Read Genesis 37
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 his younger years. He 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 (Gen. 37:2). The fact that Joseph was the son of his (Jacob's) 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, Jacob loved 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 village of Dothan (37:17).
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 represented 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 Pet. 4:12).
God used the difficult experiences of Joseph in Egypt to prepare him to be the preserver of the people of God and, thus, the lineage of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Joseph's experiences are a reminder that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Thought for Today:
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father. . . . And a man's foes shall be they of his own household (Matt. 10:35-36).
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 (Gen. 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 (Rev. 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.
Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Morocco (28.2 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Government very hostile to Christians and missions • 99.75% Muslim (mostly Sunni); .25% Christian (including foreigners); small numbers of Jews and Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for (not against) your enemies (Luke 6:28).
Optional Reading: Matthew 13
Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:15