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Genesis 37

Joseph’s Dreams

Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him.When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”

“Very well,” he replied.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balmand myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

28 So wheDen the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels[b] of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile, the Midianites[c] sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.


Genesis 37

Envy and jealousy continue as a generational curse in this family. Today we begin Joseph’s story. He was the 11th son and Jacob‘s favorite. His mother was Rachel and he was her first son. About a quarter of the book of Genesis is dedicated to the story of Joseph. Joseph is 17 as the story unfolds. We can see that Joseph has a target on his back. Why?
1) He’s a tattletale.
We see that in vs. 2. His brothers cared for the flocks and Joseph would give bad reports about them to his father when they did something wrong.
2) He’s dad‘s favorite. vs 3
This brought a lot of dissension between him and his brothers. We see a lot of envy and jealousy in the story.
3) He was a dreamer. vs 5-10
He was young, naïve and boastful when he told his brothers and father about his dreams. Always implying that he was better than them and that one day they would bow down to him and that even his parents would bow down to him. The brothers were jealous but Jacob would think about what all of these things could mean.
It seems like his brothers did all of the work with the flocks and his dad would send him out and tell him to come back and give him a report of what was going on. In verse 18 the brothers see him coming in the distance and the plotting begins. Most of them say let’s just kill him then we’ll see what happens with his dreams. But the oldest, Ruben, over hears the plan and says we can’t do that let’s just toss him in the well but don’t hurt him.  ( Ruben thinking that later he would come back and save Joseph)  I imagine that Joseph was confused when he was down in that well trying to figure out what God was doing, after all he believed the dreams that he had were sent from God. I’m sure he was yelling up at his brothers ‘yo you’re gonna regret this guys!’ and they’re probably just sitting there tuning him out and laughing at him. Gees with brothers like these guys who needs enemies right?
We have to remember that God is absolutely sovereign in all of this. He is a loving and good God and he has a plan and this is just the beginning of that plan. He’s putting Joseph in a position to fulfill his promises. So while the brothers are sitting at the well they see a group coming towards them, Midianite traders. They agree we might as well get something from this and sold Joseph to them as a slave. They take his coat, dip it in goats blood and take it to their father. ‘We don’t know where our brother is we just found his coat!’
Lies upon lies. Jacob is unconsolable and meanwhile Joseph has been sold again in Egypt to Potiphar.
As we get into the life and story of Joseph over the next few weeks you’ll see that Joseph shows us triumph of faith.  He never complains and he never compromises his faith. He is always trusting God. He knows that God is a Waymaker and a miracle worker just like the song tells us. This story is one of the greatest stories of faith and integrity in the Bible. Nicole said this morning, “God has a great plan. It’s hard at times because we don’t understand all of the moves he’s making but that’s the whole point of our faith.” Amen! We are impatient! Life is a journey and there are going to be a lot of trials in between the beginning and the end. Sometimes it seems like God is the enemy but when you have faith you realize that he’s building our character for the climactic ending that He has in store for us.
Pastor John this morning said Romans 8:28 is the perfect verse for this story.
 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Are you down in the well right now trying to figure out what’s next?
Have faith in God and know that he has a plan for you. Trust Him!
Remember even when you can’t see it… He’s working!
🙌 🙏🏻 ❤️