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(1) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 1- 4 (ESV)
(Jacob Favors Joseph which Antagonizes His Brother’s Animosity Toward Him)
1Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.
(2) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 5-11 (ESV)
(Joseph’s 2 Dreams Intensify Their Jealousy)
5Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
(3) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 12-17 (ESV) (Jacob Sends Joseph To Report On His Brothers)
12Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16“I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
(4) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 18-24 (ESV)
(Reuben Rescues Joseph So The Brothers Don’t Kill Him)
18They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
(5) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 25-28 (ESV)
(Joseph Sold For 20 Shekels of Silver)
25Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelite’s coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelite’s, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelite’s for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.
(6) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 37: 25-28 (ESV)
(They Fake Joseph’s Death which Greatly Disturbs Jacob)
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.” 33And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.
(7) Message map:
Genesis 33: 1–20
Joseph Is Jumped and Jostled Off To Egypt”
“Bouncing Back from Betrayal
- Jacob’s Favoritism Jeopardizes Joseph’s Relationship with His Brothers
- Joseph’s 2 Dreams Dumbfound His Family; Intensifies Their Jealousy, & Foretells His Future
- Jacob Reaps What He Sows When He’s Deceived About Joseph’s Death
- For Joseph, Survival & Fulfilling God’s Plan Now Requires a) trusting god for his dream b) making the best decision possible in bad circumstances, c) Bouncing Back from Betrayl Rather Than becoming bitter and blowing it. God again will keep his plan in tact despite man’s sinful choices!
- Sin does not derail God’s dream for Joseph.
(8) Gen 37: 1-3 — Jacob’s Favoritism Jeopardizes Joseph’s Relationship with His Brothers
Let’s analyze what’s happening in Gen. 37: 1-3.
- 2Joseph, being 17 years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy (meaning as the son of Jacob’s old age – 91? so he is much younger than his brothers, and perhaps naieve to the extent of their dislike and the evil they are planning) with the sons of Bilhah (Dan and Naphtali) and Zilpah (Gad and Asher) (per Gen 35: 26), his father’s wives.
- Joseph brought a bad (KJV evil) report of them to their father. Joseph reported on the evil they were doing The phrase indicates Jacob was using Joseph to spy on his brothers. The fact that Simeon and Levi in Gen 34 had ambushed an entire town, and that Ruben slept with his dad’s concubine in Gen 35, and that in Gen 37 we see Dan & Naphtali) and Gad & Asher are perhaps the most jealous & hostile towards Joseph, means these boys needed watching.
- MH Commentary re: Joseph’s motive — Joseph gave his father an account of their bad carriage that he might reprove and restrain them; not as a malicious tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithful brother, who, when he durst not admonish them himself, represented their faults to one that had authority to admonish them. Note, [1.] It is common for friendly monitors to be looked upon as enemies. Those that hate to be reformed hate those that would reform them, Prov. 9:8. [2.] It is common for those that are beloved of God to be hated by the world; whom Heaven blesses, hell curses. To those to whom God speaks comfortably wicked men will not speak peaceably. It is said here of Joseph, the lad was with the sons of Bilhah; some read it, and he was servant to them, they made him their drudge.
- 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe (coat, over garment (coat, over garment) of many colors (beautiful, ornate and varicolored tunic)) of many colors.
- Barnes – “A Coat of many colors.” This was a coat reaching to the hands and feet, worn by persons who did not do manual labor, like managers.
- 4But when his brothers saw (perceived) that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated (intensely detested & turned against) him and could not speak peacefully to him. (2Pet 3: 14-18) The 4 boys, Dan & Naphtali and Gad & Asher (and perhaps the other Ishmaelite’s, except Reuben) have such bitter animosity toward Joseph that they can’t speak civilly to him. All their interactions are contentious, designed to pick a fight, put Joseph in a bad light, and make him look bad. They were trapped and bound in a jealous and bitter animosity that only could lead to sin. (They were continuously contentious with him, as they were trapped and bound in animosity that only could lead to sin.)
- Jacob’s favoritism Jeopardizes the family’s Joseph’s relationship with his brothers
- Have you ever found yourself trapped in bitterness with another person? You know you should perform and behave better, but you can’t help yourself. Everything you say comes out wrong, because it is born of an underlying animosity. This bitterness on the part of Joseph’s brothers is born of jealously. All kids want their parents’ attention and love, and it is a huge challenge for our sinful natures when parents openly favor one child over another.
- Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) – Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
- 2Pet 3: 14-18 Admonishes us to be diligent to be at peace as a safeguard against destroying ourselves with bitterness and twisting God’s word to justify our bad behavior. 16…There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
(9) Gen 37: 1-3 — Joseph’s 1st Dream Prophesies He will rise above His Brothers who will bow to him
Let’s analyze what’s happening here: The KJV highlights it as…
- 5Joseph told his dream, (vision) to his brothers 7Behold, we were binding (became speechless) sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. (to stand or be seated above) And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down (KJV: made obeisance = to show deferential respect to royalty) to my sheaf.” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you to reign [and] … rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
In Gen 42 – 45 The brothers indeed bow to Joseph! In Gen 46 Jacob comes and bows before Joseph.
(10) Gen 37: 1-3 — Joseph’s 2nd Dream Prophesies He will rise above His Father and Mother too
- he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “… Behold, the sun, (Jacob) the moon, (Leah), and eleven stars, (11 brothers,) (which together comprise the nation Israel) were bowing down to me.” 10… his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”
Rev. 12: 1-2 1And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman Israel clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She was pregnant (with Christ) and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. — much like Mary treasured things in her heart about Christ (Lk 2:19 & 51).
A Few Word About Dreams
- God obviously here is communicating to Joseph through these dreams.
- Joel 2:28 — The Bible tells us, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions”.
- God actively speaks to us through them and these can have scriptural meaning. If you’re wondering what the Bible really says about dreams and visions and looking to better understand how God speaks to us through dreams and visions, this may be very revealing.
- Through dreams God can bypass our pride and walls of self-defense, and our preconceived notions and directly reach us at our subconscious level, enabling us to get in touch with the true motives and conditions of our hearts.
- This provides the opportunity for us to listen to God and enter a whole new place of healing with Him.Thus in Genesis 28: 10-17 Jacob is converted through a dream, whereby he suddenly was “awakened” to spiritual things, realizing God is with him. Though Jacob is fleeing the consequences of his sin of deceiving his father to defraud his brother, God meets him, confirming the NT Scripture Rom 5:6,8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV & NAS) 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7… 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
- God also uses dreams and visions to open our ears to both a direction He wants us to go; a forgiveness we need to give or obtain; and a sin we need to repent of and forsake. We aren’t always open to hearing God’s voice because most of the time with our busy and hectic schedules, making us preoccupied and unavailable for the Holy Spirit to tug at our hearts. During our dreams, we’re more captive to what the Spirit may be communicating.
- We must discern if a dream or vision is of God or of the flesh.
(11) Yellow – Maps Jacob Is Concerned About his son’s working near Schechem
- “Joseph Is Jumped and Jostled Off To Egypt”
- Joseph’s Journey to Egypt on this topographical map shows what a long distance he traveled. Which was about 250 miles. .
(12) Gen 37: 1-3 — Jacob Reaps What He Sows When Deceived About Joseph’s Death
Jacob reaps what he sowed when they fake Joseph’s death because …
- Jacob deceived his dad, while wearing goat’s skin, and his son’s use goat’s blood on Joseph’s coat to deceive him.
- Jacob connived Esau to sell his birthright, and Jacob’s deception caused him to flee to escape his brother, Esau. Because of his sons’ deception Joseph is Sold & led away to Egypt.
- God prospered Jacob in exile with his deceitful uncle Laban, and God will promote Joseph through his enslavement with Potiper.
(13) Jacob Is Wrong About going to Sheol mourning for joseph, who is alive!
Since Joseph is not where Jacob thinks he is, Jacob will not go down to Sheol mourning for him.
Gen 37:35 Scripture reveals sheol is the underworld place to which people descend at death. In the “Parable of Lazarus in Abraham’s Bosom” in Luke 16: 19-31, I believe Sheol has the following characteristics: Luke 16: 19-31 is not a representation Heaven, because in Heaven we will not be watching people suffer in Hell Rev 21: 4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning,… Click To Tweet
- In Luke 16: 19-31, Sheol is distinguished as having 2/Two divisions with
- one is in vs. 22 for the righteous aka Abraham’s bosom to where angels carry Lazarus,
- and the other, in vs. 23, called “hades/hell” where those deemed wicked or unrighteous (1 Samuel 28,) are in “torment” and “anguish” from “the flame” described in vs. 24.
