In our time together today we are going to begin our study of Joseph and his brothers from Genesis 37:2-11.
2 This is the story of Jacob. The story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping out his brothers in herding the flocks. These were his half brothers actually, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought his father bad reports on them.3–4 Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the child of his old age. And he made him an elaborately embroidered coat. When his brothers realized that their father loved him more than them, they grew to hate him—they wouldn’t even speak to him.5–7 Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.”8 His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.9 He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: “I dreamed another dream—the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!”10–11 When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: “What’s with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?” Now his brothers were really jealous; but his father brooded over the whole business.
As we read about the life of Joseph, we discover that God works through people that are far from perfect. Sometimes as people we think that God can never use us because we have done too many things wrong. I think to myself and say, “I don’t pray enough, I don’t study my Bible enough, I am a sinful person and I don’t have any skills the Lord could use.” In a figurative way as people we are much like fish; you can’t clean them until you get them in the boat.
The Lord may have just pulled you out of the water recently or many years ago, but slowly He is cleaning you and giving you opportunities to serve in His Kingdom. Being used by God is not about our skills or abilities, but our availability for His use. Maybe you have had some rough spots in your life and you still do, but God is calling you to be used in his Kingdom. When we respond to God’s call, we will be amazed how the Lord changes us. Take a step into the deep water with your Lord.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Ge 37:2–11). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.