Genesis 37:1-11 The Journal of Joseph (Part 1)

Genesis 37:1-11 The Journal of Joseph (Part 1)

          We begin now a series of messages from the Journal of Joseph. Gen. 30:22 His birth- Joseph means increase. In Joseph’ experiences, we see issues of jealousy, pride, deception, slavetrade, faith, revelation, and deliverance. We see both the good and some of the failures of the patriarchs of the OT but very few of Joseph. Jacob had 12 sons. He worked for 7 years to marry Rachael but had to marry Leah. Then 7 more for Rachael. Jacob had 10 sons from Leah and 2 sons from Rachael. He loved Rachael and Joseph became his favorite.

1. The Commitment of Joseph

Joseph (17 yr.old) was a shepherd working with Bilhah and Zilpah. He reported as a faithful steward (not gossip). We don’t know what they did. The same word is used in 1 Samuel 2:24 when Eli hears a bad report of his sons. What do we do when we see and hear about sins in other people? The answer lies is the way we respond. What did Joseph do? He went to his father. He probably warned them but the Bible doesn’t say that.

 2. The Care of Joseph

Jacob did love all his children. In his blessing in Gen. 49, he blessed them all and gives Judah the Messiah’s line. He is hated by his brothers. They could not speak a kind word (Heb. peaceable). Translation- they shouted at him. His father made things worse. His expensive coat was the final act. Patched colors sown together of expensive materials on a robe. The real reason they hated Joseph is because he would not join them in their sins. He was tender and obedient. His brothers would not go with him so Bilhah and Zilpah went and Joseph saw their bad report (ra– evil). Believers and the world – the world may antagonize and hate us.

 3. The Coat of Joseph

When parents make a difference in their children, the children soon take notice. Sibling rivalry happens. Was God intervening here as an answer to the brothers hatred? God gave Joseph dreams and interpretations. He tries to reach out to his brothers by telling them a dream. Was Joseph trying to get even with them? They would not speak to him so he went to them. He could have kept the dreams to himself. Joseph dreamed of his honor, but he did not dream of his imprisonment. The brothers with their hatred could not see anything in the dreams but his own ambition and pride. Even the father was grieved by the second dream.

3 major causes of jealousy or envy

1. Possessions. Joseph was envied because his father favoured him. Asaph was “envious at the foolish,” when he “saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Ps 73:3). David says it in Ps 37:1-7.

2. Plans. Joseph was envied because of the destiny foretold by his dreams. They resent his presuming to have his plan higher than theirs. The happiness of other men is poison to the envious man.

3. Piety. Joseph was envied because he stayed away from his brothers’ sins. It is not so now? Mark 15:10 Envy torments and destroys one’s self and will grow in intensity. Joseph’s brethren hatred grew more and more. 1 Peter 2:1, Proverbs 27:4.

4. The Commission of Joseph was faithful to his calling

In Joseph we see a combination of grace and power. In David we find a similar grace of character, and a similar personal superiority. David played music and Joseph dreamed dreams. Joseph is more self-controlled than David with his personal purity. In Daniel we see his equal ability to Joseph’s in dealing with foreigners and his gift of a dreams and visions. Joseph had a strenth of power which enabled him to be trusting and faithful in difficult circumstances. Daniel would certainly have borne manfully but probably in a sterner and more passive mode. Joseph inherited Abraham’s dignity and capacity, Isaac’s purity and power of self-devotion, Jacob’s cleverness and tenacity.


  1. Regardless of how you feel you have been treated, you are loved by God and He has no favorites.
  2. A jealousy believer looks only to what he/she doesn’t have and not to what God has for them.
  3. Jealousy leads to broken relationships and ultimately hatred.

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