12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied. 14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?” 17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” 21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels[a] of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
God has revealed His plan to Joseph through two dreams, and in turn, Joseph tells his brothers how great he will be. He may be insignificant to them now, but he more-or-less tells them that his time is coming – that he will be greater than all of them! Maybe Joseph was tired of being teased for being Dad’s favourite? Maybe he was just trying to get them off his back? Who knows? Whatever the case, now they hate him even more. They mock him and speak against him. They devise a plan to kill him but end up putting him in a cistern/pit instead. In the end they sell him off. They think they have dealt with him and put an end to this ridiculous idea.
But oddly enough, it all fits into God’s plan.
As I reflect on this, I can’t help but think of all these different parts: the brothers who don’t believe Joseph and plot against him; Rueben who could’ve and should’ve done something but didn’t; the pit where it could’ve ended before it even started.
But as Joseph lived his life, he chose not to focus on the naysayers, the weak or the pit. Instead, he lives by God’s revelation in his heart.
As I read this and live my life, I have to ask myself, what part am I choosing to focus on? The odd bits or the God bit?
Father God, I thank you that Your plans for me are good. Help me to live by Your word and not to focus on the odd bits.
Written by Gab Martin