Genesis 37 – Four Unfortunate Ways We Can Divide Family

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Hey, I’m going to invite you to Genesis 37 is where we’re at together today, Genesis chapter 37. And we’re going to look at this transitional section of the Bible between the life of of Jacob to the life of Joseph. If you’ve been following along in the book of Genesis, it really breaks down for you. Like this. First 11 chapters, the world’s a mess and God, by his grace, intervenes in the life of a man named Abraham. Uh, to to to tell us that God is going to transform our hearts from the inside out through through bringing one man through the lineage of Abraham who would bless all people groups. So we’ve studied that. We’ve seen that when left into ourselves, man lives for his glory to the destruction of others, that we we elevate ourselves as if we’re God. And for the first 11 chapters of of Genesis, you discovered that generation after generation, we continue to promote our own glory over and above God. And it’s abusive and it treats other people like tools. But God in his grace doesn’t give up on us. He comes in the life of Abraham and in Abraham he says, through you I’ll bring one who will bless all people. Group. And we’ve been following that family through, from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob, now today to Joseph. And as we make that transition from Jacob to Joseph, we’re going to begin by looking at the life of Jacob, realizing, you know, God created us to reflect his glory in this world, that as we come to know the Lord, the reason for which we were created, that in living for his glory we become a blessing to the people around us.

But through the life of Jacob, we we’ve seen. Jacob himself has struggled to do that, that he he often was a man who was passive and lived selfishly. And as a result, he doesn’t engage his family in a healthy way, especially in times of of adversity. And because of that, living for his immediate gain and personal pleasure, uh, he tended to move away from conflict and rather rather than serve and bless, uh, walked in that passive, selfish life. And unfortunately, Jacob’s lack of of engagement towards his family led to relationship struggles among all of them. But what they needed was a godly father to lead them. And today, through through Jacob’s life, we’re going to learn four unfortunate ways that we can divide our family with with the goal. I know that’s a very negative title, but we’re going to we want to look at that and then for our own selves, avoid those pitfalls and talk about the way that the Lord can use us to engage our family in a godly way. And by the way, when we talk about family here, we can particularly talk about your earthly family, your biological family, uh, your adopted family, your church family, your work family in any capacity in which you have relationships that you’re regularly engaged in.

God wants to do something in that. But we’re going to use primarily your your home life to begin to recognize that that that is really your first ministry in life, that when God created us, the first institution he established was the home. And what God wants to do in that home is, is for you to to labor in that home that that that family learns to, to become a blessing to the world around them. You know, a church community is only as healthy as the families that make it up. Same thing for for just the community around us. And so we understand who God has called us to be. It gives us an opportunity to not only walk with him, but also be a blessing to to those around us. And you know, when it comes to the idea of of thinking how we can live for God among our family, you know, none of us wake up and you’re like, you know, today I want to I really want to divide things. I really want to fail. I really want to screw up. Right? None of us wake up every morning with those intentions. But but rather, rather than just trying to avoid not messing up, um, it’s important to think about what what what am I architecting in the places of influence that God has me beginning with my own home? What intentional steps are we taking in order to reap the the blessing of seeing godliness within the place of my own home that ten, 20, 30 years more we experienced the fruit of that.

And as a father of four young boys, I want to enjoy my kids when they become adults. And so what? What is that I can do today in order to see in in my home what is God desires. Now, I know as parents, you know, sometimes we can do the best we can. And at the end of the day, your children make their own decisions that they’re responsible for. But as far as my responsibility goes before the Lord, how can I live in such a way that honors honors God to the to the glory of the Lord, to the benefit of those around me? For unfortunate ways we divide our family? Number one, you see this in the life of Jacob playing favorites, divides, playing favorites, divides. And how is Jacob playing favorites? It tells you in this text here. And by the way, I’ve highlighted sections just to make this go a little bit quicker because there is a number of verses I want to cover, so I want to hit the highlights of this. But in verse one, Jacob lived in the land of his father, sojourning in the land of Canaan.

These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being 17 years old, was pastoring the flock with his brothers. We’ll come back to 17 years in. Minute he was a boy with with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report, and we’ll talk about a bad report in a minute of them to their father. Now, Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their fathers loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. So you see in this story very clearly, if we ask the question, how is Jacob playing favorites? Well, it just tells you in the passage, there is there’s not a mincing of words here. It was not a it’s not this uncertainty. Does he love him more than us? No. The father is like, oh yeah, he is my favorite. I love him more, more than the rest. But but the way he declares this or the way he demonstrates this, I find this interesting in this passage. I got to tell you, when I first became a Christian, one of the first things I did, uh, going to Marshall University, 19 years old, I decided, you know what? I’m going to read the Bible all the way through.

