November 3, 2022
“Then they took him (Joseph) and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat a meal. They looked up and there was a caravan...”
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“Then they took him (Joseph) and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat a meal. They looked up and there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balm, and resin going down to Egypt.” Genesis 37:24-25
The notion that Joseph did not work and was simply a young snitch in a pretty coat is off base. Joseph was wearing a coat given to those in authority. Joseph, though younger, was supervising his brothers.
At 17 years old, Joseph had already shown the giftedness of being a good steward. His stewardship giftedness, combined with his gift of prophecy and interpretation, eventually saved his life. It also saved the nation of Egypt and the seed of Israel. But at the time, those gifts stirred-up envy among his brothers that grew to hatred and eventual violence.
Envy is pride, wounded in competition.
Question: Is there a brother or sister in your life against whom you are competing? Seize this moment to acknowledge your submission to the Lord’s plans for the person you are competing against. It may be that God will grant that person success you will never obtain. It is important that you understand God has not rejected you but simply has another path for you.
Perhaps you are successful and feel the pressure of someone else’s envy. I warn you that relational conflict will come, even when you completely follow the Lord…or even because you are following the Lord. Even among God’s children, envy arises. Dare I say hardship is part of God’s plan? It was for Joseph and his brothers.
The point: Remain faithful, even during unjust opposition. The true “shalom” of Jesus is not the absence of conflict for believers. Rather, it is the presence of peace in the midst of conflict that passes understanding.
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this World. Be courageous! I have conquered the World.” John 16:33
God’s provision is somewhat hidden in the text concerning the Ishmaelites. These traders were coming from Gilead. The very Ishmaelite merchants Joseph was sold to, no doubt, carried that famous Gilead balm that would aid in Joseph’s healing from the wounds inflicted by his brothers.
Even when circumstances overwhelm us, Adonai Yir’eh, God provides.