From Riches to the Slave Market


Joseph and his Brothers

Book of Genesis Chapters 36 through Chapter 38

As we go through these last lessons in the Book of Genesis, we need to remember the time these children spent in Mesopotamia.

How they witnessed the envy and jealousy of the wives of their father.

How two sisters were locked in a bitter feud over them as they were born.

How their grandfather had treated their father Jacob so deceitfully.

How in all their time had had not seen much love from their parents and their grandfather.

They had witnessed envy and jealousy and strife all their days.

We can just imagine how these mothers had taught hatred.

And then Jacob got in on this thing by choosing to show favoritism to Joseph because he was born of Rachel the only wife he truly loved.

This is no way to raise children and we will begin to see some of the results of these things in our lesson today.

Did God also show favoritism to Joseph or does God just try to show how He cares for abused children?

The life of Joseph is expressed in many words in the rest of the Book of Genesis and there are many lessons we can learn from these chapters of Joseph’s life.

Israel would soon need an earthly savior and God chose Joseph to be that earthly savior.

Joseph is a prime example in the Old Testament of what a Christian should be in the New Testament!

Joseph was raised in a wealthy home, but he spent many years as a slave before rising to a place of power.

As a slave he worked hard enough to become the manager of his master’s estate.
As a prisoner he worked so hard he became manager of the prison.
As a man of God, he was called upon to give spiritual guidance to Pharaoh and became second in command of Egypt.

All these things happened because he was a willing servant of God!

What did the Apostle Paul teach us?

Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Joseph never took his eyes off the Lord at any time in his life!

We must also never forget that Joseph was just a sinner used by the Lord to accomplish certain things.

Joseph became the deliverer of Israel as Israel grew from a family into a nation!

God has a plan for each one that He saves if we will be just as willing as Joseph, and be content as Paul no matter our circumstances.

We may be called upon to do many things in these last days.

We must completely understand though many things happen that we do not agree with, the Almighty God is the supreme Ruler of this world!

We must never blame Jehovah for the way the world is going, we must accept that God knows what He is doing and do the work he gave us to do right up till the sound of the trumpet.

God is the Sovereign Ruler of this world that He created that we are in the process of ruining.

*Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

The first thing we see is that Jacob is still showing favoritism in this family, this time aimed at Joseph.

These other sons and daughters have witnessed these things all their days.

When you have one father and four different mothers there will be problems in the house as each mother tries to do the best for her own children.

Favoritism causes division within the home. It did then and it does now!

When Joseph was old enough, he began feeding the flocks along with his other brothers.

We know Israel was rich and richness was counted by the number of animals he owned in that day and Israel had many animals.

From the stories of Laban and his daughters we found that Jacob was good with animals and his sons would have learned from him.

Joseph was with his brothers trying to learn the skills necessary to be a shepherd.

The truth is Israel (Jacob) should have had more sense than to single out Joseph for special treatment as he had been a part of these sort of things all his own life and it was multiplied as he had spent 20 years with Laban and been misused himself.

Joseph was his favorite son because Rachel was his favorite wife, and all the children knew these things to be true.

For God’s own plan, he had equipped Joseph with some skills it did not seem his brothers had but we know God does not show favoritism to anyone, especially His own children, whom we are.

We all play a part in the plan of God for this world and He is making all the arrangements for our future home with Him in His House.

We are all different and we all have different skills, but it is how we use those skills that can be a benefit in the work of the Lord.

Once we are saved then the Holy Spirit will decide what else we need, and He may even increase those skills we have or turn us to an entirely different set of skills.

Now we cannot be sure just what a coat of different colors would look like, but we can be sure none of the other children who were all grown men at this time had one like it.

And it being hand made by dad made it even more hated by the others.

It was a rich looking garment of royalty that a shepherd would have no need of, but it is here where we can see in typology our Savior.

Our Savior took off the robes of royalty to put on the coat of a shepherd.

Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

None of these things set well with Joseph’s brothers.

Here again we will see another type of Christ as He came to His own and was rejected by them.

*Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

As we already know from previous Scripture, Jacob loved Rachel far above his other wives.

No doubt all the other boys who were now grown men had lived in this scenario all their days.

They had been eyewitnesses to the deceit of Laban their grandfather.
They had been eyewitness to the envy and jealousy of Leah and Rachel because they lived in the middle of it.
They now witnessed the favoritism of Jacob toward Joseph.

Joseph was partially beloved for his mother’s sake.

But Joseph was the only son who was at home with his father during Israel’s older years as Joseph had just turned 17.

And no doubt Joseph was just special in his ways and just a little bit different from the other boys.