So I started with the book of Genesis. And these are this is one of the first stories that was just odd to me in how it was described. I couldn’t really wrap my head around it, because when I think about a coat of many colors, I don’t see this as a brag. Like I’m just, how is this? How is this a brag? Because when I think about a coat of many colors and it says in this passage, his dad made it for him. Like, to me that would be nightmare. You think about parents made your clothes for you. When I was a kid. If I heard that, I realized it’s time to make fun of somebody. Like your parents made this. That. That’s probably mean to me to say, but. But when I think about a coat of many colors, like in my mind, I immediately think of a particular type of attire. I’m like, this is this is more like a Halloween costume, right? Than a than a than a brag. How is this good? And then when I think about, you know, your dad declaring your fashion for you, that would be like on the, on the verge of nightmare for me. Like my dad would be in charge of my wardrobe. I think I love my kids too much not to do that for them. Right? When I think about what it means to be a dad, you are not the trendsetter for fashion in this world.

Even for me. Like in 2010 when Costco was was built, I was like, I’m done. I’m not thinking about what I wear anymore. Whatever they have, that’s what I’m putting on. Even today, that’s what I wear. I like for many of you you’re like, yeah, that’s that’s that’s kind of sad. You quit. Yes, I did, I don’t care what. It’s practical and that’s all I care about. That’s that’s what dad life is. Right. So I read this passage and I’m like, yeah, I don’t I don’t understand why the brothers were jealous about this. Right? In our cultural context, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but but when you understand it in, in terms of the, the time of, of Joseph, this would have been a, a richly ornated garment with long sleeves. Um, it would have, you know, hung to the ground. It’s like in, in, maybe in our modern day it would be like, um, Joseph lives in a family that that works a farm. And you can imagine if if the dad comes to you and he buys you an Armani suit, like you’re, you’re not going to go out and work with the sheep that day in the Armani suit, right? Because you don’t want to get your suit dirty. Your your fingernails can’t get a little bit of mud on. Right. That’s, that’s going to that’s going to be Joseph in this story that all the other brothers are out there sweating and laboring and, and Joseph’s like, sorry guys, I just can’t.

This is my coat of many colors. You know how that is. It’s like if you compared it with the children, it’s like saying, uh, he wears Louis Vuitton and Gucci and or maybe Versace, and the rest of the kids got to buy from the discount rack at Walmart. Right. And like, like if what you can afford as a family is everyone discount rack at Walmart, who cares? That’s fine. Right? You do what you can. I I’m very much into the where what’s practical. You don’t need to go go into debt in order to have nice clothes. Just put something on right. Make it it just be decent. Right? But but when you try to polarize your children in this way, that is. That’s the fastest way to screw up your kids, right? Loving one lavish on one over and above the others. Now, I think it’s important for us to to recognize as as parents, you know, most of us, hopefully all of us don’t wake up and say, you know, I really want to make sure my kids know this one’s my favorite, right? But, but, but there are times in life where our kids go through seasons where some are easier to love than others, and learning how to still stay engaged as a parent might become complicated and a little bit challenging.

But but it’s also your ministry as a parent. In fact, it’s it’s your first ministry as a parent and some sometimes distance or creative ways to engage them, but not maybe lording directly over them is kind of the role that you have to play. For example, as your children age, you know, as a parent, when you’re when when they’re younger, you very much want to be hand over hand working with them. But as they get older, you sort. Begin to let out the kite string of of for them to be able to make their own decisions, and as they show that they can be entrusted, you give them more trust. And if they break that trust, you kind of reel that back in and say to them, look, I’m going to I’m going to entrust things to you as a child. But, but if you show to me as you get older that I can’t completely trust you, it’s going to become more restrictive in your life. So if you want to live freely, you need to listen to what I say. But I want to see you flourishing in life. I’m here to see you. Success. When as as they get older, you don’t necessarily tell them what to do anymore. But. But you become more of a sage and offering wisdom or counsel and and even in that case, you got to be careful sometimes not to overstep in your position, but rather if they give you a door opportunity to speak into their lives.

