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Genesis 37:1-11, Joseph's Dreams of Greatness

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

“There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”
— Genesis 37:7

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, September 21, 2018

 sheaves of corn

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Ah, sibling rivalry. A story as old as time, it appears. Joseph was the youngest of the clan and the favorite of Jacob. Before we even learn anything more about Joseph's story, he (at the age of 17) had a dream that indicated that his brothers, and then a second dream that his parents all bowed down to him. If it was me, I might keep such a dream to myself. But Joseph had no problem sharing his dream with his entire family. This little kid (compared to his siblings), who had never done any truly hard work in his life, who was revered by his father and lavished with gifts, put his foot in his mouth when he declared his vision of being greatest among them.

Joseph is about to have a long and difficult journey ahead. But for now, we leave him simmering in the pot he himself lit to boil. With family is not always the safest place to be.


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Genesis 37:1-11

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words. He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

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