Summary: This message about the life of Joseph in Genesis will help us to depend upon God

Don’t Get Offended Genesis 50:15-21

A farmer owned a mule that was very important to him because it was a good

plowing animal. The mule got sick one day, and the farmer called in the veterinarian.

The vet looked the mule over, and then gave the farmer some extremely large pills. The

vet said,“Give the mule one of these pills three times a day, and he’ll recover.” The pills

were so huge the farmer asked how he was supposed to get them down the mule’s

throat. “That’s easy,” the vet replied, “Find a piece of pipe wide enough to fit in the

mule’s mouth, and put the pill into the pipe, and then blow into the other end. Before

the mule knows what is happening, you’ll blow the pill down the mule’s throat and he

will swallow the pill.” It sounded easy enough, but just a few hours later the farmer

walked into the veterinarians office looking horribly sick himself. The vet said, “Sir,

you look terrible. What happened?” And the farmer replied, “The mule blew first!”

That was no doubt a very bitter pill to swallow. And perhaps there might be one or

even a few of you who are dealing with your own bitter pills in life. Perhaps someone

tried to blow a bitter pill down your throat this week, and if they did, how did you

respond? If you have been genuinely mistreated, had your feelings hurt, disappointed,

betrayed, or insulted, should you be provoked? Do you have a right to be offended by

the misdeeds of others. In answer, let’s look at the life of Joseph, the favorite son of

Jacob. In this message entitled Don’t Get Offended I’d have us consider: 1) There will

be offenses in this world 2) Remember that God is in control and that He has a plan,

and 3) If we want to stay in the will of God, we need to submit to that plan.

I. Offenses we encounter in this world. Joseph was Jacob’s eleventh son. He was

despised by his older brothers because his father adored him and favored him and had

set young Joseph apart by giving him a coat of many colors. God gave Joseph two

dreams. In the first he saw bound sheaves in a field. His sheaf arose and stood upright

while his brother’s sheaves bowed down to it. In the second dream he saw the sun,

moon, and eleven stars (representing his father, mother, and brothers) all bowing down

to him. When Joseph told these dreams to his brothers, needless to say, they did not

share in his enthusiasm. It was a bitter pill for them to swallow, and it provoked them

into hating Joseph all the more.

Shortly afterward, his ten older brothers went to feed their father’s flocks in the

field. Jacob sent Joseph to see how they were coming along in their work. When the

older brothers saw Joseph coming, they conspired against him saying, “Here comes that

dreamer. Let’s kill him! Then we shall see what shall become of his dreams. He says

he is going to be a leader over us. Well, let him try to do that when he is dead!” So they

took Joseph and threw him into a pit to die. They took his coat away, tore it, and

stained it with animals blood to convince their father that Joseph had been devoured by

a savage beast. After they threw him into the pit, however, they saw a company of

Ishmaelits on their way to Egypt. Then Judah said, “Hey, wait a minute, guys. If we let

him rot in that pit it will not profit us. Let’s make some money and sell him as a slave.

That way he will be as good as dead and will never bother us again! And we can divide

up the profits!” So they sold him for 20 shekels of silver. Joseph had offended them for

the very last time, so they betrayed him and stripped Joseph of the two most important

things he could have had at that time: his inheritance and his family. Keep in mind

these were brothers who did this to Joseph-the same father, same flesh and blood.

Now as Americans and Germans, our culture is so different that it is hard for us

to understand the severity of what these men did. Only killing Joseph would have been

worse-or would it? In biblical times it was very important to have sons. A man’s sons

carried the name and inherited all the father’s name and inheritance. They blotted

Joseph’s name out, completely stripping him of his identity. All that was familiar to

Joseph was now gone. When a person was sold as a slave to another country, he would

remain a slave until he died. The woman he married would become a slave, as well as

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