And so there’s different seasons that you experience as a parent. But to understand God, God’s calling in your life, your first ministry in your life, it begins with the idea of of shepherding your home. And if I gave you a verse to think about in regards to that, get rid of that picture and give you a a better picture. Ephesians chapter six, verse four written, it says, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And I’ve always found this passage pretty interesting, because when you read Ephesians the from chapter four, five and six, it’s the practical outworking of the gospel in our lives. What does it look like to live in light of knowing Jesus? And one of the passages gets to living within the home. The end of chapter five starts with marriage, and then chapter six deals with family, parents to kids. And it starts verse one and two with children honor your parents. And then in verse four it talks to fathers. But one of the things that’s absent from this passage I always find interesting is mothers. It’s like without saying it, it’s saying to us, mothers just tend to be a more engaged in the nurturing of their children. And so the encouragement is to dads.

Dads don’t become disengaged, but to think about the importance of your place in the home. In fact, there is statistics that say you can find them in places like focus of the family that that that say a father spends on average less than ten minutes a day in engaging his children. Now, when you think about the importance of your role in the family, ten minutes a day doesn’t get that done. You want to be with your child and and helping them understand what it means to live in light of who they are before the Lord. Now, as they get older, maybe not not not as much responsibility in some ways, but but or not as much time in some ways, but in other ways, in different stages of life, require different types of attention. Um, and you think about what God desires for you to do is saying in this passage, guys, don’t provoke your kids to anger. Meaning don’t exacerbate them by putting so much on them that all they do is fail, right? Don’t, don’t, don’t put this insane amount of expectations on their life that you just beat them down, right. Don’t provoke them. Don’t exacerbate them. Don’t bring this place of anger, but rather set them up for ways of succeeding that you can celebrate with them as they go on this journey of life. And then it tells you how to do that.

Bring them up in discipline and instruction and the idea of discipline instruction is this not just tell them what to do, but model for them who they should become. Discipline is this idea of engaging them relationally through through demonstrating through your own life. Right? You’re modeling for them, not just don’t. Don’t do what I do, but listen to what I say. As a parent, that’s not how kids operate. They’re going to become a mirror of what you reflect in the home. And so discipline and instruction is this idea of not just teaching them, but also modeling for them how to honor the Lord and the way that they live their lives. And so, God, God’s God’s hope for you is to think in terms of that way. And can I just tell you, um, I would say for, for, for our time period today, I think it’s more difficult today than, than any other place in history. And the reason I say that is for two purposes, and it’s the way our culture has been shaped over the last about 100 to 150 years. Our culture has taken significant steps in a direction that has, I think, warred against the family, starting with the Industrial Revolution. And then over the last couple of decades, the development of technology and internet. If you think about what the Industrial revolution did, it took dads out of the home and into the workforce. It was thought years before the Industrial revolution that when you raise the child, the child would kind of take on the family business.

And the way the child would learn is develop the craft of of what the family was doing. They would do what their parents did. That’s the way history has progressed until the Industrial Revolution. And that’s when the father began to leave the home and enter the workforce. And he’s less engaged with his children, which means you’ve got to be more intentional with the time that you have with them. Not only that, but add to it technology and looking at computer screens and the lack of just conversational engagement that we have today. Which says for us, we need to be more mindful of the opportunity we have to spend and invest in in the lives of our kids. Playing favorites divides God’s desires for us to be engaged. Point number two. Pride divides. Pride divides rather than helping. Community pride is about using community to serve yourself, to put yourself in a position above others. Pride is about using really in terms of family is using your family for your glory rather than your life in order to bless them. Now, I want you to know that what I’m about to share you share with you is a little bit controversial. There’s a little bit of a debate on what’s happening in the life of Joseph, but I don’t think he is a perfect child.

He’ll become a picture for us later that we’ll talk about. But I think Joseph struggled with a little bit of, I’ll say, immaturity. Perhaps he’s somewhat naive and and I think it plays out in a hint of pride in his life, which brings division in his family. And the reason I say that is because of what we’ve already read in chapter 37, verses 1 to 4, specifically verse two, and it tells you Joseph is 17 years old. And if you remember what it was like to be 17 years old, I will say here at ABC, we have some impressive 17 years old, 17 year old kids, right? Or young adults. But but I remember what it was like when I was 17. And let me just say, I thought my wisdom was much further than it really was. And and sometimes that tends to be the case when you’re 17 years old, to the point where it says in Joseph gave a bad report of his brothers, meaning that he’s not navigating his family relationship well. And the word bad report if you if you go back and study the word bad report in the Hebrew, it really gives the hint of overexaggerating to the point of lying. It’s often the way it’s used in the Old Testament. So it’s like Joseph is coming back to his father to give a bad report of his brothers in order to make himself look a little bit better.

