1. The Commission of Joseph v. 12-17
a. obedient when he knew his brothers hated him
b. kindness to his brethren. Though he knew they hated him and envied him, yet he went to see if his brothers were well. Do you love those that hate you? Shechem is about 60 kilometers. There were previously fights with Shechemites. But then goes to Dothan (another 15 kilometers); he could have returned but out of love, he goes.
2. The Crime of His Brothers v. 18-24
a. premeditated sin
b. they sinned against Joseph and Jacob
c. Only Rueben and Judah have a conscious (although not much of one)
3. The Conspiracy of Their Sin. v. 25-28
a. 10 against 1
b. They were away from home
c. They saw him afar off, they conspired. They had their chance. v.20 “kill him and throw him in a cistern and say wild animals devoured him.” Nothing less than murder would satisfy them (1 John 3:15) It is bad to do evil, but worse to plan it (Prov 29:10).
d. Reuben comes to his rescue. Rueben had more reason to be jealous of Joseph, because he was the first-born, and was entitled to favors which Jacob was conferring on Joseph.
e. After the sin, they sat down to eat a meal (v. 25). How heartless! The cistern was used by shepherds to supply water for their flocks in the dry season. A stone covered it. Joseph was left to die.
f. They realize that it would be better to sell him than to leave him to die. Why? Because this would prove that the dreams of Joseph never happen if he was a slave
4. The Cover-up of their Sin v. 29-33
a. The lie (told by all the brothers) Joseph was torn in pieces by a wild beast.
b. The pretending to mourn (v. 35) He that covers his sin shall not prosper long (Prov. 28:13)
The Bible speaks of two main types of sin.
1. Someone who falls into temptation and sins
2. Someone who intentionally sins (this episode is a story of intentional sin)
Lessons for Life
1. Intentional sin leads to more sin.
2. Intentional sin rejects repentance.
3. Intentional sin ignores the conscience.
4. Intentional sin hides other sins.
5. Intentional sin fakes a spiritual life.
1 John 1:8-10 “If”, “If”, “If”