Summary: Joseph is said to have been bitterly wounded by archers in Gen 49. There is no record in scripture of real arrows. Words and actions can be like arrows. In this message we talk about 3 types of archers: Bitter Brothers, Workplace Weasels, Hope Hurters.
Wounded by the Archers
PPT 1 Series Title
Summary of previous message
God makes arrows out of the most unlikely sources of wood. It is not the type of wood you are that really matters but how good an arrow maker God is.
PPT 2 Today's Title Wounded by Archers
PPT 3 Text
Ge 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
Ge 49:23 With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.
Ge 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed supple, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, (NIV)
Ge 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot [at him], and hated him: (KJV)
You will notice there is quite a difference in the translation of v. 23 between the KJV and the NIV. In the NIV the archers are enflamed with hatred, and the KJV translates instead as Joseph being deeply hurt in his heart by their attacks. The reason is that the word can be translated either way. I will use it both ways in this message.
Words and actions can be like arrows that are shot at us, which are intended to hurt and sometimes kill. Joseph was never literally attacked by archers, so today I am going to use this text in the way it is being used: as a euphemism for those who hurl attacks at us, and the hurt those attacks CAN bring. The important word in that last sentence is "can." To some degree we determine the effectiveness of the enemies arrows.
In the movie the Lord of the Rings, the stories hero is stabbed with a "supernatural" sword by a ghost like figure, and we are told that type of sword leaves a wound from which one never fully heals.
While there is truth that some wounds are so severe and so deep, we do carry them with us for all our lives. But there are also other truths that come into play. Some peoples scars are very noticeable and are the predominant aspects of a person's personality, and there are other people who have had the very same type of injury and their scars have almost faded completely. In fact some people can have a scar and you will know them for years before you ever even notice it, and you will realize you had to be really looking to find evidence of it.
So it is with life. We have the ability to some extent to determine how visible and how pronounced the wounds inflicted on us by archers will be. We can be like the mollusks that cover injuries and foreign objects with Mother of Pearl, and thus create pearls or those same things can become a festering infection. Choose mother of pearl.
Joseph, the scripture tells us was sorely grieved by the archers, but the record of his life makes it very clear that the wounds others inflicted on him were not the dominant aspect of his personality, but the unshakable faith that God takes even the worst things that life and others throw at you and works them out for good.
So this morning I am going to use the life of Joseph and talk about three types of archers that can shoot at you in life.
The three archers I am going to speak of are:
Archers you know are not people who go toe to toe with you, but they shoot from behind walls, and rocks, and on top of hills and behind bushes. They are people and things that sneak attack you, and you may or may not even know it is they who are doing it to you.
PPT 5 Bitter Brothers text
Ge 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.
Ge 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.
Ge 37:19 And they said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer!
Ge 37:20 "Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"
Joseph had some very bitter brothers, and when the text says they could not speak peaceably to him, that is a loaded text that speaks volumes of life in Jacob's household.
Taunting, teasing, insulting. Teaming up to make his life miserable. They shot arrows at Joseph in his presence and when he wasn't around.