And he doesn’t need to do this. And the reason we know he doesn’t need to do this is he’s already the favorite. He’s wearing the coat that says so. And I would even say if his brothers see that coat of somewhat contentious, one who is more of a humble servant in life, would think about how that might be perceived about among his brothers and potentially choose to do different than what he does. And not only that, he exacerbates the situation a little bit more by describing to his brothers some dreams that he’s had, and he says this now Joseph had a dream, and this dream is certainly of the Lord. But but the way you you say the things that you know or the truth that you declare also speaks to your attitude and concern for the people around you. Does that make sense? Let me say it like this. Um, I am confident that what you hold in your hand today, hopefully, if you have God’s Word with you, um, by holding God’s Word in your hand, you’re holding truth in your hand. Truth transforms your life. I am 100% confident in that. Um, but but I also know the way that I engage with people in this world, according to what truth says, also speaks to my heart. Intention for them. I can weaponize this in a way that I can beat people over the head with it, or I can use it in a way to serve the people around me.

Right. And how I conduct myself will demonstrate. Is my heart for them, or is my heart simply approving that I’m right or I’m better than? And I think in this instance, Joseph is a little immature and naive, maybe somewhat prideful in how he shares the stream. But he says now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. And he said to him, where is this dream that I have dreamed? Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field. And behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright, and behold, your sheaves gathered around, and bowed down to my sheaf. His brother said to him, are you indeed to reign over us, or are you indeed to rule over us? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his Word. You know, you look at this story, Joseph. He not only do his brothers hate him, but now it’s telling us his brothers hate him even more. And the reason is because he’s sharing this story where he’s he’s just above them all. Uh, he’s the the perfect sibling. I don’t know if you’ve got siblings in your life, but maybe you know what this is like. My my, my brothers and sisters, we do this all the time. We get around our parents, and we remind our parents who the favorite child is.

And I easily tell them it’s it’s it’s definitely the firstborn, which is who I am. And so the contest is over. We don’t have to compete. Kids just know I’m the best. And I love you all. That’s right. But. But could you imagine being there with the perfect child, the golden child? Sometimes I often wonder what? What would it be like to be a sibling of Jesus? You know, Jesus had siblings. Could you imagine? You’re the one that’s always messing up. He never does anything wrong. You know, it’s a it’s a difficult place to, to to find yourself in that sort of situation. And so when you know you’re not perfect, I think it’s important in life that rather to. Rather than live your life that that other people to find your identity in other people, it’s important to learn to live your life to to please an audience of one. I’m not perfect, and I’m not here to impress you with who I am, but I definitely want you to be impressed with who God is, because the position that you have in him is far, far more important than anything this world’s going to offer to you. And when you find your identity in that, it frees you up to be able to serve other people because you’re not looking for the affirmation of other people to tell you how great you are.

You already know who you are in the Lord, and therefore from that you can flows the goodness and blessing of God as you serve other people. Now, the attitude of Joseph in this story seems to be one that he’s he’s seems a little bit happy or maybe naive, immature to to boast in the story. And then he presses a little bit further with another dream. Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold the sun and the moon. The 11 stars were bowing down to me. But when he told it to his fathers and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, what is this dream you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to to bow ourselves to the ground before you? Now you see in this story, here he is sharing another another idea of a dream. Now it’s going to tell you in a moment that his father kept all this in mind, that his father could tell something was happening here. But but to be right in the wrong way is still wrong. And Joseph, while he’s sharing this dream, even by his father coming up and rebuking that, you see sort of an an attitude in Joseph that the Lord needs to refine in him because it’s creating further division in the family, and it’s coming across as somewhat arrogant and somewhat cruel.

But you’re seeing in this story, uh, playing favorites, divides and in addition, that pride, when it’s made known in relationships, also divides. And what God’s heart is, is for his people to be united in in our purpose in the Lord, that we may live for his glory together to the benefit of each other and to our valley. Pride divides. In addition to that, jealousy divides. Jealousy divides. You’re about to see jealousy and hate explode in this family. Um, jealousy is the quickest way of robbing you of joy and getting your focus off what God wants, and rather measuring your life according to other people. Jealousy fixates your attention on others rather than the Lord, but it’s important to remind ourselves God didn’t make you to be like other people. God didn’t make you to find your identity and your worth and the things of this world. God made you for him. And so living a life of jealousy to try to compete with other people or to get what they have, is going to lead you so far astray from who God called you to be in him. But this is exactly where the the brothers find themselves, that they’ve been fueled with frustration towards their brothers. They they step into that jealousy. It says in Genesis 37, verse 11, and his brothers were jealous of him, but his fathers kept the saying, his father kept the saying in mind.

