God’s Plan-Genesis 37:19-35

Genesis 37:19-35 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” 21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe — the richly ornamented robe he was wearing — 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. 29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?” 31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornamented robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
Genesi 37:19-35 Dissero l’uno all’altro: «Ecco, il sognatore arriva! 20 Forza, uccidiamolo e gettiamolo in una di queste cisterne; diremo poi che una bestia feroce l’ha divorato e vedremo che ne sarà dei suoi sogni». 21 Ruben udì e lo liberò dalle loro mani dicendo: «Non togliamogli la vita». 22 Poi Ruben aggiunse: «Non spargete sangue; gettatelo in quella cisterna che è nel deserto, ma non lo colpisca la vostra mano». Diceva così per liberarlo dalle loro mani e restituirlo a suo padre. 23 Quando Giuseppe fu giunto presso i suoi fratelli, lo spogliarono della sua veste, della veste lunga con le maniche, che aveva addosso, 24 lo presero e lo gettarono nella cisterna. La cisterna era vuota, non c’era acqua. 25 Poi si sedettero per mangiare e, alzando gli occhi, videro una carovana d’Ismaeliti che veniva da Galaad, con i suoi cammelli carichi di aromi, di balsamo e di mirra, che scendeva in Egitto. 26 Giuda disse ai suoi fratelli: «Che ci guadagneremo a uccidere nostro fratello e a nascondere il suo sangue? 27 Su, vendiamolo agli Ismaeliti e non lo colpisca la nostra mano, perché è nostro fratello, nostra carne». I suoi fratelli gli diedero ascolto. 28 Come quei mercanti madianiti passavano, essi tirarono su Giuseppe, lo fecero salire dalla cisterna, e lo vendettero per venti sicli d’argento a quegli Ismaeliti. Questi condussero Giuseppe in Egitto. 29 Ruben tornò alla cisterna; ed ecco, Giuseppe non era più nella cisterna. Allora egli si stracciò le vesti, 30 tornò dai suoi fratelli e disse: «Il ragazzo non c’è più, e io, dove andrò?» 31 Essi presero la veste di Giuseppe, scannarono un becco e intinsero la veste nel sangue. 32 Poi mandarono uno a portare al padre loro la veste lunga con le maniche e gli fecero dire: «Abbiamo trovato questa veste; vedi tu se è quella di tuo figlio o no».
     It is always interesting to notice how history seems to repeat itself. Earlier in his life, it was Jacob who was the deceiver of both his brother and his father. Although he had an encounter with God that changed him, most of his children were not devoted to God. The plot by Jacob’s sons to kill Joseph had been hatched for some time and here was the ideal opportunity to kill the dreamer and his dreams. Only Reuben, the oldest, had any sense of guilt over these actions and tried to rescue Joseph. Not having the ability to stop his brothers, he leaves as they throw Joseph into a dry cistern and then take a dinner break. What a messed-up family! 
      The salvation of Joseph comes in two ways. First, Judah who is now in charge realizes that they will need to spin a story for their father and suggests that they sell Joseph as a slave for 20 pieces of silver to the traveling band of Ishmaelites. The Ishmaelites were descendants of Abraham and Hagar and therefore relatives. The brothers have now washed their hands of Joseph and his dreams by getting what they wanted without shedding his blood. Second, the Ishmaelites saved Joseph’s life by taking him to Egypt. His life is now preserved as God begins the process of fulfilling the dreams of Joseph that may not have happened had he stayed in his father’s house. 
      As Joseph will discover in his life, God’s plan can be fulfilled as he remains faithful to God even when life isn’t fair. The same results can be ours if we too remain faithful!
Pray with me: Lord, I see how You saved Joseph from certain death and kept his dream alive. Help me to remain true to You through the good and bad knowing that nothing can impede Your plans.

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