Joseph Study | Day Four
By Brittany Green | Disposed Of
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Well, how’s your heart today? What’s going on in your world?
I’d love for us to chat it out over coffee or a cupcake, but since not all of us can, know that I’m praying for you today!
Take a couple of minutes to pray about your week: what’s been going on at school and with your friends, any weekend plans you have, what God’s teaching you this week. Just take a second to breathe and give your day over to the Lord.
Yesterday we talked a little bit about Joseph’s jealous brothers. Today we’re going to see what happens when we let bitterness and jealousy turn into action.
Let’s pick back up in Genesis 37. Read verses 12-36.
How do you feel after reading this part of Joseph’s story? What stands out to you?
It kind of stinks, right? It doesn’t seem to be going well for Joe.
Here’s the truth of the matter: God works in ways that we can’t always see. He uses unlikely circumstances to bring about His plan.
Part of that plan right now for Joseph is being kidnapped by his own brothers, thrown into a pit, stripped of his robe, and sold from his family. His life has changed in an instant. He was just supposed to go check on things and tell his father how the family business was going. But instead, he went from being the beloved son of a wealthy man to a foreign slave in an unknown land.
Joseph goes through some pretty significant things that I think we can relate to.
Look back at verses 23 & 24. What happens to Joseph there?
He’s stripped of his ____________.
He’s thrown into a _____________.
His brothers tear off this robe that was given in love from his dad. It signified favor with his father. If we look at verses 32 & 33, we see that it was used to give him identity. Jacob is asked to identify Joseph by the coat.
Sometimes life seems like the pits. We go through low times. Sometimes it feels like we have no identity. We don’t make the basketball team, so who are we now? Our friend group turns into mean girls and drops us, so now what? We break our arm so we can’t play trombone for several weeks, and then what do we do? A family member gets cancer and it’s hard. A boy breaks up with us or doesn’t even know we exist. We have pressure to do well in school, but biology is just plain hard and we get that C.
Sometimes circumstances will strip us of what we find our identity in. It feels like we’ve been thrown into a pit.
When we find our identity in a coat, a sport, grades, friends, etc. instead of Jesus, life will strip us of it and we’ll find ourselves in the pit.
But Jesus has never left us. Joseph never stopped being the beloved son. And neither do we. We are always God’s beloved daughters, no matter what we’re going through.
Check out verse 28: “And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of sliver. They took Joseph to Egypt.”
It sounds pretty lame being sold was Joseph’s way out. But did you catch it? Joseph was drawn up and lifted out of the pit. And then he went to Egypt.
Abraham was promised that his descendants would go to Egypt before returning to the Promise Land. So although Joseph is being taken from his family, God is providing a way for the Covenant to be fulfilled.
God uses our circumstances for His purposes if we let Him. He lifts us out of the pit. Romans 8:28 says it like this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What circumstance do you need to let God take control of?
What are you going through right now that seems like the pit?
Can you trust that God will lift you up out of the pit and use you for His plan? How can you give that trust to Jesus?
Take some time to pray through your circumstances. Even if they’re going well, are you using them for God’s purposes?
Before we head into tomorrow, we need to point a couple of things out:
- It’s important that we take note that the brothers all decided to throw Joseph into the pit. But Reuben is the one who saves him from being killed. However, he wanted it for his own gain. He wanted to gain favor with his father by rescuing him. Judah messes up Reuben’s plan. Judah is the one who decides to sell Joseph. Judah. What a mess! His story is full of mess and redemption, so that’s why this is significant.
- The brothers live in the shadow of their sin. Their father cannot be comforted in his grief and the brothers have to live with their guilt. Sin always comes with a price.
- Check out verse 36. Who does Joseph get sold to? What does he do as a job?
We’ll discuss those juicy details tomorrow!