Now his brothers went to the pasture, their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to to Joseph, are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them. And he said to him, here I am. So he said to him, go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word. So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. A couple of interesting things here. Um, you know, here here is the brothers. They’re out laboring in the fields taking care of all the animals. And if Joseph had a servant heart, you might expect that he would be there as well. But rather he’s wearing his little fancy Armani suit. Being pampered by his mommy’s at home. That’s what’s happening in this story. So his brothers are frustrated by that, and they go to Shechem. And it doesn’t tell us in this passage, but I just it I think it really hints to us the reasoning for them going to Shechem is because they knew Jacob would be concerned. If you remember the story of Shechem, that in Genesis 34 and 35 the family went to Shechem, and it was at Shechem that Dinah was assaulted and raped. The brothers rose up because of that, and they killed all the men in the land of Shechem. And Jacob became concerned about how that was going to influence the people around them in Shechem to hate his family.

So he moved away from Shechem for the safety of his own family. And now the brothers have gone back to Shechem. And so the father’s heart would be concerned for the well-being of his sons. And knowing the sons, knowing that the father would be concerned, knew that they would send he would send Joseph to check on him. And the brothers received exactly what they were anticipating is that dad would send the brothers here. And it says to you in verse 18, they saw him from afar, talking about Joseph now coming to them. And before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, here comes the dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams. But when Reuben heard it, when Reuben Herbert heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, let us not take his life and their hands to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came. Excuse me. I skipped a line, didn’t I? It says. And Reuben said to them, shed no blood, throw him into this pit. Where? In the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him, that he might rescue him out of the hand to restore him to his father.

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they shipped him off. Or they they excuse me, stripped off his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore, and they took him and threw him in the pit. The pit was empty. There was no water in it. So here you see the brothers acting in anger and in jealousy towards towards Joseph, to the point they they strip off his robe. And the Hebrew, this literally means they skinned him like an animal. They felt that their brother was shaming him in his position by wearing this robe. And so therefore that’s where they go immediately to attack him. They they shame him in return by stripping him bare and throwing him in a pit. You know, sometimes one of the most difficult places. To honor the Lord is in the home. And one of the reasons one of the most difficult places to honor the Lord is because it’s it’s where relationships have grown the deepest. And the closeness of those relationships. When things are done wrong, you tend to wear those wounds deeper because there are people that you love who have wounded you. And it’s far, far easier to get insulted by a stranger that you don’t know, that doesn’t know anything about you, than it is by someone who knows personal things about your life, and they are the ones that know how to push your buttons faster than anyone.

And we see this building in the lives of these, these families that here, they’re supposed to guard one another and bless one another and and help one another. Yet they’ve they’ve been cut deeply by each other, and they use this as an excuse in order to retaliate. And you know, you’re in trouble when Reuben becomes the symbol of of morality for the family. I mean, if you remember in in Genesis chapter 35, Reuben was the one who decided to sleep with his father’s concubine. And I told you last week how that played out, the reason he did it. Rachel died. Reuben’s mother’s. Leah Leah has never been loved. He thought, well, now this is my opportunity for my mother to become the matriarch in the family in order to make sure she gets there. I’m going to shame one of my father’s concubines by sleeping with her. So my mother will finally get the recognition of being loved and appreciated. Uh, and so his maybe his heart for his mother was in the right place, but his actions were terrible, right? And and Reuben’s actions were becomes disgraceful to the family. And now in this story, he becomes the, the moral position for people to follow. And so it tells you they’re already treading on dangerous ground when, when Reuben becomes that. But, but, but what God desires for us in the midst of difficult situations is to become servants in order to bless or to continue.

Let me say it like this. Servants, in order to bless. And we often see adversity as a way to excuse poor behavior on our part. And guys, can I just tell you, men, women, no matter what you go through in life, you’re still in control and responsible for what you do, regardless of what other people do. And God calls you to be a light and darkness. In fact, God wants you to use your position in order to influence for his glory. You don’t have to have a title in this world in order to make a difference. Well, all we need to do is recognize the platform God has given me to influence people around me. And as I’m in day to day interaction and relationships, whether things are going well or not, they’re always an opportunity for me to use my influence in order to glorify God and bless others. And it’s through that influence that we’re able to make a difference, right? There’s plenty of people with titles in this world that that make no difference at all, and no one wants to follow because they don’t respect. And then there are people in this world that don’t carry titles that people have tremendous respect for and will listen to for counsel and direction. Because because they’ve seen, demonstrated in their life a certain amount of godly character.

