Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Joseph: Genesis 37:5-36 "Black Hearts"

Read Genesis 37:5-36.

"his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to, the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt." NIV
This is a very hard passage to read and glean from. First we have a 17-year-old young man who is blessed by God with visions but not very discerning in who to tell them to. He further alienates himself from his brothers by telling them of the dream that shows they will be subject to him -- twice! Joseph was obviously naive and had a lot of growing up to do in dealing with people.

Then you have the brothers -- all but Reuben -- who want to do bodily harm to Joseph. They consider murder, abandonment, and settle on selling him into slavery. Brothers with that much hatred in their hearts changed Joseph's life forever. The evil that is so prevalent in these young men's hearts must be completely displayed now to contrast with the fact that later, we will see them become the heads of the twelve tribes of Judah. I suppose to truly understand the amazing transformation that God can do in people's hearts, we must be exposed to the black ugliness of sin. And their hearts couldn't have been any uglier.

There are no hopeless causes, no sin that is beyond God's forgiving. His grace is deep; His mercy reaches wide. We can be assured of His love and forgiveness of our sins when we see such transformations occur. But what about Joseph? God hasn't abandoned him as we will see. He's just preparing Joseph's character for a position that only he can fill to complete God's plans.

Further Thoughts:
  1. What constitutes evil?
  2. Why is there evil in the world? Support with Scripture.
  3. How are men/women able to do evil acts? Why does God allow it? Support with Scripture.
  4. How are we as believers to respond to the evil around us?

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