Exploring the Impact of Joseph’s Story on Contemporary Life

There is a country song that was out in the early 1990’s. The gist of the song is that a man comes home early one morning after being out all night. His wife has been waiting for him. He tells her that he came home late and, to avoid disturbing her, he slept outside in a hammock in the backyard. She catches him in a lie, stating that she put the hammock in the attic last week. He continues to give up excuses but eventually gives in and tells her the truth. 

Throughout his discussion, he continually says, “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” No doubt some of you may have heard the song. Now, the song’s video is humorous, but it is not the song or the meaning of the song that I mentioned. It is the repeated phrase that the man uses. “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

I would like to discuss part of that phrase, “That’s my story.” When we think about it, we all have a story that we can tell. Some might be true, some may be a little bit exaggerated, and some might be false. Is it a story that involves our whole life or just specific parts of it? It could be that our story revolves around certain chapters of the book of our life and not the whole book.

Today, we will look at someone who, due to no fault of his own, was hated by his own family, left for dead, sold into slavery, but emerged to rule a land and save a nation. This story stretches through thirteen chapters, but we will only look at the beginning chapter and then a portion of the last chapter.

The Beginning

Genesis 37:1-36

Joseph was one of Jacob’s twelve children. And in an unfortunate way, he was clearly the favorite. Detested by his siblings for this, Joseph was offered into slavery but later arose as leader of all of Egypt. We learn from Joseph how stalwart character and profound wisdom are developed, no matter how unfair the suffering is.

Everyone in Joseph’s time wore a coat or cloak. Cloaks were used to keep one warm, pack one’s belongings for a trip, wrap babies, sit on, and even provide collateral for loans. Most cloaks were plain, short-sleeved, and knee-length. Joseph, on the other hand, wore an ankle-length coat with long sleeves and bright colors. The coat exacerbated relations that were already strained between Joseph and his brothers and became a symbol of Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph. Although family favoritism is inevitable, its divisive effects should be minimized. While parents cannot change how they feel about their favorite child, they can change how they treat the other siblings.

Isn’t it good to know that there is no respect for persons with God? (Romans 2:11-16)

Verses 6-11:

Joseph told his brothers of a dream that he had. The possibility of being ruled by their younger brother had already enraged Joseph’s brothers. After that, Joseph’s boastful and immature demeanor fed the fire. A braggart makes no one happy. Joseph learned a lesson in the most difficult way possible. To get rid of him, his irate brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph picked up a valuable lesson after experiencing hardship for several years. Since our gifts, talents, and knowledge come from God, it means much more to thank Him than to boast about them (Genesis 41:16).

Verses 19-20:

Is it possible that jealousy can make us want to kill someone? Prior to saying that it would not, let us see what occurred in this story. Ten men were ready to kill their little brother over a cloak and a couple of revealed dreams. They were completely oblivious to what was right because their intense jealousy had caused them to be infuriated. Because our reasons for jealousy appear to make sense, it can be difficult to recognize it. But if jealousy goes uncontrolled, it can quickly increase and can direct us to commit more significant sins. It is more difficult to eradicate feelings of jealousy the longer we cultivate them. When we start to notice, ourselves trying to keep track of what others may be the point when we need to control our jealousy.

Verses 26-30:

Now we see that because the brothers were concerned about having to bear the responsibility for Joseph’s death, Judah suggested a wrong option that would absolve them of any responsibility for the murder. We may sometimes accept a solution because it seems the least wrong between two options, but it is still not the best course of action. At the point when somebody proposes a serviceable arrangement, we ought to initially inquire as to whether it is correct.

Even though Joseph’s brothers did not actually kill him, they did not think that he would be a slave for so long. They were more than happy to let savage slave traders do for them what they did not do. Probably chained and walking through the desert for thirty days, Joseph faced the challenge. Once in Egypt, he would be sold as a piece of property and treated like luggage. Undoubtedly, his brothers believed that he would be gone for good and that they would never have to see him again. (What a sad thought about one’s family.)

After that, Reuben went back to the pit to look for Joseph, but the younger brother was gone. What would happen to him was his initial response. His thought was about himself, “Where shall I go?” (“Whither shall I go?”), rather than asking, “What will happen to our brother Joseph?” Do we always worry about ourselves when we are in a demanding situation? We are more likely to find a solution if we consider the person who is most affected by the issue.

Verses 31-36:

To cover their underhanded activity, Jacob’s children tricked their dad into believing that Joseph had died. According to

LISTEN: Let Our Bible Study Expert Help You Start the New Year Right!

Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Whether you pick a word each year or never have before, I think this episode will help you order your life in the year to come. If you don’t know what your word is, today might be a great day for you to hear some of the things that we are promised in Christ that you in faith can claim for yourself for 2024. Keep in mind, each of these words requires faith.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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