And most often that comes in the midst of adversity. And that’s what God’s desire is for our lives, that we would do the same. In fact, in Ephesians, talking about the idea of of bond servants and masters, we would compare it today to employers and employees that bond servants obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart as you would Christ, not by the way of eye service as people pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ. Look, I’m not here to just trying to woo you with my performance so that you think great of me. I want to bless you just because of who I am in Christ. Right? Not by the way of eye service as people pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will. Ask of the Lord, and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does this, he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bond servant or is free. It’s to take the position God has given me and the trust that’s been bestowed upon me, and leveraging in a way that’s glorifying to God and a blessing to others. That no matter where I find myself, God always has me in a place to make a difference, not not to become unengaged in adversity, but to continue to walk in the path in which God has created me, to walk in him.

And it goes on verse 25. Then they sat down to eat, and they took up the. They looking up, saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Then Judah said to his brothers, what profit is it we we kill our brother and conceal his blood? The Midianite traders passed by, and they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and said, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt. So here’s here’s the story of how they got Joseph to to Egypt. But but I want you to see in the hearts of their brothers their justifying their poor actions by what they saw their brother doing to them. Our brother treated us one way, and so we’re not killing him. But but we are going to sell them and we’re completely justified in treating our brother poorly because, well, look what he did to us. And, you know, Jesus reminds us of this as people. Our tendency is to point the blame at others. And Jesus said things like in Matthew 521, you’ve heard it said, you shall not kill, but you who have had anger in your heart, that’s the seed of murder. So just because you may not kill someone still doing something negative to them is reflecting of the problem not being outside of you. It’s not them. The greatest enemy you have is not beyond you, but rather inside of you.

It’s manifest itself when we justify this kind of behavior. And to realize that that jealousy, that that pride, these things, they divide and they destroy what God desires to accomplish in us and through us. And the last one is this stubbornness divides, stubbornness divides. And you see this with with Jacob’s sons. It says, they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat. And dipped the robe in blood. And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father, and said, this we have found pleasing. I please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not. And he identified it and said, it is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him, and Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces. Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourn for his son many, many days. And I want you to see this, and the stubbornness of the of the boys, the sons of of Jacob as his father’s mourning. Not only are they they leading him to believe he’s dead, but they’re likely engaging in the morning, the morning with him so that their father is convinced that he’s really dead. I mean, not only do they go and lie to their father, but their own stubbornness stayed rooted in in that for many days as their mourning over their brother that they know is not dead.

And we have that same tendency in our lives where that seed of bitterness can get so rooted in our in our hearts that we just want to keep living in that. And the result is we justify it by other people, rather than just simply owning up to what we’ve done. And the result of that is that it brings destruction. But but here’s what we want to see in this story. Until one person is willing to humble themselves for the benefit of others, it doesn’t change. And recognizing how God’s hand wants to be a part of the story and surrendering ourselves to that, that’s that’s where it changes. And you get that hint in verse 36. If you know the story of Joseph, you know God is orchestrating something far more glorious. And it says this. Meanwhile, the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard. What they intended for bad God’s going to bring a far more glorious story made known in this family that’s going to preserve their life and ultimately bring about the Messiah. Because the same can be true for us, that as you’re looking at the story, I think God wants to tie our hearts to this, to say, look, in the midst of this family mess. God’s hand was still all over it, and God could orchestrate something far more beautiful than we could imagine. And through that, Jesus comes, comes about.

And even in Jesus’s story, through the cross, God orchestrated something far more glorious than we can imagine. The disciples thought it was over, but God uses the cross as a this beautiful sign of redemption of our souls. It’s the hope of God’s people. And as God’s doing this in the heart of, of Joseph and, and and through Jesus, it becomes a model for your life too. When you think about your own situation where you are things, things might be going well in some areas, but in other areas you think, and man, we need a miracle here. But the reality is, if we understand it’s this kind of God we serve, what we need in the midst of darkness is incredible hope. But in Jesus, that’s exactly what you have. You have his promises. You have his presence, and you have his hope that God will work it out for his people. And one day, whether it’s on in this world that we’re living in now or or in the eternity to come before Christ, we’re going to see God’s glorious hand orchestrating it. As long as we as people have that hope in the midst of darkness, we have the ability to move forward knowing we do it with our God.