Summary: Describes the separation of Joseph
SEPARATE FROM HIS BRETHREN
Genesis 37-50 (the last main division of the book of Genesis) records the exciting and true story of Joseph, the eleventh and beloved son of the Hebrew Patriarch, Jacob. Why are so many chapters given to Joseph in the Bible? At least three main reasons may be given. First, much is written about Joseph because it gives an explanation of circumstances. There would be a serious gap in the continuity of the Bible without the story of Joseph. We would be unaware of why Israel was so firmly entrenched in Egypt or how they got there without the story of Joseph.
Second, Joseph is a wonderful exaltation of Christ. Joseph is an excellent type of Christ in the Old Testament. Joseph foreshadowed the Beloved of the Father, sent to his brethren according to the flesh, seeking their welfare. They despised and rejected him. They sold him, and delivered him up to the Gentiles
Thirdly, Joseph is a fine example of conduct. His life is almost flawless. As a result, it gives valuable instruction and encouragement in the matter of God-honoring behavior. Few men give such a great example of victorious Christian living as Joseph does. In every situation he encounters, Joseph shows us how to live uprightly and faithfully for God. His life can be observed as he passes through three distinct areas: a son, slave, and as a statesman. In all these areas Joseph was different from those around him.
What made Joseph different? In what ways was Joseph different from his brothers?
I. Joseph was different in his DEVOTION (37:2)
Joseph stood apart from his brothers in so many ways and most notably in his devotion to his father. Joseph loved Jacob and this devotion is seen in his reporting to his father about his brothers.
He acted not as a gossiping tattler but as a "faithful steward" in reporting the scandalous conduct of his brethren to his father.
A. Whom did Joseph speak? - “Unto his father”
Jacob had a right to know and Joseph would have been wrong if he had not told his father the truth about his brothers. Talebearers are always telling the wrong person. Often their wrong is not so much in what they say, but to whom they say it. It makes a great difference whom you tell. It can either stop evil or spread evil.
B. What did Joseph speak?
the truth .........Joseph’s report was consistent with the facts.
C. Why did Joseph speak?
He was obligated to his father. Joseph knew that a faithful report of the conduct of his brethren involved a loyalty he owed to his father.
II. Joseph was different in his DRESS (37:3)
Joseph was different in his clothes. His attire was different from those around him. His coat of many colors was a mark of distinction. See 2 Samuel 13:18. Joseph’s garments singled him out as one of noble birth. This, no doubt, was Jacob’s object to distinguish Joseph (firstborn of Rachel) from his half brothers (born of slaves). It signified rank.
Christians ought to dress like children of noble birth. We ought to dress like a child of God.
See Zephaniah 1:8 “strange” means foreign. The Israelites were reminded by their very dress that they were a peculiar people, consecrated to God’s service. However, the Israelites were adopting the customs, manners and vices of the other nations they were coming in contact with. According to the Law, Israel was to be distinguished from other nations by their dress as wall as by their religion. But now they were growing ashamed of this outward mark of religion, and beginning to adopt the more varied dress of their neighbors. It is evident from this Scripture that God not only wants us to think like Christians, and act like Christians, but also to look like Christians.
Convenience and comfort are not to be the determining factors for what we wear.
III. Joseph was different in his DREAMS (37:5-10)
His two dreams were revelations of the of Joseph. The first one was a revelation to the of his brethren and the second one to his over the whole house of Israel. We don’t read of his brothers having any visions or dreams.
Far too many have no spiritual dreams or visions. There is nothing wrong with having spiritual goals? Set a goal to read the Bible through once a year, memorize one verse of scripture a week, or lead one soul to Christ in a year.
Paul had goals. “I press toward the mark....” If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time!
We need some people with majestic dreams. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Christians had some great spiritual dreams as they do with regards to their dreams for golfing, fishing, bowling, or hunting?