All My Children (Part 6)

by Joey Johnson 
December 5, 2011
Click here to read previous articles by Joey Johnson

Over the course of my childhood, God showed me things that He would do
in the future. I shared those with my parents, and thank God they
listened to me and encouraged me.

I said, “Look, the Lord is
showing me preaching to all kinds of people.” Thank God they
said, “We affirm that. We believe in that. If God is showing you
that, move towards that!” What would have happened if they had
rebuked me?

After this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their
father’s flock in Shechem. After a while, Jacob sent Joseph to
check on the welfare of his brothers. When they saw Joseph from a
distance, they plotted together to put him to death. “Here comes
that dreamer!” There has already been murder in this generation,
but now these boys want to murder their own brother. Family mess!

As an aside, I wonder how many times we murder our family members with
our mouths? “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”
(Proverbs 18:21a). When you’re not with them, do you murder their
influence and authority and character with your tongue?

But Reuben heard them plotting Joseph’s murder and rescued him
from their hands. Reuben told them not to kill him, but to merely throw
him in a pit. Reuben was planning to pull Joseph out of the pit later
and return him to his father.

When God is on our side, He orders our steps and protects us from
danger–seen and unseen. When God is on our side, He makes even
our enemies to be at peace with us!

So the other brothers pounced on Joseph when he reached them. They
stripped him of his special coat and threw him in an empty cistern. But
here’s where Reuben’s plan went wrong. As the brothers sat
down to eat, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, “Let’s not kill him. He is our
own flesh and blood, after all. No, let’s sell him.”

The other brothers thought it was a good idea, so they pulled Joseph
out of the pit and sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver.
They sold their own brother into slavery, and those traders took Joseph
to Egypt. Family mess!

Evidently, Reuben was away from the camp for some reason. When Reuben
returned, he went to the pit, only to discover that Joseph was not
there. He tore his clothes, a sign of grief and mourning. When he went
to his brothers, they came up with the plan for what to tell their

Then they took Joseph’s special coat, killed a male goat, dipped
the coat in the blood and showed it to Jacob. They asked Jacob to
identify the coat, and of course he identified it as Joseph’s.
From then on he assumed that Joseph had been killed. This turn of
events sent Jacob into deep grief and mourning, but none of the
brothers ever felt sorry enough for their father to tell him what had
happened! Codependency, dysfunctionality, family sin, and family mess!


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The Biblical World Through New Glasses: Seeing the Bible through its Cultural Context
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Publisher: St. Paul Press