Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Story of Joseph - Genesis 38

The Story of Joseph

From the pages of the Old Testament comes the story of Joseph, a man of great honor and character. He is a type of Jesus Christ. He was born of a miracle birth, for his mother Rachel was barren. His character was good, with no recorded sins. There are many examples given of Joseph being a type of Christ as the story unfolds.

Gen 37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

Jacob had returned to his Father's plot of land.

Gen 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

Several chapters are devoted to the generation of Jacob. It is unusual that an age is given in the Bible, other than the age of death, but something happened at the age of 17 to set Joseph apart from his brothers. If we remember the young age of Jesus was given, at the age of 12, when he staid in the temple talking with the teachers. This was a day to remember.

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

Not only the son of his old age but the son of his favorite wife Rachel who was barren until Joseph was born. The Father of Jesus honored him too.

Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
A garment was given to Joseph from his father. Jesus gives us a garment too: his righteousness.
Leah bore him many sons, but Israel (Jacob) loved Rachel. He favored the son with a beautiful coat, which made him honored before his brethren,

Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

The other sons were jealous of Joseph because their father favored him. To you who read this; rejection is a terrible feeling. Don't let it come, it gives the devil a foothold in your life. The father was not fair, but thisoften happens, one son is favored above the others. They should have rejoiced with their brother for his new coat, instead they were angry and full of envy. Jesus was despised by the Jewish leaders because they saw him more favored than they.

Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Gen 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

Joseph heard from God in a dream and being young wanted to share the dream with others. Jealousy now hate from the brothers. Why didn't they show love and understanding, this is Gods way. Do not be surprised that if God gives you a dream of a vision that others will not believe it has any merit.

Gen 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
Gen 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

Joseph shares the dream in innocence, in essence he was saying the others would bow down to him. He was young and sharing with his brothers, but already they are jealous and angry. Now he says he is greater? This is a good time to warn those of you who are always competing for favor, don't do this at another's expense. Often people are favored by Gods hand. Will you compete against God and destroy his favored one? Don't do this. In other times and places God has revealed what someone was to do in detail.

Gen 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us?or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
Gen 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

The sun, perhaps his father, the moon the mother and the 11 stars the brothers, Again bowing in submission. Now Joseph is upsetting all the family with his wild dreams. (These dreams were prophetic, they would come true)

The vision in Revelation is similar.

Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The woman is Israel and the 12 stars are the 12 tribes of Israel.

Gen 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

Yes they indeed would bow down to the earth to their son Joseph. First though Joseph must go through many tests and trials . But God had chosen him and would favor him. You my friend have been chosen by God. You have a calling to fulfill, perhaps you have received a vision for ministry. Why is it that even the closest people to you oppose you? Joseph's family opposed him, he was young and perhaps not wise in sharing the dream. Jesus said that even your family would oppose you. Joseph is an Old Testament type of Jesus. The favored son of the father, rejected by his own who would suffer much and yet without sin. Yes, Joseph sinned but he passed all his trials and tests without sinning. We will learn more of Joseph in other lessons.

Father God may we not be jealous and hateful at another's favor. Lord when we are opposed by even family you are with us. We can always follow you, you will never leave us or forsake us. You have only love for us and we return our love to you and others, even if not understood by them. Give us grace by Jesus' blood to continue when opposed, rejected or hated by others. Thank you Jesus for bringing us through to joy and victory. In Jesus name, amen.

Joseph Sold

Gen 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
Gen 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
Gen 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

The brothers hate and envy was sin. Sin leads to death, now they would kill their brother from jealousy. This is as the religious leaders in Isreal when Jesus came. They were envious and hated him, they also conspired to kill him, as the Jewish leaders did to Jesus Christ.

Mat 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Gen 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

Reuben had compassion on the little brother, he had done enough to cause his father grief. He went into his Father's concubine, the mother of two of his brothers and Jacob was grieved by this. How much more grief would come to him if his favorite son were to be harmed?

Gen 37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
Gen 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
They took off the offending cloak, the symbol of the fathers favor.
Gen 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

Gen 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
Gen 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Gen 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

The brothers were swift to sell Joseph, what shame to be sold to another . The greater shame is on the seller. And what evil to sell your own brother to strangers. Was not Jesus sold for 30 pieces of silver?

Gen 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

Joseph would be sold at a bargain price of only 20 pieces of silver. The brothers wanted to get rid of this arrogant brat.
Gen 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
Reuben was not part of this selling, he was upset.
Gen 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

Gen 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
Gen 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
Gen 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Gen 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

The killing of the son greatly grieved the father.
They covered their sins with the blood of the goat but they did not remove their sin. The old testiment sacrifices shed the blood of sheep and goats to cover sin but the sin was still there. It took the blood of Jesus to finally remove sins.

Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The sons had deceived their father causing him much grief. But no sign of repentance in the brothers. They thought their sin was covered. God uncovers all sin that is not forgiven by faith in Jesus the messiah. Joseph was innocent and now taken into slavery into Egypt , but he would be with God. Thank you LORD that you never leave us when others forsake us.

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