~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 35 (part 1) (reading below lesson)
Joseph was Jacob's favorite; there is no doubt about that. It was common in ancient societies for daughter's to be "overlooked" or simply not counted in stories. But Jacob had 12 sons: why is Joseph his favorite?
Question: Is it a personal preference for Joseph's character, Jacob's enduring love for Rachel, or maybe the hand of God guiding Jacob? What do you think?
The next point is one that we have hit frequently in the past and will again in the future: God can take our sinful actions and turn them to good. In the long run, Joseph being sold into Egypt is good. (Not to ruin the story, but I'm sure you've all heard it already, ha-ha)....Joseph's high position allows him to save the family from the famine.
There is also a curious doubling in this story as we will go along. Joseph has two dreams before going to Egypt. Two journeys, two dreams while he is in jail. For today, what about this story strikes you the strongest? Why?
~Reading: Genesis 35: Joseph Sold Into Slavery
(1-4) Jacob settled in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. This is his family history. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flocks with his brothers; he was an assistant to the sons of his father's wives Bilhah and Zilpah, and he brought his father bad reports about them.
Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.
(17-28) The man told him, "They [Joseph's brothers] have moved on from here; in fact, I heard them say, 'Let us go on to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan. They noticed him from a distance, and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, "Here comes that master dreamer [for Joseph had prophetic dreams]! Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We shall see them what comes of his dreams."
When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying, "We must not take his life. Instead of shedding blood," he continued, "just throw him into that cistern there in the desert; but don't kill him outright." His purpose was to rescue him from their hands and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came up to them, they stripped him of the long tunic he had on; then they took him and threw him into the cistern, which was empty and dry.
They then sat down to their meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, balm, and resin to be taken down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers: "What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites, instead of doing away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh." His brothers agreed.
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong