Summary: If we concern ourselves with only ourselves, and we have no or little concern for how our words or actions impact others, we might get what we deserve.
Joseph, Asking to Be Hated
1. When it comes to appreciating how good we have it, sometimes we do not realize it until we lose it. One college student wrote home:
2. "Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner. My arm really has been broken. I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from he second floor of my dormitory...when we had the fire. We were lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory liveable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice. I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance. Love, Your daughter, Susie
P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a "C" in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!" [Steve Malone, Sermoncentral.com]
3. Joseph, the son of Jacob, is one of the most interesting persons in the Bible. He began life spoiled and self-centered, but was transformed into just the opposite. Today, we are going to look at his early life and see how much he had to learn.
Main Idea: If we concern ourselves with only ourselves, and we have no or little concern for how our words or actions impact others, we might get what we deserve.
I. Joseph Was BEGGING for Ostracism and Rejection.
He didn’t know he was begging to be ostracized. People with low empathy and poor social skills may have little idea how they are perceived.
A. His brothers developed HATRED toward him (1-11)
1. He was a tattle tale (1-2).
2. He was clearly Joseph’s favorite son – made a colorful robe –constant reminder (3).
3. His brothers hated that he received special treatment (4).
4. They hated him more because of his first “sheaf” dream (5-8)
5. His second dream, sun moon and stars, made his brothers even more jealous (7-11)
6. Sometimes one can be hated for being righteous. Cain killed Abel. Did you know that Jesus’ brothers hated him, well sort of. John 7:2-9, “Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.”
B. His brothers decide to ELIMINATE Joseph from their lives (12-20)
1. Joseph checks on his brothers.
2. His brothers did the work, but he was their supervisor
3. Brothers saw “the dreamer” coming and schemed to kill Joseph
C. An ALTERNATE plan (21-25)
1. Reuben, the disgraced firstborn, felt a responsibility to Joseph despite his hatred
2. He delayed them, hoping to later rescue Joseph. Put in a dry well.
3. Sat down for a meal and noticed a caravan in distance and a bulb came on. The caravan was on the way to Egypt, so they sold Joseph as a slave.
4. Reuben tore his clothes – he had been gone; concern of being responsible firstborn, already in bad with his dad; he knew this would break his dad’s heart.
5. They killed a goat, tore Joseph’s coat, and doused it in goat blood.
6. Ironically, Jacob – who had killed a goat to deceive his father into blessing him, was now the victim of a similar fate. Jacob was devastated.
7. Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar, an Egyptian official.
II. Some of Us May Have Little Understanding of RELATIONAL Fallout.
I sometimes talk about the importance of schmoozing and developing social skills. This begins in the family. But some situations teach the opposite.
A. Joseph did not consider the relational CONSEQUENCES of attacking his brothers with bad reports.
1. Sometimes things are so bad, they have to be exposed. Although I don’t know, my sense here is that this was not the situation.