When Jacob started dressing Joseph in finer clothes, it just brought all these things to a head and we already know “envy” brings with it, untold sin.

Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

In a family we are born to help one another, and we should take this mindset out into the world, but envy causes us to destroy one another, even if they are close family.

Joseph’s 10 brothers hated him so much that they could not even speak to him in words of peace. They could not offer him peace. They could not even wish him well.

Then God steps in with prophetic dreams.

*Gen 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
Gen 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
Gen 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

We do not know if Joseph could feel the presence of the hatred of his brothers.

We can be sure that Israel (the man) did not realize just how much Joseph was hated by his brothers and we see that the mothers are not even written about which means that the Holy Spirit did not think it relevant to tell us about their ways at this time.

We can be sure this was not a happy family!

We know the future of Joseph so we can only say that God was already preparing Joseph for his future.

We should understand that God will always prepare us for some future part of His plan if we make ourselves “teachable” and “available” as our Pastor preached just recently.

If we already think we know everything then God cannot teach us anything about the truth.

We know that Joseph told his dream to his brothers, but Joseph never got the opportunity to interpret his dream as they did this themselves.

We should understand that it was the sons of the two handmaids that had become concubines that Joseph was telling his dream to.

These four young men probably felt less love from their father Israel than them all.

This dream did not set well with them according to their own interpretation.

We know from the Scriptures that they did indeed bow down to Joseph once Pharaoh had made Joseph second in command of all Egypt.

Gen 42:6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
Gen 42:7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

Again, we find that these things are written more for the Church than for these sons of Israel.

We also can see that when Joseph knew his brothers, he spoke rough to them as they had to him all their days when he was a young teenager.

We can see that these four brothers of the handmaids had it in their mind that Joseph would never get the opportunity to rule over them, they would kill him first.

*Gen 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

if you have read the entire Book of Genesis you know that these sons of Israel had made the right interpretation of Joseph’s dream.

Gen 42:6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

On the day of the dream, they knew Joseph could not rule over them because they would not allow it under their own power.

If Jacob made Joseph to be the head of the family, they would not ever agree with Joseph!

Joseph was despised even more.
Joseph was hated even more.

Makes us think of the days of Jesus Christ.

We are told that the Lord Jesus Christ will one day rule this entire world.

Every knee will bow to Him!

Rom_14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

All those who already despise the Lord, certainly hate Him even more when they are told that they will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan goes berserk when you tell him this!

Satan still has a belief that he can defeat Christ Jesus and so do his followers. They are so confused to the truth.

The truth will still hold to be the truth and every soul that has ever lived will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Php_2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

The true Church, that is hated today will be even more hated on the day of the Rapture.

We can just imagine how much hate boils over at the resurrection of the dead and they face the Lord God Judge of Righteousness.

Rom_1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Mat 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

But Joseph dreamed another dream.

*Gen 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
Gen 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

This dream is similar to the first one in that it was Joseph who his family would bow to.

In the Bible we know that most all dreams were prophecy of some future event.

Jacob (Israel) had such dreams and though he rebuked his son, he did observe the saying of his son.

Was Joseph being cocky? Was Jacob rebuking Joseph to ease the hatred of his other sons?

This dream is a similar dream to the first and it insured the truth of the first dream.

Gen 41:32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Joseph could say this to Pharaoh because he had experienced it himself.

What we must realize is, that God is working behind the scenes to carry out His own will. He is still doing this today and He will continue until things reach their peak as described by the prophets and by the Book of Revelation.

Just as God put things in place for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy, God is putting things in place with Joseph and his family to fulfill prophecy.

What had God told Abraham.

Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
Gen 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

God used a teenage son of Jacob to get these things started.

None of his brothers could understand what was happening, but they too would be used of God and they did not even realize it.

His brothers had decided to get rid of Joseph and God used them to do this thing.

They would not be allowed to kill Joseph.

Watch how God’s plan works.

*Gen 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
Gen 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

Notice these four sons of the handmaids who hated Joseph and would have killed him, while the remaining sons were satisfied just to get rid of him and not kill him, but these to also despised that coat made by their father.

Envy could have caused murder, but it also would cause their own father to suffer for many years when they all knew the truth.

For 21 years they allowed their father to mourn for Joseph even though they knew what happened to him!

In typology we know that the Lord Jesus Christ was stripped of His robe.

Psa 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Mat 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

Also in typology we see the pit as a place called Hell.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Hell is also a place without water!

Luk_16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

All the lost have a fear of the pit!

Isa_24:17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.

