a “coat of many colors.” At this point, the simple disdain quickly turns into hate.
II. A Brother’s Dreams (Genesis 37:5-11)
Verses (5-11), Here is Joseph walking around, wearing a beautiful coat of many colors; while in “his” own world and at the same time, serves as a constant reminder to his brothers of the love from a father that is not mindful or desire to share with them. The hurt, pain, anger, and hate shifts to the receiver of that love.
More fuel, Joseph has dreams and freely shares with his brothers. These dreams appear to exalt him and portrays them as servants to him. Joseph shared his second dream with his brothers and father. Jacob (rebuked) him and then asked, “Are we to bow down?” Jacob, no doubt had to reminisce when he wrestled with the angel in his own dream. He understood the meaning of dreams, but as for his brothers, they were in “envy” mode.
III. Brother’s Disdain (Genesis 37:23-24, 28)
Verses 23, 24, 28, informs us that the brothers cannot take anymore, and it was at this time, upon Joseph approaching that they stripped off his coat of many colors and cast him into the pit. Thanks to Reuben, his life was saved because initially, the brothers were ready to kill him. They knew because of the love their father had for Joseph; they would need proof (the torn coat will serve as confirmation).
Joseph was not in the pit long due to the Midianites/Ishmeelites (same group of people, two names) getting him out of the pit, selling him for twenty pieces of silver and taking him to Egypt.
Sometimes “truth” is not what we expect or at times, may not want to hear (coming from certain people in our lives). God, in His omniscience (infinite knowledge and wisdom) always has a divine plan. We may not understand at the time and often quick to mis-read, judge, etc.
Proverbs 3:5,6….”Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Sis. Mary Turner