Daily reading: Genesis 37:3-8, 12-16, 17b-22, 26-34; 50:15-21
Tuesday September 27, 2016

Focus passage: They saw Joseph in the distance before he got close to them, and they plotted to kill him. Genesis 37:18

The brothers have had enough. When Joseph comes to check on them in while they are out with the family’s flock, all dolled up in his fancy coat, they decide they need to kill him.  The oldest Reuben tries to slow them down, he offers up an alternative to killing their brother, a compromise, he says perhaps we should just throw him in a pit, thinking that they all may cool off and in the end Joseph would learn a lesson. 

Without Reuben present, things quickly spiral out of control.  They take Joseph’s coat and throw him into the pit, in essence taking his lofty, arrogant presence and placing him literally beneath them.   A caravan of Ishmaelites pass by on their way to Egypt and the brothers get it in their heads that it is a really good idea to sell Joseph for 20 pieces of silver and that is the last we hear of Joseph in this passage.

They then take the tangible sign of favoritism, Joseph’s coat and return it to their father.  No longer new, it is now ripped and soaked in the blood of an animal.  This one act tricks Jacob into believing that his beloved Joseph is dead and his heart is broken.

There is much we can learn from this story.  One primary lesson is how we allow jealousy to poison us.  Take time to think about the ways in which you allow jealously to enter into your thinking and your actions. 

Prayer: Faithful God, thank you for your sure and constant presence in my life.  Help me to turn to you when I struggle with my relationships.  Amen.


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