Summary: The life of Joseph told in a story narrative.
One of my favorites! I just want to tell this story, let it speak for itself.
Gen 37 – 1898 BC – Joseph was 17 years old, living a shepherd’s life along with his 11 brothers. His father, Jacob, had recently moved to Hebron to be near his father Isaac.
The story starts right out of the gate with this 17 year old kid telling on his brothers for something they had done while out in the fields. Right from the start we see Josephs brothers hated him! What made it worse is that Jacob (the dad) liked Joseph the best! Those of us who grew up with bros and sisters have gone through the same thing!!! We always say our parents have a favorite! We like to use that excuse when we don’t get our way☺
Joseph’s bros had a reason to despise him…Jacob had bought him this expensive coat to wear around. Colorful, meaningful. This thing just screamed ‘favorite son’. Nobody else got one! Except Donny Osmond…years later…Jacob should have learned his lesson with favorites…remember back with his brother Esau in Gen 27??
Joseph, a 17 year old kid, despised by his brothers, favored by his dad… started having dreams…we all have dreams, but some of our dreams are better left unsaid. Like one with me the other night that involved a tornado, a lake freighter and a horse jockey…that never ends good…anyway…
Joseph has this dream that his brothers were bowing down to him, his brothers are represented by sheaths of wheat, bowing to him. If you have a dream that your friends are bowing down to you….here’s a lesson – keep that one to yourself. His brothers hated him even more for telling them this. As you can imagine. Shortly thereafter he has another dream in Gen 37:9 and he tells his whole family they will bow down to him (sun, moon, stars)…. God often used dreams in the OT to communicate.
The brothers couldn’t stand him. The Bible doesn’t insinuate he did anything wrong…he just did everything too right! One thing led to another. They couldn’t take anymore of coat boy telling them he’s going to rule over them…as he’s getting preferential treatment from their dad.
They’re so fed up with Joseph they plan to kill him! Sometimes people’s desire to lead and show why they should lead, why they should be at the top…why they should be in charge…shows the very reason why they shouldn’t be at the top!
Rueben (the oldest half brother) pleaded with their brothers to spare his life…
Jacob sends Joseph out the fields, his brothers said, ‘hey, here comes the dreamer’…they seized the opportunity and grabbed him, ripping off his Technicolor dream coat and threw him in a well. A pit, a deep hole…you get it. Left for dead. These guys were serious! Rueben thought he might be able to go back later and rescue him…they sell him into the hands of Ishmaelite traders for 20 pieces of silver. They rip his coat in their hate, stain it with animal blood and bring it back to Jacob…telling him Joseph had been attacked by a wild beast and died.
Jacob tears his clothes and mourns for days. Imagine what his sons must have felt…knowing that they lied and caused Jacob so much heartache. The theme of deception comes back around to Jacob (Esau, Isaac, hair) They hated Joseph so much they didn’t confess…they just wanted him gone!
Joseph sold into slavery
Gen 39:1-6a READ
You really didn’t get much higher than Potiphar, he headed up the military division that guarded the Pharaoh! God is clearly guiding Josephs life! He gets well trained in customs, speech, hieroglyphics. Everything Joseph did, he did it well. Do you know someone that just seems to do everything REALLY well? They bother you don’t they? Ha
God’s presence and blessing is with Joseph in a very powerful way. Potiphar noticed it, this was not ordinary prosperity. Potiphar put him in charge of everything he had! Things were going great…..and then….
Verse 6 and 7 CH 39 tells us that Joseph was well built, and handsome. He had it all….
But Potiphars wife wanted it all. She tried to get Joseph to have sex with her! Joseph constantly tells her NO…he says he can’t do this to his master who owns the house, he says he can’t sin like this against God…
One day he walks in the house…she grabs his coat…says ‘come to bed with me’ …he turns and runs, and she’s left holding the coat.
Dude cannot keep his coats on…I don’t know what it is with coats and this guy…when someone grabs his coat he either ends up in a pit or in some woman’s bed. Ha
He runs but leaves his coat behind…oh oh. I think I’d rather be in a pit! Seeing that she is not going to get her way with Joseph she makes up a story and tells everyone he tried to sleep with her…that she screamed and he ran. Potiphar hears this and throws Joseph in prison…the prison where political prisoners were kept. The dungeon in the basement!