October 6, 2020

Joseph At Home
Genesis 30; 35:19; 37:11
Joseph had 10 older brothers one younger brother and a sister. Since Joseph had four wives, all fiercely competitive to give him sons, his children were relatively close in age. Joseph lived in a disorderly home, for his father and mother doted on Joseph, and his older brothers detested him. Let us take a closer look at this home.
First, there was his mother, a very beautiful woman, and one who ruled supreme in Jacob’s heart. Doubtless she shielded her beloved Joseph  from the malice of his older brothers.  She died, however, when Joseph was about seventeen years of age, and brokenhearted Joseph was thrown to the wolves. His father was in a fog of loneliness and unhappiness over the death of his dear Rachel and seemed unaware of Joseph’s peril.
Then there was Joseph’s aunt, Leah, a plain-faced woman. Jacob had never loved her with the passion with which he loved Rachel. In fact, she had married Jacob by being party to a trick promoted by her father, Laban. Many a time, likely enough, Joseph would find Leah crying in some remote corner of the farm. Never let yourself be used against your better judgment is the lesson of Leah. Never do someone a wrong just because that is the easy way out of a difficult situation. That was a lesson Joseph learned well and which stood him in good stead when he was confronted by Potiphar’s wife.
And what about Grandpa Laban? What a fierce, grasping, unscrupulous, vindictive old man he was. Joseph saw clearly that Laban loved things and used people. Joseph learned from that. Joseph used things and loved people. Moreover, Laban was more than half a pagan. Watching Laban bow down to graven images taught Joseph the folly of idolatry- a valuable lesson when later he was brought into contact with the gross polytheism of Egypt, and was married to the daughters if a pagan priest.
Joseph discovered what a bad lot some of his older brothers were. He was with the four slave-born sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. They were an unscrupulous quartet. Once out of sight of Jacob’s encampment, they were up to all kinds of devilry ~ When Joseph refused to conform to their wicked ways, doubtless, they threatened him: “Don’t you dare tell, you smug young psalm singer. We’ll kill you.” Joseph ignored their threats and told the truth about them. He learned thus how to take a lonely, unpopular stand for God no matter what.
His oldest brother, Reuben, was no help either. He had neither character nor courage. Joseph was doubtless aware of Reuben’s adulterous affair with Bilhah, one of his father’s wives. The sordid business, and Reubens consequent lifelong fear of being found out, taught Joseph the high price of immorality. He vowed to steer clear of that kind of thing, at all costs. The Price tag was too high. 
As for Simeon and Levi, Joseph had good cause to fear the pair of them. Simeon was a cruel man, and Levi was even worse for he had a touch of the fanatic about him.
Then there was calculating Judah. “What’s in it for me?” was his motto. He was the one who suggested selling Joseph into slavery for twenty silver pieces. No doubt he was motivated by the fear that Jacob would give the double portion of the birthright blessing to Joseph. Judah would have had designs on that for himself.
And what about Dinah, Joseph’s only sister? Well, she was seduced as a result of some clandestine trips to the nearby town of Schechem and by the friendships she forged with the unsaved. Terrible, indeed, were the consequences. Joseph learned the lesson well—playday is followed by payday.
But the dominating member of the family, when all was said and done, was Jacob. Joseph was into his teens, and old enough to learn the value of a new life in Christ, when Jacob came to the Jabbok and was changed from Jacob to Israel. All these things molded and made Joseph, as God knew they would. That is why He put Joseph in that family. He has equally good reasons for putting us in ours.
100 Devotions for Leaders – 2008 by John Phillips – Published by Regal Publications Grand Rapids, Michigan
Pastor Lee’s Thoughts: God placed us all in our unique families and we can certainly relate to some of what Joseph was experiencing with those in his family. We may not always understand what God is doing in our lives when it comes to our families, however we need to constantly learning from our family in order to grow in our relationship with the Lord! Also remember that God has given us an AMAZING church family and the family of God! 

Leave a Reply