Skip to main content

Dreaming and losing: Genesis 37

Ever think your family doesn't like you?

Try being Joseph. Genesis 37 (link) recounts the first portions of his story, and those portions are just not pretty. You've got parental favoritism, sibling rivalry, snitches, attempted murder, and selling your brother into slavery.

Given the plethora of material in this chapter, it's been the source of many sermons. What should we focus on to make one blog post?

Let's consider this: the beginning of the chapter has Joseph recounting his dreams to his family. He has dreamed that his brothers will bow down to him, that his whole family will bow down to him. Perhaps not exactly: the first dream was that his brothers' sheaves of wheat bowed down and the second that the Sun, Moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him. It's a good guess, though, that these dreams meant what his family took them to stand for.

So, what do his brothers do? Throw him in a well and sell him into slavery. That will bring his dreams to nothing, right?

Wrong.

Yet the path to the fulfillment of those dreams takes a long time and a hard road. Dreams do not always come true easily. There's a good deal about that here, but it develops over the years and chapters. We'll get through more of that.

There is another point here that I think is worth noting, especially in these days.

Take a look at Genesis 37:22 and consider Reuben. Reuben has the best of intentions: he wants to save his brother from death. What he did not consider was Judah in Genesis 37:26 and the greed of his brothers. Reuben's efforts were stymied because he wanted to keep peace, save his brother, and not be noticed in his effort.

And he failed.

Do not underestimate the impact and power that greed holds for people. Waiting to do what is right until a more convenient time for you will put you at risk of failing to get anything done.

When we consider how we live our lives, how we pick our political candidates, and what we do within our churches, we need to remember this. The delays we take in the name of convenience or expediency will be the undoing of our good intentions.

Quit waiting for it to be an easy moment to do what's right and get to it.

Also not to be forgotten is the biblical mention of Alabama: Genesis 37:17. But that's another discussion.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…