⁃ And they said one to another, See, here comes this dreamer and master of dreams. So come on now, let us kill him and throw his body into some pit; then we will say [to our father], Some wild and ferocious animal has devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams (Gen 37:19)
I was reading this morning about Joseph, the ‘master’ of dreams, as he was ‘so called’ and viciously mocked by his ‘green-eyed’ older brothers, who had grown to hate him.
Yes! I did say that Joseph’s brother’s hated him.
Well here is some family background first, which should help us understand why:
Joseph was the 11th son of 12 boys born into a household filled with jealousy and envy. Their father, Jacob, had 4 different wives… and 2 of those wives (Leah and Rachel) were sisters, who were constantly in strife, competing for their husband’s love, time, and attention, even though Rachel was openly recognized as Jacob’s favorite wife.
Now Jacob still had two 2 more wives, Bilhah and Zilpah- they originally served as handmaids to each of the sisters, but were now given, (in the spirit of competition) to Jacob, as concubines (secondary wives.)
Can you imagine the ongoing arguments inside of their tents??
Drama! Drama!! Drama!!!
Well…it didn’t make things any better after Jacob unashamedly proclaimed Joseph (Rachel’s boy) as his ‘favorite’ son and openly bestowed upon him a coat of many colors!
Now this is when we first learn (from Scripture) that Joseph’s brothers’ jealousy had been building and fermenting in their hearts and had matured into full grown hate! – Scripture tells us that they hated him so much that they would not speak to him- not even so much as to say Good Morning to him- Nor Good Night!!
I would imagine that each time they looked at Joseph wearing this beautiful, colorful coat…feelings of covetousness overcame them and thus they became even more enraged.
Now we know that Joseph did not hide this coat away in some secret drawer, as to calm and/or pacify his brothers’ rage.
And why would he??
Joseph both loved and honored his father, therefore he felt blessed to receive this precious gift and he was happy that his father had chosen to honor him with it – above all of his sons.
I’m sure that Joseph diligently cared for his coat, as this young shepherd had also cared for his fathers’ flock. I’m sure he was dutiful to keep it fresh, and crisp, and spot free. I’m sure that Joseph and his colorful coat were inseparable. In fact, We know that he was wearing his coat on the very day that his hate-filled brothers conspired to take his life.
-When Joseph had come to his brothers, they stripped him of his [distinctive] long garment which he was wearing; Then they took him and cast him into the [well-like] pit which was empty; there was no water in it (Gen 37:23)
Well you may say- what kind of dream did this boy have that would tick his brothers off to such an extreme that they would conspire against him and throw him into a pit??
Well….Here is Joseph’s 1st dream:
-We [brothers] were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood round about my sheaf and bowed down! His brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? Or are you going to have us as your subjects and dominate us? And they hated him all the more for his dreams and for what he said (Gen 37:7)
At this point, these wicked brothers were burning with anger and hatred. They were just about fed up with Joseph and these dreams, perceiving that Joseph viewed himself as superior to them. They feared this 1st dream was a prediction that Joseph would have dominion over them, and thus they feared that they would eventually become servants to Joseph.
Perhaps they were even more concerned that their much loved little brother, might usurp them chronologically and be given the birthright by Jacob- that is the double portion of their father’s blessing – which is traditionally given to the eldest son- that would be Reuben.
How could the youngest brother reign over the oldest?
How could this one son- reign over the many?
Well God explains why this thing would come to pass in 1Samuel 2:30 in regards to Eli’s two wicked sons- when He says:
-I will honor those who honor Me and I will lightly esteem those who despise Me.
Although the brothers were much offended by Joseph, his coat, and his dreams, God was using all of these these things for stumbling blocks to them, because they had despised their brother and their F(f)ather(s).
God had lightly esteemed Joseph’s older brothers because He knew their hearts to be wicked and He had witnessed their deceitful behavior. They had repeatedly dishonored their earthly father, Jacob and had therefore dishonored their Father in Heaven.
But God also knew Joseph’s heart. And… in Contrast, He had seen Joseph’s faithfulness- in that he was dutiful to his ‘dear old dad’ and all that Jacob possessed- Therefore, God chose to honor Joseph above all of his brothers, by causing Jacob to make this ‘son of his old age,’ a beautiful coat, which represented his future ‘prince-hood.’
Yes! Joseph’s dreams were indeed confirmation of things that were certain to come to pass.
And God had blessed Joseph ‘the dreamer’ with a prophetic peak into the Palace.
Yes! Joseph, the younger would indeed reign over the oldest- in fact, He would receive the birthright instead of Reuben.
Yes! Each of Jacob’s 11 (eleven) sons would indeed bow before the more righteous, (1) one- and they would once again call him ‘master’- in all his splendor!!
After all, God says the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. And very soon, Joseph will find himself in the Palace – Prince over great abundance, in a wicked land called Egypt.
We will continue this lesson next time and learn about Joseph’s 2nd dream and we will also learn why he would first find himself in the pit.
Along the way, we will gather some more history/background about the nature and character of Jacob’s brothers, who would continue to dishonor their F(f)athers.
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