Genesis 37

Genesis 37 has the very familiar story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.  He was his father’s favorite son.  “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. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him”.  This doesn’t go over well with the other brothers.  As a parent, we have to realize that playing favorites seldom ends well.

“Now Joseph had a dream” – actually two dreams.  In the first his brothers were serving him, in the second his brothers and his parents.  You can imagine how that went.  “His father rebuked him” and his brothers “conspired against him to kill him”.  They weren’t really buying into any of this and in fact, had enough of him.  “But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life”.  One of his brothers has a little common sense and intervenes.  “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him”.  So they sell him to some passing traders and then conspire as to how they can tell their father.

They try and devise a scheme.  They decide to tell their father that they discovered the coat of many colors with blood on it.  Some wild animal must have killed their brother Joseph and all that was left what his coat.  Surely they knew it would not be well received.  But they travel back and tell their father.  “Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days”.  This was his favorite son after all.  Jacob is distraught and “he refused to be comforted” in spite of all the efforts of his sons and daughters.

In fact, “his father wept for him” and the mourning carried on.  This was a huge blow to Jacob.  But all the while God has a plan.  The brothers meant evil but God begins the process of taking that evil and turning it into good.  “Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard”.  This could have gone very badly for Joseph.  He was sold to traders who could have chosen to do anything to him.  But God directed the path of all involved and places Joseph in the palace of Pharaoh.  Great beginning to correcting the evil that was intended.

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