BULLY BROTHERS

By: Ely Lagajino

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1Peter 5:10 (ESV)

While Joseph’s brothers were tending their flocks in a field near Shechem, fifty miles away from home, Jacob sent Joseph to visit and bring them food. Joseph found out that they went to Dothan, so he excitedly walked several miles more. 

When his brothers saw him coming with his colorful coat, they were not happy. Simeon, the ruthless brother, said, “Let’s kill him.” But Reuben, the eldest, said, “Let’s just throw him in the empty pit and leave him there.” Secretly, however, Reuben planned to rescue him later. The brothers did as Reuben commanded as he left to tend the sheep.

At lunchtime, a caravan of Ishmaelite merchants passed by.  Judah had an idea. “Let’s sell Joseph,” he suggested. They all agreed, so they took him out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. The merchants took him away to Egypt. 

Reuben felt troubled when he found the empty pit. “We sold him,” his brothers said.

In fear of their father’s anger, they agreed to deceive him by killing a goat, dipped Joseph’s coat in its blood, brought it to their father, and said, “We found this coat out in the field. Look at it, father.”

“It is my son’s coat,” Jacob sobbed, “a wild beast has eaten him,” he cried in deep anguish. Jacob’s heart was broken over the loss of Joseph yet, his sons would not tell him the terrible act they had done to their brother (Genesis 37:12-24).

Jacob should never have sent his teenage son to visit the older brothers away from home. He should have not ignored their jealousy and ill feelings toward Joseph. But Jacob, as a father, could not think that one brother would seriously hurt another.

Joseph was helpless in front of his big bullying brothers, but he remained faithful to God. He entrusted to Him all the uncertainties of his new role in life, as an overseas worker, a slave in the house of Egyptian general Potiphar, who bought him.

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