Sold into Slavery – Genesis 37:1-36
This week we get to look at one of the most colorful (literally!) characters in the Old Testament, Joseph. Joseph is world-famous for his “Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and his story of brokenness, slavery, integrity and reconciliation that will unfold as you read the texts this week.
Clearly, Joseph’s family is not the model of healthy family relationships. Jacob shows favoritism (v. 3), Joseph displays arrogance (vv. 2-9), and the brothers demonstrate jealousy (vv. 4, 11) and hatred (vv. 4, 5, 8). The progression of events from Joseph boasting to his brothers selling him into slavery and lying to their father is the stuff that reality TV shows are made of today!
As much as we might like to pin the blame on someone, Joseph’s story reminds us that broken relationships usually require the participation of more than one person! In other words, “it takes two to tango!” (And in this case, there’s plenty of tango for the whole family!) While we might easily see ourselves as the victim, it’s important for us to recognize our own participation in the problems that led to fractured fellowship.
At the same time, this story reminds us that God can even use our broken situations to bring glory to His Name. As we will see this week, Joseph’s story doesn’t end in the bottom of that well. Instead, God brings about reconciliation in Joseph’s family, and food for many people on earth. While God is not the source of all our pain, we can trust that God will never waste a hurt, but can use it for His glory.
How has God redeemed the brokenness in your life and family?
Grace to cover all my sin.
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the Fountain art;
Freely let me take of Thee.
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.