Genesis 37- 39 The Life Of Joseph: Part 1

Genesis 37- 39 The Life Of Joseph: Part 1

Joseph was the eleventh of Jacob's twelve sons. We see Jacob making the same mistake here that his father had made before him. He too shows partiality to one of his sons Joseph. Chapter 37:3: “Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colours.” The best way to destroy your children is by being partial to one of them, by giving a special gift to one of them that you don't give the others. Jacob had already seen what partiality had done in his own father's home. Ye he repeats it in his own home. The result was that the ten older sons became jealous of Joseph and almost killed him. Partiality can have very serious consequences.


When parents praise one child in the presence of the other children, what is the result?The other children become enemies of the favorite child-sometimes for life. Whose fault is it? The fault of foolish parents. There are warning for every area of our life.


In 37:18 we read how Joseph's elder brothers plotted to kill him. And we see the sovereignty of God here in making one of the brothers stop that plan and change it to selling Joseph off to some slave traders who were passing by at that time. Who sent those slave traders there at that time? God. God timed the travel of those Ishmaelite slave traders such that they would land up there exactly when Joseph was about to be killed. And those slave traders were going to Egypt, which was exactly where God wanted Joseph to go!! It is wonderful to see the sovereignty of God at work again and again in Joseph's life. God has a plan and purpose for your life too, and nobody can frustrate it, Not your jealous brothers and not your foolish father, nobody. That's what we see hear.


By the time Joseph was 17. God had already revealed to Joseph in dreams that he had a purpose for his life. It is wonderful when a young person is so sensitive to God that at an age when most teenagers have worldly or filthy dreams, he or she has dreams from God! Young people, if you sincerely submit to God, no-one can mess up God's plan for your life. The only person who can mess up God's plan for your life is you...yourself. Remember that.


God used the jealousy of Joseph's brothers to fulfill His plan for Joseph's life by getting them to sell him off to Egypt. God makes the evil that others plan against us to work for our good and for the fulfillment of His purposes. If God protected us against the evil that other people try to do to us, that itself would be a great thing. But God does something even better! He makes the very evil that others do to us to His plan for our life! Isn't that much better, when God turns the tables on Satan like that? Just think: If Joseph might never have gone to Egypt. How did Joseph go to Egypt? Step One: His brothers were jealous of him. Step Two: They sold him off to some slave-traders. Step Three: The slave traders took him to Egypt and sold him off there. Thus things that others are doing to harm you will ultimately only fulfill God's plan for your life- if you love God (Romans 8:28). You may face a few trials. Joseph had a tough time as a slave too. But it fulfilled God's plan for his life.


A man of faith will say, “The God of Joseph is my God too. If I love God with all my heart, any number of people can plan evil against me. But they will not hinder God's plan from being fulfilled in my life."


Genesis Chapter 38 is a slight diversion from Joseph's story here we read of Judah committing adultery with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, and of Tamar giving birth to twins (38:29,30). The interesting thing here is that it was through one of those twins-Perez-that Mary the mother of Jesus was born. So Jesus descended from this line of incest and adultery! Our Lord deliberately chose that genealogical line to come through. (Matthew 1:1-3). Why did He choose such a sinful line? How many of us would have chosen an incestuous family line to come through? The Lord chose it deliberately from heaven, in order to show that He had come to call sinners-even the incestuous-to salvation. Jesus identified with the worst transgressors in His family line.


Genesis chapter 39 is a wonderful story of a young man who was faithful to God when tempted strongly by an attractive and powerful woman. There is only on way to avoid immorality- and that is to run away from it. I Corinthians 6:18 says, “Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body.” And that was exactly what Joseph did. Potiphar's wife pressed him to commit adultery with her. (39:7) But Joseph refused. He refused to even be anywhere near her (verse 10). He did not just say, “No”. He ran away from the source of the exemption. As soon as that evil lady came near him, Joseph would go off somewhere else. You can not overcome temptation, if you are always hanging around people who tempt you. God is looking for such men-who will run away from temptation. One day when she was alone with him in the house, she caught him, This time he pulled himself away and left her clutching on his coat. This angered her so much that she accused Joseph of trying to rape her. Her husband was furious, and locked up Joseph in jail.

Look at the things Joseph suffered-jealousy from his brothers, false accusation from an evil woman, and jail. In those days jails were terrible dungeons with rats, worms and cockroaches crawling all over the place. But it says, in verse 21, that in addition to all theses crawling things, “the Lord was also with Joseph” and that made all the difference. It doesn't matter if you are surrounded by every type of inconvenience, if the Lord is with you. That is enough. And that was all that Joseph wanted.