Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jealousy's Rotten Fruit

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 37:12-36

TO CHEW ON: “... So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.” (Genesis 37:17b,18)

Joseph’s brothers were far away from home, herding their father’s flocks. One day Joseph’s father Israel (also called Jacob) sent Joseph to see how his brothers were getting along. Finish the story by filling in the answers from the words at the bottom:

When Joseph was still far away his brother recognized him and planned to 1. _______ (Genesis 37:20).
When he got there they 2. ________ and 3. _________ (Genesis 37:23,24).
But they didn’t kill him. Instead they 4. ____________ (Genesis 37:27)

threw him in a cistern
stripped off his coat
sold him to the Ishmaelites
kill him

Jealousy grew in Joseph’s brothers from hatred to thoughts of murder. Our jealous thoughts can grow in the same way. But that doesn’t have to happen. Instead we can take our jealous feelings to God. We can ask for His help to work through them.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to deal with jealousy in my life. Amen.

MORE: Dealing with the jealousy monster

Here are some ways to deal with jealousy. Cross out the one that doesn’t belong.

1. Admit your jealousy and call it what it is – sin (Galatians 5:19, 20,21).

2. Ask for God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

3. Ask God for wisdom to deal with jealous feelings (James 1:5).

4. Accept yourself as God made you (Romans 12:3-8).

5. Accept that it’s okay to be jealous once in a while because the temptation is hard to resist, and no one is perfect (1 Corinthians 10:13).

6. Accept the circumstances of your life (including the thing that makes you jealous) as something God can turn into good (Romans 8:28).


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Скив said...

What do you think, please, of Obadiah Shoher's interpretation of the story? (here: ) He takes the text literally to prove that the brothers played a practical joke on Yosef rather than intended to murder him or sell him into slavery. His argument seems fairly strong to me, but I'd like to hear other opinions.

violet said...

Hi CKNB - thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

As for the alternate interpretation of the story - it is interesting but I can't say I agree. The Bible I use (NIV - English) says quite clearly that the brothers' intention was to kill Joseph (Genesis 37:20: "Come now let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him.") Doesn't sound like a practical joke to me.

Reuben bought some time by arguing against taking his life and throwing him into the cistern or pit. Judah also had second thoughts vs. 26: "What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood."

When the caravan of traders came along, it must have seemed like a happy coincidence to the brothers. Here was a perfect opportunity to get rid of this pesky brother without lifting a hand against him.

It appears to me though, that their feelings against Joseph far surpassed playing a mean practical joke on him. They wanted him out of their lives one way or another. Some of them at least were willing to commit murder to make it happen. It's a story full of warnings about what can happen when we give jealousy and hatred a place in our hearts.