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The Story of Joseph
Who is Joseph?
Joseph was one of Jacob’s 12 sons.
The 12 sons made up the 12 tribes of Israel.
It was these sons that God had ordained to grow Israel into its own independent nation that would soon occupy the land that God had promised that He would give them.
The story of Joseph begins with God’s Word telling us how Jacob showed much more love to Joseph than the other sons.
Due to this fact Joseph’s brothers develop a burning hatred toward their brother:
Genesis 37 (ESV)
Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers.
He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives.
And Joseph brought a bad report 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 father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.
Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.
He said to them, “Hear 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 it and bowed down to my sheaf.”
His brothers 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 words.
Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream.
Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed?
Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”
And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
Joseph begins to gather these divine dreams, God is giving him glimpses of his destiny, he is sharing with his family and he is not met with support but much defiance.
His family did not like the idea of them having to serve their son and brother.
Sometimes our callings are very great, and when others see God taking us places, they often begin to get jealous.
Do not think that being a christian means that everyone will like you.
In fact you must expect them to hate you.
In the story of Joseph we will see many trials that He had to face to walk in the calling of God, but in the end of it we will see how God used all his pain and suffering to save the entire nation.
Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem.
And Israel said 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.
And a man found him wandering in the fields.
And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said.
“Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”
And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’
” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.
They said to one another, “Here comes this 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, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.”
And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father.
So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore.
And they took him and threw him into a pit.
The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
Then they sat down to eat.
And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.
Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.”
And his brothers listened to him.
Then Midianite traders passed by.
And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.
They took Joseph to Egypt.
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; 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.
Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.
All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.”
Thus his father wept for him.
Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.
Due to hatred developed in the hearts of Joseph’s brothers, they sell Him into slavery and then deceive their father and end up breaking his heart.
Genesis 39 (ESV)
Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.
The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.
His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.
So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.
From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.
So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.
Here we begin to see God’s hand on Joseph’s life.
He had just endured some of the most heartbreaking experiences of his life, and now He is seeing that God is blessing Him through it, so he ends up owning his situation.
He put’s his trust in God and in return God is bringing up to higher places.
Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.”
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge.
He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife.
How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.
But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.”
But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us.
He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.
And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me.
But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”
As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled.
And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
Just when things started going good for Joseph the heat is turned up again, once gain he has everything stripped from him and he is at the bottom again.
Some of you have experienced the same things that Joseph has in this story.
You have people that hate you and talk all kinds of evil about you for no reason.
People have sat and made up lie after lie about you.
You may sit and question God why?
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