There was disdain that the brothers had built toward Joseph; legitimately it could be called hatred. Joseph was his father’s favourite and his brother’s bane. When Joseph was sent to check on his brothers, and they spotted him coming a long way off, they plotted to kill him. Well, most of them.
Joseph was sent by his father to see how the brothers were making out with the family business of shepherding. They had relocated many kilometers away, and in a day with no communication resources, Joseph was the communicator between home/dad and his sons.
A couple of these brothers had previously committed mass murder, it was in their history, and now all but one brother was ready to kill Joseph. Rueben pleaded and they compromised by attacking Joseph, stripping him of his robe, and throwing him into a waterless pit. No sooner did Joseph hit the bottom that they sat down and ate their meal. Heartless. It was just another day in their wilderness, tending sheep.
The brothers, with the exception of Rueben intended to leave Joseph there to die.
Joseph was guilty. Of what? He was guilty of previously sharing his dreams and goals as he tried to find a place within the family dysfunction. He was also guilty of receiving an inordinate amount of favouritism from his father. He had the robe, the Dreamcoat to prove it. Joseph was the firstborn son of Rachel, the wife that Jacob had loved more than the other wives.
Animosity was not new to this brood. The family’s distain and contempt had been growing for a long time.
Unaware and totally naive, Joseph walked straight into the ambush. He was the easy target of a family that was full of anger, disunity, unrest, and deception.
Insult to injury, the brothers had a twisted moment of conscience. They decided, rather than kill him, sell him to a traveling caravan of Ishmaelite’s.
Joseph sold for eight ounces of silver. At today’s price, his life was worth $147.52.
For Joseph, this was not a good day. However, he was able, through thirteen years of processing, to get an accurate perspective. But, it was equally not a good day for his brothers. They just didn’t know it yet.
Much later Joseph said this before he died, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20, NIV)
You Don’t Have To Live: You Get To!