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Joseph And His Brothers "It's Not Fair"

Joseph And His Brothers "It's Not Fair"

Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19 Text: Genesis 37:1-35 Introduction

Today, I want to tell you one chapter in a tragic story that has a happy ending.

It is the story of Joseph. Bad things happened, but Good things happened because of the bad.

What we must understand is that Joseph, His brothers, and His father did not know the good until many years later. There is history to this story, but we will begin when Joseph is 17.

1. It Was "Not Fair"For The Brothers

Genesis 37:1-11

Jacob Favored Joseph. It wasn't an accusation, it was the truth! It is easy to understand why

the brothers were so angry with him.

Genesis 37:4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his

brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Sometimes our children think we are "mean"to them.

Let Bobbie Pingaro explain this tomyou:**

**We Had The Meanest Mother In The Whole World! written by Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds.

Then, life was really tough! Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them.

While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property, or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all God-fearing, educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that's what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean parents anymore.

Yet, it was true for Joseph. Jacob favored him over the other 11 brothers. v. 3 says it was because he was "the son of his old age,"I can't help but think it was because he was the firstborn of his favorite wife, and not one of the children of the woman his father-in-law tricked him into marrying. Whatever the reason, they did not deserve it.

Joseph Dreamed Dreams. It did not help Joseph much to tell his brothers about the dreams he had. There is no doubt it emphasized to them that he was arrogant and spoiled.

Genesis 37:8 his brothers said to him, "Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?"So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Obviously, this was a dysfunctional family.

Yet, what seemed unfair to the brothers, would have greater significance later.

2. It Was "Not Fair" For Joseph

Genesis 37:18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.

Thankfully Rueben stopped their plan.

Genesis 37:22-24 And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him" that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

However, in Rueben's absence, Judah suggested they sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites. So they did and received a little less than $300.

Genesis 37:28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Whether Joseph was a spoiled brat, or just a typical teenager, he did not deserve this. Yet, what seemed unfair to Joseph, would have greater significance later.

3. It Was "Not Fair" For Jacob

I know Bill Cosby makes a funny when he said, "I brought you into this world; I can take you out." Really, no loving parent wants to outlive their children. It is not the "natural order of things."

But we all know what happened.

They nearly killed him,thankfullyRueben stopped them from it.

On Judah's advice,they sold Joseph into slavery,making money on the venture.

Then, they lied about his death, crushing the spirit of Jacob.

Genesis 37:31-35 (READ)

Maybe the Law of Moses was not yet in affect, but they certainly did not honor their father. I'm assuming Benjamin was not in on the secret: How 10 brothers could keep their

composure during a lie like that is beyond me. What a cruel thing his sons did to him. He may

not have been the best parent in the world, but he did not deserve that. Yet, what seemed unfair to Jacob, would have greater significance later.


Maybe circumstances gave reason for all of them to say, "It's not fair."It was at least 20 years before they would see him again. As we read the story, we see the guilt that they felt for that whole time because of this one event.

They thought all of the trouble they were encountering was happening because God

wanted to punish them.

When in reality, he wanted to save them.

In 1937 Walt Disney released the first full-length animated movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Producing an animated movie was a gargantuan task. Disney artists drew over one million pictures. Each picture flashed onto the screen for a mere one-twenty-fourth of a second. As we watch the movie run at regular speed, it seems so simple. We have no idea all that goes into it. Our lives are like that movie. God puts infinite thought, skill and careful attention into every detail. Yet as our lives run at "regular speed,"we have no idea how much God's providence fills every second.

So, what may seem unfair to us, is part of His plan to save us and also to save the world. Maybe this understanding can help us through some things that seem unfair to us.

Maybe you have a sibling that seems to receive preferential treatment. Maybe there seems to be a teacher's pet in your class

Maybe the boss gave the promotion, you deserve, to someone else

It was, certainly, "not fair"that Jesus went to the Cross, He didn't deserve it; we did. But, thank God, He did it, so that many could be saved.


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