Those bound for Hell have rejected the truth of God.

Isa_38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Joseph would be saved from the pit or from Hell, just as every born again, child of God, because of the “Grace of God”!

Isa_38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

We can also see this pit as the empty grave of the Lord then Reuben found this pit to be empty.

The grave of Jesus is still empty!

The enemy will deliver Joseph to the auction block as a slave.

*Gen 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

If not for these seed of Ishmael, Joseph may have been left in that pit to die.

God’s plan was to safely get Joseph to Egypt so He provided transportation!

We see that where envy reigns there is no pity!

Humanity is forgotten when envy reigns.

Have we not seen all these things the last few months in our elections?

Those who have envied and hated president Trump, have not just shown that hatred, but they certainly will not show pity and they want his life destroyed.

Why do not the American people see this and put a stop to it?

The brothers of Joseph continued until Joseph was completely out of their site and out of their lives, or so they thought.

We see malice is like a deadly poison.

Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Joseph had begged his brothers for his life, but their ears were closed.

Only Reuben seemed to have some feelings for his younger brother.

*Gen 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

It may have been Reuben’s plan to slip away to do something and then return to get Joseph out of that pit and take him to safety, but the others may have caught on.

Gen 37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. ?

It is also curious to see that it was Judah who suggested to sell Joseph.

Gen 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
Gen 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

It was also a Jew who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for silver.

Life was just not precious enough in those days and we live in a world where life is not very precious today.

This is why the Lord teaches us to choose life because all that Satan has is death.

Deu_30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Reuben had warned his brothers about harming Joseph, but they had paid him no attention.

Gen_42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

We should understand God always hears the cry of the innocent!

Psa 9:12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

When Reuben rent his clothes it showed his brothers how disappointed he was in them, but Reuben never told his father Jacob the truth for some reason.

What is the truth?

Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

This is another law that God will never break.

We will never be able to defy God and get away with it!

No matter what we think about the politics of our nation this tiny Scripture in the Book of Proverbs will hold true.

God will not be mocked for very much longer!

*Gen 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
Gen 37:31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
Gen 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.

Reuben asked his brothers how would he ever explain to his father the things about Joseph?

These wicked brothers already had devised a scheme.

They killed one of the goats and dipped that special coat of colors into the blood and sent by a servant to their father.

They were unwilling to face Israel until they knew his reaction!

Their story would be that the coat was found, and they had not seen Joseph.

All those who do such things should know that there will be another special coat dipped in blood one day soon.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

These ten sons of Jacob did not have the fortitude to witness the outburst of grief from their father.

They did not want to be there to answer any questions Jacob might have.

These who were willing to kill their own brother but sold him into slavery. became cowards willing to hide their crime and each one had to agree to never let this information come out so their father would know what they had done.

God has another little rule about these things.

Num_32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and “be sure your sin will find you out”.

All the hidden wickedness and corruption in our own government will eventually be found out. We can be sure of this!

Another thing we might not realize is, there were some wild animals in that day that would attack humans.

*Gen 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Gen 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Gen 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

When we think of lions, we think of the African lions that roar on the plains in Africa. Few people know that there is actually another lion species, the Asiatic Lion, that used to roam Asia as well.

So, there were wild beast in this area in that day and humans were attacked by these animals. It was not too farfetched, for Jacob to believe his son was killed by some wild animal.

It would be 22 years before Jacob would see his son Joseph again, but Jacob did mourn for his son longer than what we would call normal for that day. If there is a precise time of mourning for such a loss.

We should notice that these wicked sons did not actually say that Joseph was dead, but they left their father with very little choice, but to believe Joseph was dead saying they did not find his body which was no doubt rent to pieces.

What do we know is that once Benjamin was born Jacob became ever more protective of him!

We also know that Jacob had deceived his father Isaac.

As parents we also think the worst when something happens to our children. Though Jacob mourned, Joseph was safe in the arms of God stationed to save all his family and preparing to build a nation.

No human could sit down and make such a plan as this plan of God!

*Gen 37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

Joseph had some hard lessons to learn at such a young age. We know he was only 17 years of age at this time.

As far as Jacob was concerned, all the things that happened to him after this were against him.

Gen_42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

In reality, all these things had a purpose because he was living in the plan of God which can never fail!

Now this does not mean that God approved of what happened to Joseph, God already knew what He was going to do.

God never approves of the mistreatment of any human being!

God just takes something bad and makes something good come out of it!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Our God is so great that He can work out His purpose even when people are doing their worst as we see today.

The plan of God cannot fail nor can it be hindered by any human being or any group of humans.

Amen

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