Year 2 Day 276
Read - Genesis 37
Message - Scott Woodburn
The Genesis story suddenly moves away from Jacob to his son Joseph and we quickly discover that the young man isn’t like his brothers. It seems that the other eleven had been up to no good and so Joseph brought news of their actions to his father Jacob (v2). Jacob (here called Israel) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and blessed him with a beautiful coat that possibly had many colours or more simply long sleeves (v3). Regardless of what it looked like, the coat was unique to Joseph and made him stand out even more from his kin.
Joseph one day had a dream in which he saw his sheaf in a field standing upright and his brother’s sheaves bowing down to Joseph’s sheaf (v7). In another dream Joseph even saw the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing down before him (v9). As he told these things to his family his father rebuked him and his brothers hated him. Jacob’s family knew all too well the strife between older and younger brothers and here was little Joseph suggesting that he would be the leader of his family.
What was to be done with someone like Joseph? Just as Cain once plotted to kill Abel, so too did Jospeh’s brothers plot to kill him (v18). Thankfully not all of the boys were filled with bloodlust. Reuben heard the plan and pleaded with his brothers not to kill Joseph whilst planning to rescue him at a later stage.
Unfortunately events overtook Reuben. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit and later sold him for twenty shekels of silver to a passing trade caravan on its way to Egypt (v28). Reuben tore his clothes when he discovered what had happened and his brothers returned to their father with Joseph’s robe dipped in goats blood. They gave the old man Joseph’s robe and Israel came to the conclusion that his son had obviously been killed by a fierce animal. Israel wept and could not be consoled by any member of his family. Yet far from his father’s sight Joseph had not been torn apart. Instead the Lord’s hand was upon him as he was sold to an Egyptian official called Potiphar (v36).
The Christian life is rarely easy. We will know trouble, division, jealousy and strife. You may struggle to believe this but at times even within the church there will be those who seek your harm and not your good. Joseph did what was right. He loved and honoured his father and suffered as a result but as we will see he ended up exactly where he was supposed to be.
Brothers and sisters, your walk today may seem incredibly tough and you may not understand the hatred of those who have set their faces against you. But take heart! If you believe yourself to be in Egypt, then remember that God is there too. We have the treasure of the Gospel in jars of clay says the Apostle Paul. We are frail and easily wounded but this shows us that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; in Egypt, but not forgotten.
So brothers and sisters do not lose heart! The Lord is renewing us everyday and regardless of the trouble you face this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Q39 What is the duty which God requireth of man? The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.