Genesis 37 begins the last section of Genesis. Chapters 37-50 is the Joseph Narrative. It is an amazing account of how God continues to fulfill his Eternal Plan of Redemption and is a great picture of the Ultimate Redeemer, Jesus. Much is often made of how Joseph was a brat and arrogant in sharing his dream with his brothers. However, no where in all of the Bible is Joseph condemned for sharing his dream. In fact, when reading the entire Joseph Narrative we see Joseph to be a humble man with integrity. The context of Joseph’s life should lead to the conclusion that he did not have evil or prideful intentions when sharing his dream with his brothers. The evil was found in his brothers’ response. They ended up throwing him into a pit and selling him to some Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar. The thing that stuck out to me while reading this morning was Reuben and his response to the plan. Many of Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him, but Reuben said no. He convinced them to throw Joseph into a pit instead of killing him, because Reuben wanted him to be restored to his father (v. 22). Judah agreed with Reuben not to kill Joseph. They ended up selling him to the Ishmaelites when Reuben was not around and Reuben was heart broken when he returned and discovered they had sold Joseph. At this point Reuben looks like a great guy who loved his brother – and he was. However, when the brothers made up the story to tell their father about Joseph – Reuben remains silent. He goes along with the lie that brought much grief to their father. Reuben goes from wanting to save Joseph, to wanting to save his own skin. He goes along with the lie for years and years, until it is Joseph who graciously reveals himself to his brothers. Reuben is not unlike most people who once they see that the truth might hurt them, they are happy to lie to escape the consequences of their actions. Lord, protect me from self-centeredness that will sin to get its way. Thank You for Jesus who was selfless so that I might have life and be given the power to be selfless as well.
– Bryan McKenzie