Summary: How is your hospitality? The story of Joseph and the coat of many colors teaches us to have an attitude of five times the welcome.
“Five Times the Welcome”
“The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else's. So they feasted and drank freely with him.” Genesis 43:33-34 NIV
Intro: Joseph was the great-grandson of Abraham. God had promised Abraham to be the father of many nations. Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel. Even though Joseph only had one whole brother, Benjamin. He had ten half brothers (and one half sister Genesis 34) and later Joseph’s had two sons of his own and together with the others are known as the patriarchs or head of the family of the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. Joseph’s mother Rachel made him a coat of many colors. Imagine having all those older brothers and you the one with the special robe. The words jealous, envious, resentful, covetous quickly come to mind. The bible reads as though Joseph didn’t mind to show off his colorful robe and letting his brothers know that he was the favorite. One day when Joseph saw his brothers Dan and Nate and Gad and Asher, in Genesis 37 are goofing off while they were supposed to be feeding and watching the flock of sheep in the field he told on them. When I was young and told on my older brothers they got a whipping. But the lesson that I learned was that no matter how hard the whipping they got from dad I got one from them later when dad wasn’t around.
So it was that Joseph goes to the field to deliver a message to his brothers Joseph’s brothers hated him for all the things he had said and done. Joseph was wearing his special gift, the beautiful coat of many colors to the field where he shows off his best robe to his brothers who are watching the herds and flocks out in the field working. Joseph did not help himself when he taunted them by telling about how he dreamed that someday all the stalks of wheat would bow down to him. That even the sun, moon, and eleven stars (Joseph’s eleven brothers) would bow down to Joseph. His brothers became so angry they wanted to kill Joseph and so they threw him in a pit. But the oldest brother Reuben, knowing that he would be held responsible, because he was the oldest said instead of killing him, let’s sell Joseph to the band of Ishmaelite traders who were passing by.
So they take Joseph’s coat of many colors. They kill a young lamb and dip the robe in blood and agree to tell their father that they found the coat of many colors in the field. We need to stop a moment and understand how the plan of God is working here. God has a plan to take care of and deliver Josephs’ whole family. God is going to use this to save and preserve the twelve sons of Jacob who will become the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and use this to fulfill the covenant promise to Abraham to become the father of a many nations.