- A great chasm has been fixed between the 2 sides, so people cannot pass from one to the other. So once arrived in one place, you can’t get to the other!
- God does not allow the dead to come back and warn people about Hell (Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,). Jesus said, the only sign we get are the sign of Jonah, meaning someone like Himself, Moses and the prophets comes
- Luke 16: 19-31 is not a representation Heaven, because in Heaven we will not be watching people suffer in Hell Rev 21: 4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
- In Rev. 20: 13-15 The Final Judgement will include The 2nd Death in The Lake of Fire, where Death and Hades are thrown, along with those whose name is not found written in the book of life.
(14) Gen 37: 1-3 — Summary Joseph’s Challenge Keeping His Eyes on God
We must be sustained by God’s vision through trials
What do we think Joseph was thinking about his dreams at this point in his life. Is Joseph …
- thinking his dream was a mistake — Yes/No
- thinking God has abandoned him — Yes/No
- thinking his life is a cosmic joke/mistake/waste — Yes/No
- wanting to get vengeance on his brothers — Yes/No
- worried about his dad/Jacob/sister(s) — Yes/No\
- fearful about his future having gone from favored son to a lowly slave — Yes/No
Wouldn’t these be the challenges we’d have to keep our eyes on God if this had happened to us?
(15) Gen 37: 1-3 Overview of God’s Plan for Joseph Who’s Dreams Fortell His future
Because we can read ahead, we can see Joseph’s dreams …
- are God calling him to save the world from a famine
- His challenge is that God’s plan requires Joseph to be in a place where there is …
- an organized society with a command and control culture that effectively can be mobilized and directed into the work
- infrastructure that facilitates transporting food to storage facilities
- security to safeguard, manage and distribute food equitable
70 Israelites at this state of their existence cannot save that entire region of the world from famine.
(16) The brother’s sin against Joseph does not derail God’s plan for him
The brothers in fact are motivated to attack Joseph Because of God’s vision for him, but God uses what they planned for evil to fulfill His plan for joseph’s life!
Gen 37: Genesis 37:20 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.”
The brothers’ assault on Joseph’s dream does not derail God’s plan!
Man’s sin against us does not derail God’s dream/plan for us.
Joseph foreshadows and parallels Christ in that they both are…
- clothed in majesty, with Christ being the immortal glory of Heaven (Phil 2: 6-10) and Joe’s being his ornate, colorful coat. Phil 2: 6-10 Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- stripped of their robes, the symbols of their special status.
- initiated through blood into world saving
- innocent and falsely
- persecuted for telling the God-given truth about their calling.
- betrayed and sold for silver.
(17) Gen 37: 1-3 — Summary Joseph’s Relationship with His Brothers
- Joseph’s 2 dreams came from God Two is the number of confirmation and testimony. Both dreams refer to Joseph’s one calling,
- His challenge (and ours) is that God’s plan is accompanied by opposition from others. This means …
- We must not let opposition and hardship overshadow our sense of calling and purpose. We must stay focused on waiting on God and who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do.
- In the middle of hardship we must press-in to God in prayer, Bible study and fellowship to focus on doing God’s Will God’s Way.
- Watchman Nee says, Joseph’s sinful brothers are represented as “sheaves and stars” though they are adulterers/fornicators, murderers, haters and slavers, who should be condemned to hell.
As sheaves these sinners are God’s ripened and harvested crop on earth, bound after reaping. We note how Reuben is repenting of hurting his father from the sin he committed in Gen 35:22, and now tries to rescue Joseph, knowing he is dear to his father. Few of us consistently are as bad as the worst things we’ve ever done.
As sun, moon and stars in the 2nd dream these sinners are proclaimed as reflecting heavens light, representing the totality of God’s people in grace on earth. According to our view, they were evil and dirty, but according to God’s view, they were bright and heavenly. Likewise, according to our human nature, we are ugly, evil, and unclean. Nevertheless, we have been chosen, redeemed, forgiven, regenerated, and transformed. Thus, we are God’s sheaves to be reaped by Him. We are God’s crop whom He eventually will harvest. We too are reflecting His heavenly light!
(18) Let’s Pray that God Reawakens & Reinvigorates Us To Our Calls In Christ!
God, please work in us to revitalize the vision You have for our lives!
Work in us so we are not bitter when betrayed.
And help us to fulfill Your Great Commission by loving You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind.
Work in us so we love our neighbors as ourselves — with the love You fulfill in us.