Summary: today, let’s look into these verses and see the truths that God has placed here. I want to take these verses and preach on The Heartbreak of a Shattered Dream.


Genesis 37:12-35


Have you ever experienced the heartbreak of a shattered dream? Everything was set! You were sure things were going to turn out a certain way, and then the bottom just fell out from under you.

Maybe it was a child that did not turn out the way you envisioned. Maybe it was a financial setback that broke your heart. Maybe it was a marriage that did not go as you had dreamed it would. Life often seems, is a series of shattered dreams.

I wonder how Joseph felt as the events of this passage played out. I wonder if he questioned the dreams God had already given him. Surely, when his brothers ripped off his coat, threw him into that pit, ignored his pleas and sold him into slavery, Joseph must have felt like his dreams had all been shattered to pieces.

I want us to take a look at these verses today. If they teach us anything, they teach us that life can seem incredibly unfair at times. They teach us that our dreams can be put to the test. They teach us that life doesn’t always go like we think it will.

Besides speaking to us about our dreams, they also speak to us about the harsh nature of sin, when it is allowed to reign in hearts and lives. But, in the end, these verses also remind us that even when the dreams of our lives fall down around us, God is still in control! If God gave the dream to begin with, He is able to guarantee that it will become a reality.

So, today, let’s look into these verses and see the truths that God has placed here. I want to take these verses and preach on The Heartbreak of a Shattered Dream.

I. JACOB’S DEMAND (vv. 12-14)

A. His Command

• Jacob wants Joseph to go and check on the welfare of his brothers.

o They are off, away from the family, tending their father’s sheep.

o There are a couple of reasons why Jacob was concerned about his sons.

1. They were in Shechem. It was here that Simeon and Levi had murdered an entire village to avenge the rape of their sister Dinah. Surely there was anger in that region and Jacob feared for their safety.

2. His sons had proven that they were not trustworthy. Joseph had already had to bring his father an “evil report” regarding some of his brothers’ whole they were on shepherd duty. Jacob was probably wondering what evil they were up to now.

• Jacob sends Joseph because he can be trusted to do the right thing and to tell his father the truth.

B. His Confusion

• Evidently Jacob was out of touch with all that was happening in his own family.

• Jacob appears to have been a father who was occupied with things other than the needs of his family.

• Had he been paying attention, he would have known that Joseph’s older brothers hated him.

• He would have known that their hatred had been growing and had reached a point that they couldn’t even speak to him in a kind manner.

• Either Jacob was out of touch with his family or he underestimated the extent of the problems in his own home.

• He may have known what was happening but believed that the other boys were not capable of harming Joseph.

• As we will see, not only were they capable of harming him, they were capable of murder!

• If there is a lesson for us here it is this: Parents should pay close attention to what is happening in the lives of their children.

• You need to know who their friends are.

• The Bible is clear: the wrong kind of friends can ruin a life and destroy a testimony.

• You need to know how they are spending their time and money.

• You need to know what is happening in their lives.

• You need to know what they are looking at on the Internet.

• You need to know what they are text messaging on their cell phones.

• You have a right to know!

• Children will demand their privacy, but as long as they live in your house, their business is your business.

• Passive parents will pay a high price for allowing their children do as they please.


A. It Was Immediate (v. 13)

• Without question Joseph accepts his father’s assignment and leaves to go find his brothers.

• He knows the risks, but obedience to his father’s commands is his first priority.

• In this regard Joseph story is very similar to that of Jesus.

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