Jealousy is Cruel
Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him over a robe and the dreams he revealed to them. It might seem ridiculous to envy someone for those reasons, but it’s a lesson for us today. If we don’t deal with jealousy immediately, it will grow ugly. His brothers were blinded by it and their reasoning to get rid of the dreamer made sense to them. When left unchecked, jealousy leads to sin. We may not recognize envious feelings at first, but it starts with comparing ourselves with others. May God help us to recognize those feelings so they don’t take root in our hearts.
Read Genesis 37:23-28
1. What did Joseph’s brothers first do to him when he arrived?
2. Other than killing Joseph themselves, what alternate plan do they devise?
Read Matthew 26:14-15
3. What similarity do you see between Joseph and Jesus from this passage?
Read Genesis 37:29-30
4. How did Reuben respond when he returned to the pit to get Joseph?
Read Genesis 37:31-36
5. What did the brothers tell their father about Joseph, and how did Jacob respond?
6. Where did Joseph end up?
The brothers thought it would be easier to let the slave traders do their dirty work for them. Then they wouldn’t need to bear the guilt of his murder. Selling Joseph into slavery seemed like the lesser crime. Commentaries say that Joseph walked with chains on his feet for the 30 days it would take to go from Dothan to Egypt. He would have suffered much cruelty along the way and would have been sold like a piece of merchandise in Egypt. We can only imagine what a shock it was for Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob, to go from being a sheep herder to the sophistication of Egyptian culture and pyramids. As we continue his story, however, we will see how God was in control of every aspect of Joseph’s life. May that underlying truth encourage us in our own lives today…God is in control!