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Genesis 37:12-36, Joseph is Sold

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits
— Genesis 37:19

NL Daily Devotion for Saturday, September 22, 2018


by Rev. Stefanie Fauth, Clergy Stuff

When I heard the story of poor Joseph being sold by his brothers when I was a little kid, I was horrified.  How could his brothers be so incredibly awful?

Imagine my surprise while in the production of "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this spring, my director gave the brothers some amazing motivation.  She said, "Joseph has been annoying his brothers, telling them dreams about how fancy he will be - think of what that made them feel!"

All of the sudden, I felt empathy for those poor brothers - many of us know what it's like to be in the shadow of someone with an amazing talent - it can be hard!

We worry that if someone else is amazing and shiny that we have less value - but is there just one bucket of worth that we all have to draw from? That if someone is really talented, there's less in that bucket of worth for me?

Thankfully, it doesn't work that way.  It can be hard to let others shine - but we can rest assured that someone else's worth doesn't diminsh our own.

And if we get jelous, perhaps we can handle it a little better than Joseph's brothers...

Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Genesis 37:12-36

Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’“ So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him” —that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father.

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. He returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn?”

Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. They had the long robe with sleeves taken to their father, and they said, “This we have found; see now whether it is your son’s robe or not.” He recognized it, and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father bewailed him. Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

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