Faithlife Sermons

The Brothers' Jealousy

Joseph is sent by his father to check in on his brothers and report back.
Genesis 37:18–24 ESV
18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 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.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 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. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
The brothers desire to kill Joseph
Reuben tries to devise a way for Joseph to be returned to Jacob
The brothers, driven by jealously, strip Joseph of his robe and throw him into a pit
Genesis 37:25–28 ESV
25 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. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 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. 28 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.
Judah is also not fully committed to the idea of killing his brother and proposes selling him instead.
This eases their feelings of guilt and they listen.
The very action meant to remove the dreamer is setting him up.
Genesis 37:29–36 ESV
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 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.” 33 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.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 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. 36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.
Reuben is distraught.
The brothers make sure it is believed Joseph is dead, not lost.
Jacob devotes himself to mourning
Joseph is found to be delivered to Egypt, to be a servant of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.
The most wicked of crimes are compelled by greed and jealousy and hatred.
GREED - Israel’s defeat by the people of Ai came after Achan and his family stole from the spoil a cloak, silver, and gold. (Jos 7)
JEALOUSY - Cain was jealous of Able, that the Lord had regard for Able’s offering and not for Cain’s. (Gen 4)
HATRED - The Jews demanding Jesus’s crucifixion.
Matthew 27:24–25 ESV
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
God’s people should be generous, uplifting, and loving.
GENEROUS - Pr 11:25

The agenerous man will be prosperous,

And he who waters will himself be watered.

1 Thessalonians 5:8–11 ESV
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Peter 4:8 ESV
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
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