Scripture Read: Genesis 37
Title: Joseph, His Coat and His Brothers
(H) Highlight verse:: "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." Genesis 37:3
(E) Explain: We don’t know a lot about Joseph at the beginning of his life. He, apparently is very important since almost a ¼ of Genesis is dedicated to his life. We will get to know him well in the next few chapters. So far, we only know that he is 17 years old, he was a good boy and we was the favored son of his father. Dad beamed with pride when Joseph was around. I imagine he could do no wrong in his father’s eyes. He did a lot of good things and he most likely towed the line in life (rule follower). However, he was the kind of person his brothers loved to hate.
To show his son his affection, Israel gives Joseph a robe of many colors. We are not sure what it looked like and I don’t believe it matters what the robe looked like as much as what it represented. Every time Joseph wore this robe the brothers were reminded how little value their father had of them. There was a deep seeded jealousy and probably not for a bad reason.
The jealousy was so great that they could not speak peacefully about him. I can imagine the brothers would spit in disgust at the mere mention of his name.
Joseph was also a dreamer. He was a man whom God spoke to in his dreams. He in tune with God. He was sensitive to His presence. When God spoke Joseph listened.
Joseph tells his dream to his brothers and this only adds fuel to the fire. The interpretation didn’t set to well, because Joseph told them there will be a time when the brothers will bow down before him. They responded with, “There is no way on God’s green earth we will ever bow down to you.” Remember these words… because the phrase, “Never say never” will eventually come in to play.
(A) Application: Jealousy is a heart issue. It has been the root to all kinds of acts of violence. Jealousy takes a person down a very dark road. Joseph's coat represented the father’s favoritism which stirred up jealousy among the brothers. It is understandable that they would resent Joseph because he had special privileges with the father. Regardless of how the father treated them their jealousy was not justified.
Joseph’s was a man who listened to God as He revealed his plans and purposes to him through dreams. I personally believe God still speaks through dreams. However I also believe not all dreams are divine encounters.
You and I know the story of Joseph. It is a tragically beautiful story of forgiveness and restoration, yet Joseph didn’t know it at the time. God’s plan was slowly revealed to Joseph over time. The same is true for us, we don’t always see or know what God is up to. In Joseph’s story God is setting the stage for the nation of Israel and He is going to use Joseph in a mighty way. God is doing this today as well. The trials, joys and circumstances we may face today are part of the process. God has a plan and his plan will be executed and accomplished in his own time and He will use whomever he chooses.
(R) Respond: Jealousy is issue of my heart. I need to and often do repent of my jealousy. I do not want to allow this cancer to take route in my heart and spread throughout my body as it grows into full blow resentment and bitterness. May I also be mindful of my dreams, God can and does speak to to me through dreams. May I be patient in waiting out what God is doing in my life. I don't know the end of my life story, but He does..
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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