Joseph Study | Day Three
By: Brittany Green | Early Days
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A couple of weeks ago, I visited Oklahoma for a wedding. While staying at the hotel, I snuck downstairs to write part of this study. In the hotel lobby, the reality of Joseph's family dynamics were reenacted before me with a family of all boys sitting close to me. Three brothers similar in age were all trying to get their dad’s attention. It was nothing short of a comedy act to watch because the “one-up” game was real. One boy started telling a story and then another jumped in with something cooler to get dad’s attention. Imagine one-upping not only two other brothers, but also eleven!
Today, we get a glimpse of Joseph, the youngest, spoiled brother, being highly favored by his father. Not only was he favored, but tattled on his older siblings and lorded a dream foretelling of his reign over his brothers. He must have been cruising for a bruising!
Start this time off with a prayer that God will speak to you in this time.
Now, read Genesis 37:1-2.
In Genesis 37, we are first introduced to the 17-year-old Joseph working alongside his brothers in the family business of tending flocks. We also see what worked against Joseph and his relationship with his brothers: Jacob's favoritism.
Continue reading Genesis 37:3-4.
What kind of clothing did Joseph’s father give him? Why did Jacob give it to him?
Culturally, most clothes were made from neutral colors or one color because it was easier and cheaper to make. However, the Bible deems this coat special--above the rest. Though this coat was beautiful, we don't know exactly why! Most scholars believe it was brightly colored or greatly embroidered with detailed designs. Either way, this would have been a very expensive piece of clothing.
What reaction did this spark within his brothers? Re-read verse 4. Yikes.
Continue reading Genesis 37:5-11.
What was Joseph's dream about? (If your version says “sheaves,” those are bundles of wheat).
Draw one of the dreams out to the side. What do you think it looked like?
Why did Joseph tell his brother's his dream? What do you think his motives were?
What were Joseph's brother's reactions to the dream?
What would your reaction be if a favored sibling told you about this dream?
Think about a time you’ve been jealous. What was your reaction? What was the root of your jealousy?
How do you think God wants us to handle jealousy and favoritism?
Do you ever turn to God when you get jealous? Why or why not?
Take a moment to think through your relationships--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is there a hint of jealousy within those relationships? If so, what is it centered on?
What can you do to mend the relationship so rooted jealousy doesn’t turn into full-blown bitterness?
Take some time to journal and pray about that relationship.
I know sibling rivalries run strong. We either build ourselves up to feel superior or we feel like we walk in their shadows.
Ultimately, the Lord wants us to go to Him when we start to feel jealous. He wants to hear our hurts. He wants to take the bitterness out of our hearts.
Know that God has purposefully positioned you where you are meant to be. Just like we’ll see with Joseph, He has a bigger plan than what we can see sometimes. God has placed you with your siblings or friends for a reason. He has placed you there for influence, to learn, to be used. Each and every one of you.
Let's take those jealous tendencies that come so easily and turn them into reminders that God has an ultimate plan.