Summary: How was Joseph able to handle betrayal and rejection from his brothers?
Sold Into Slavery – What Some Brothers Will Do
February 16, 2005
Center Point Baptist Church
Present the following illustration on rejection:
Campbell Morgan was one of 150 young men who sought entrance into the ministry in 1888. He passed the doctrinal examinations, but then faced the trial sermon. In a cavernous auditorium that could seat more than 1,000 sat three ministers and 75 others who came to listen. When Morgan stepped into the pulpit, the vast room and the searching, critical eyes caught him up short. Two weeks later Morgan’s name appeared among the l05 REJECTED for the ministry.
He wired to his father the one word, “Rejected,” and sat down to write in his diary: “Very dark everything seems. Still, He knoweth best.” Quickly came the reply: “Rejected on earth. Accepted in heaven. Dad.”
In later years, Morgan said: “God said to me, in the weeks of loneliness and darkness that followed, ‘I want you to cease making plans for yourself, and let Me plan your life.’” Rejection is rarely permanent, as Morgan went on to prove. Even in this life, circumstances change, and ultimately, there is no rejection of those accepted by Christ.
*Morgan’s chief desire was to serve God by ministering to His people – the church.
•The very people he felt lead to minister to had rejected him.
Have you ever been personally rejected in this manner? – Even by those you love the most?
How does that kind of rejection feel?
In 1858 the Illinois legislature – using an obscure statute – sent Stephen A. Douglas to the U.S. Senate instead of Abraham Lincoln, although Lincoln had won the popular vote. When a sympathetic friend asked Lincoln how he felt, he said, “Like the boy who stubbed his toe: I am too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh.”
*When rejected by the ones for whom you hold the highest regard, the inner pain can at times be almost unbearable.
What promises help you when you are suffering in this manner?
Matthew 28:20 – …and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
James 1:2-3 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
*Today’s passage deals with God’s providence – even when Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers.
1) Joseph Looks For His Brothers
Read Genesis 37:12-17.
Why, according to the scripture, did Joseph set out to find his brothers?
(to see if all was well with them and with the flocks)
Note: The discipleship unto his father:
•He was his father’s favored one, enjoying the privileges of closeness with him, yet…
•…note the readiness to respond to his father’s will.
*We, as God’s children, should also respond in this way: Because He has shown us such grace, mercy, and blessing – we should be attentive to His instructions!
John 15:14 – You are my friends if you do what I command.
What are the implications of this verse?
What if you don’t do what He commands?
Note: The kindness to his brothers:
•He knew they hated him and envied him, yet he made no objections against his father’s commands.
the distance to travel – liken to our concerns about inconvenience
the dangerous journey – liken to concerns brought on by lack of faith
John 15:18-19 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
*As a Christian seeking to bring the gospel to his world, we can also expect these things – yet we must remain faithful to the cause!
Note: Joseph continued searching until he found his brothers – such was his diligence.
2) Plotting Against Israel’s Son
Read Genesis 37:18-20.
How did the brothers intend to return the affections of Joseph?
*Note the willfulness with which they planned his death:
•It was not from sudden provocation or passion, which may mitigate the crime.
•It was from malice aforethought; in cold bloodedness.