Joseph: From Hated Teen To Humbled Man Of God! (10/8/17)
Bkgd - Jacob had 12 sons from 4 mothers. 2 wives were Rachel + older sis Leah, and their 2 servants Bilhah and Zilpah. Jacob favored Rachel over Leah ("weak eyes" 29:17).
Jacob also favored Joseph over all his brothers (37:3), youngest, sons of Rachel.
I. Joseph was a spoiled arrogant teen hated by his brothers (Gen. 37:3-5).
Three reasons from Gen. 37 I believe Joseph was a spoiled, arrogant teen hated by his brothers. Not excusing his brothers for hating him. But these are understandable reasons.
1. Joseph appears to be a "tattle tale." Gen. 37:2
2. Joseph was clearly spoiled by his father who made it clear to all he was favorite child.
- 37:3 - Jacob made a special robe for Joseph, "ornate" possible multi colored?
- We must not show favoritism based on human, worldly factors, race, gender, age, socio economic differences, etc. James 2:1, 9.
3. Josephs's dreams from God, shared w/his brothers, then even his parents.
Dream #1 - 37:5-8. Image from agriculture, bros' sheaves bow down to J. sheave!
Dream #2 - Gen 37:9-11. Images from astronomy, Sun/Moon/Stars all bow down to J.
II. But Joseph was humbled through severe trials he experienced.
A. His brothers wanted to kill him, sold him into slavery (Gen. 37:26-28).
Joseph's father, Jacob, sent him to check on his brothers & flocks (37:14).
They saw him from a distance, probably since he was wearing his special robe (18, 23).
They threw J into a dry cistern, then sold him into slavery to some traveling merchants headed for Egypt. Ironic that God would lead His people into Egypt thru J. as slave, then deliver them centuries later after all the Israelites had become slaves to Egypt.
37:31-33 - The brothers took J. ornate robe, dipped it in goat's blood, took it back to Jacob, who assumed J. had been killed by a wild animal.
B. He was falsely accused of rape, put in prison (Gen. 39:19-21).
Joseph experienced a major transformation in his character thru the severe trials he had experienced. Not automatic that all people change for better as result of trials! Some can become angry, bitter, even violent? Cp. many criminals in prison. But some change!
Joseph is sold to Potiphar in Egypt, one of Pharoah's officials (39:1). God blessed J. in all that he did, Potiphar entrusted all to J.'s care. But Potiphar's wife tried to seduce J.
39:6-9. J. was "well built & handsome" (39:6). God has purpose for how He has created each and every one of us, cp. baby Moses, cute baby adopted by Pharoah's daughter??
J. reveals his godly character in resisting advances of Potiphar's wife (39:7-10).
Note, J. even tried to avoid being around her (39:10c).
Finally she sets up major trap to seduce J., she literally grabs him and he has to break away from her, she grabs his outer garment, she is literally ripping his clothes off, v 12.
She is humiliated, makes up story, falsely accuses J. of trying to rape her. In this setting, J. as a slave would have been executed, not just imprisoned. How evil is this woman!
39:16-20. It seems Potiphar did not believe his wife's false accusations, but has to put J. in prison. 39:19, anger more at his wife for messing up having J. + God's blessings?!
Also, she said in 39:17 J. was "That Hebrew slave you brought us" - Potiphar's fault?
39:20-23 - J. again demonstrates his godly and humble character, no protests, not bitter at once again being horribly mistreated, almost to the point of death!
J. living out James 1:2-4. He chose not to become bitter, but better! Thru faith/trust God.