LastCall: Amazing Grace (Genesis 37:23-36) -Bob Caldwell

Amazing Grace

  “So Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.’ And his brothers listened.” -Genesis 37:26-27

Divine appointments are as precise as the movement of our solar system. The unseen hand of God’s sovereign power to interpose His own purposes upon the outworking of human history is amazing. God had ordained that Joseph would be placed in a series of events that would eventually place him at the highest levels of Egyptian power.

To get him started in this process, first God uses the jealousy and hate of Joseph’s brothers. Then Rueben’s intervention followed by Judah’s in this passage that resulted in selling Joseph as a slave to a caravan headed to Egypt. And it just so happens that the pit they had thrown Joseph in was located next to a major caravan route.

The thread of God’s eternal purposes for each of our lives is individually placed by God as it moves through the choices of people and the events of life. And there are times, like these graphic examples in Joseph’s life, when it’s undeniable. Undeniable yet equally unexplainable. Which is really not unlike many things in our universe we will never fully be able to explain, yet we accept them as fact.

This should hopefully result in a calming faith in the midst of events that seem totally out of control. You never know where God’s divine interruptions and appointments may take you.

Genesis 37:23-36

 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

29 Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30 And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?”

31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”

33 And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.

36 Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

v. 25 Sat Down to Eat – Shows the callousness of heart that hate and envy can create.

v. 26 What Profit“Betsa” (Heb.) A word used to describe unjust gain or plunder. Again we see the callousness of their hearts in wanting to make money from their treatment of Joseph.

v. 27 He is Our Brother – Judah’s motivation seems to be fear of divine reproof (Gen. 4:10, 9:5).

v. 28 Midianite – There is the interchange of Midianites and Ishmaelites in verses 25 through 28 because the name Ishmaelites was used at times as an inclusive term for the nomadic tribes that originated from the cousins of Israel (Judges 8:24).

v. 29 Twenty Shekels – The average price for a slave was 30 shekels of silver (Ex. 21:32). The lower purchase price was likely due to the effort of the Midianites to be able to realize a profit when they sold Joseph in Egypt.

v. 30 Where Shall I Go – Reuben was the oldest and would be held primarily responsible by Jacob for what happened to Joseph.

v. 34 Tore His Clothes – To do so along with putting on sackcloth, which was a coarse cloth that was extremely discomforting to the skin, was a sign of mourning.

v. 36 Potiphar – This is an Egyptian name that has been verified by archeological findings.

Captain of the Guard – This was the person who would be in charge of the royal bodyguard whose duties included the execution of capital sentences ordered by the king.

Devotions with Emotion

Michael James Stone

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