Summary: Joseph’s pit experience
Genesis 37d. In the pit
Last Sunday we looked at the fact that there was a great animosity on the part of the brothers toward Joseph. That animosity steamed from rivalry among the mothers.
That bitterness was very obvious that weather they meant it or not the boys developed that, toward Joseph as well.
That animosity toward Joseph came also from the fact that Jacob showed unequal parental love toward Joseph. Joseph was the pet of the family and Jacob made sure that everyone knew about it.
Rivalry and favoritism were not the only reasons for which the brothers hated Joseph but above all we said that Joseph was hated because of his righteous life.
The moment that we will be out of step with everyone else, the moment that we will do that which is right before God rather than that which is popular with the people we are sure to be regarded as narrow minded. We are sure to be looked upon with contempt.
Peter talks about that in 1Peter 4:3-4. “For we have spent enough of our past life time in doing the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In regard to these they (people) think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you”
That is exactly what happened in Joseph’s case. Joseph would not join in with his immoral and deceiving brothers and they were speaking evil of him.
However, in Joseph’s case the brothers’ inner bitterness gave way to an outward expression. I said to you the last time that if we don’t deal with the roots of bitterness in our lives, they can give birth to shoots of bitterness which in turn will produce fruits of bitterness.
The sequence of the events was this.
Step 1. In v.4 they hated him
Step 2. They could not speak to him.
Step 3. They threw him into the pit.
Do you notice the sequence? From the heart it traveled to the mouth from the mouth it traveled to the hands.
Last time we centered mainly on the brothers’ attitude toward Joseph but this evening I want us to look at Joseph in the dark empty pit.
For this reason I want us to look at vs.24-25.
If you notice, these verses say nothing about how Joseph felt or what he said as his brothers mercilessly dumped him in that pit. But to understand how Joseph felt we must turn to Genesis 42:21.
In the midst of a scene that took place twenty-two years later from the moment he was thrown in that pit, the brothers remembered Joseph’s feelings as they dumped him in that pit.
We will see later on that as the brothers go to buy grain from Egypt, Joseph treats them as spies and put them all in prison for a few days.
But then he said “I’ll let you go if you bring the younger brother with you” – explain.
Here is what they talked among themselves in Gen.41:21
This means that here in Genesis 37:24, as the brothers were dumping Joseph there, he pleaded with them for his life, he begged them to have a heart; he begged them to listen to him.
I guess that the things that hunted the brothers most was expressed by them in Gen.41:21 “for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us and we would not hear”.
I guess the subject that I want to talk to you about, tonight, for a few minutes, is the whole area of indifference to suffering, to injustice, to hurting people.
I want to talk about two things: About some feelings that some times we can have about and some facts that we need to know.
1) Feelings that we have.
I said that when Joseph was thrown in that pit his brothers were totally indifferent to his pleas. Not only that but the brothers actually sat down enjoying a meal, undisturbed by their brother’s tears. They were as unconcerned as the lily of the valley.
I found this account profoundly moving and rich in comfort for those, who, like Joseph, have suffered much injustice and indifference.
Have you ever experienced, human cruelty?
Does no one seem to care that you are suffering?
Are others indifferent to the damage done to you?
Do you feel that your tears aren’t noticed?
If you’ve answered positive to these questions then you can identify with Joseph as he cried out to his brothers.
I guess the worst thing about being in trouble, as Joseph was, is to find out that no one cares, which is usually the case in a sinful world.
When you are at the top of the pyramid and everything is going well, most people do care, but when in troubles sometimes people take the Levite’s attitude in the parable of the Good Samaritan – pass by on the other side.