God promised Abraham multiple descendants and a homeland to bless the world. The fulfillment would come through Abraham’s son, Isaac and not Ishmael, and through Isaac’s son Jacob and not Esau. Jacob disguised himself as Esau, so that Isaac gave Jacob the Abrahamic blessing (Gen.12:1-3). Esau planned to kill Jacob, so Jacob went to live with his Uncle Laban and eventually married Laban’s two daughters, Rachel and Leah. Jacob had twelve sons through Leah, Rachel and their maidservants. Rachel, Jacob’s beloved wife, gave birth to Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, and later Rachel died while giving birth to Jacob’s twelfth son, Benjamin (35:18-19). This takes us to the story of Joseph and his brothers in Canaan (Genesis 37, 39:1-6). Watch or listen to the story and read the comments below. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mubnjdy7mmy7pe5/13.%20Jospeh%20and%20his%20brothers%20in%20Canaan..MP3?dl=0
Jacob and his family were settling down in Canaan, their promised homeland. When Joseph, Jacob’s son through his beloved wife Rachel, was seventeen he brought Jacob a bad report about his brothers. Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons and gave Joseph a special robe. Joseph’s brothers resented their father favoring Joseph and the bad report about them didn’t help (Gen. 37:2, 5, 9). Jacob’s father Isaac had favored his brother Esau and now we find Jacob doing the same thing. Like Isaac and Ishmael and Jacob and Esau before them now we find the sons of Jacob at odds with one another.
Joseph had two relatively straight forward dreams. The brothers were gathering wheat when Joseph’s bundle stood upright while the bundles of his brothers bowed down to it. In the second dream the sun and moon and eleven stars bow before Joseph. His brothers understood from the dream that Joseph planned to rule over them and they hated Joseph all the more. Even Jacob rebuked Joseph for suggesting that Jacob and Rachel would also bow before Joseph. Joseph seemed oblivious to how his dreams affected his family. The dreams stirred up jealousy and hatred in his brothers but Jacob kept the matter in mind (See Luke 2:51).
Now Jacob sent Joseph to check up on his brothers while they were grazing their flocks in Shechem (Gen.34). Joseph was wandering around in the fields when a man told Joseph that his brothers had gone on to Dothan. When his brothers see Joseph approaching they plotted to kill Joseph and put an end to his dreams. They would kill Joseph, throw him in a cistern and say he was killed by a wild animal. Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob through Leah, persuaded the brothers not to kill Joseph. He wanted them to throw Joseph in the cistern so he could rescue him and return Joseph to their father (37:19-22). Ironically, Joseph was helped by the Canaanite man only to be betrayed by his own brothers.
When Joseph arrived, his brothers tore off his robe and threw him into the cistern. As they sat down to eat some Ishmaelite traders passed by on their way to Egypt. Judah suggests that it would be more profitable for them to sell Joseph as a slave than to kill him. So they sell Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites who take Joseph to Egypt (37:26-28). When Reuben returned to the cistern Joseph was gone. Reuben was the firstborn but he slept with his father’s third wife Bilhah, and Jacob found out (29:32, 35:22). Rescuing his fathers’ favorite son might put Reuben back in his father’s favor. However, Reuben’s leadership and his plan proved to be futile (37:29). Reuben went to his brothers who dipped Joseph’s robe in goat’s blood so that it would look like a like a wild animal had killed Joseph.
The brothers took the bloody the robe to their father to identify. Jacob concluded that Joseph had been torn to pieces by a wild animal so Jacob mourned for Joseph. Then the brothers who had caused their father’s grief tried unsuccessfully to comfort him. Jacob said he would go to his grave grieving the loss of son, Joseph. Meanwhile, the Ishmaelites sold Joseph to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Joseph became a slave in Egypt but the LORD was with Joseph. The Lord blessed everything Joseph did so Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his household. Then the Lord blessed everything in Potiphar’s house so he only concerned himself with the food he ate. Joseph was a slave in Egypt, but God was with Joseph and made him successful even in his adversity. God even used the malicious acts of his brothers to preserve Jacob’s family and to accomplish His plan for them.
Through adversity Joseph acted honourably and at the right time God honoured Joseph. In a similar fashion the Lord Jesus would rejected by his people, betrayed by a brother, and sold for a few pieces of silver. Yet God would see Jesus’ suffering and in time God would exalt Jesus for the good of his people (John 1:11, Isa.53:11, Phil.2:8-9).