Genesis 37

Sticks and Stones

 Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Whoever made up that rhyme didn’t read Genesis 37:8. Joseph had two dreams and he couldn’t wait to tell the family all about them. When he does, favoritism, hate, and jealousy work together and Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers. As is always the case, lies and deception must be added to cover the boy’s tracks and they lead Jacob to believe Joseph has been killed by a wild animal. Jacob is heartbroken and it appears his grief will be a constant reminder to the boys but it’s going to be a long miserable time before the truth comes out.

 Early in his life Jacob faced a similar situation. When his brother  Esau wanted to kill him. After 20 plus years of separation from Esau, Jacob was forced to depend on God as he came face to face with Esau. Esau and Jacob appear to be reconciled but Jacob is still fearful and deceptive promising to meet up with Esau so instead he goes to Shechem. There, his daughter is raped and his sons make a deceptive deal with the perpetrator when they gain his trust, they kill all the males in the town.  Jacob is again fearful of repercussions and in Chapter 35 we read that God told Jacob to go to Bethel, the place where God appeared to Jacob in a dream when he was running from his brother Esau. It was there Jacob made a commitment to God. Genesis 28:10-22

 Two things interest me in Genesis 37:10-11. When Joseph tells the family about his second dream Jacob says, Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground? NASB   

Joseph’s mother died in childbirth when Joseph’s brother Benjamin was born.  So how could she bow down?  Verse 11 tells us that Jacob kept these sayings in mind. Could he be thinking back to the dream he had when he was having trouble with his brother?  I’m not sure of the answers to these questions but I am sure of this. Jacob’s grief is going to keep continual pressure on the boys.  God is also going to take the boys and Jacob through some events that will put pressure on them and bring them to the place of repentance and truth.  God will also take Joseph through some very difficult and unfair situations but God is training him to be a leader.

 One thing will become clear though, in the chapters ahead.  God has a plan.  God is in control of His plan. And regardless of what the boys have done, God is working in their lives to bring them to the place where they will become the nation who brings God’s Word to the world.

So stay tuned!

Pastor Dave