Text: Genesis 37:1-36
The story of Joseph begins with him being a dreamer. However, his dreams – which projected his rulership at some point in the future over his family – became a source of rebuke by his father Jacob, and a source of hatred by his eleven brothers. Knowing the future of Joseph – because of the following revelation in Genesis – Joseph’s dreams were from God; therefore they were true, and did come to pass.
Genesis 37 presents three points concerning the brothers’ hatred of Joseph:
A. The Person of Preeminence
The Father’s Love:
“And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Genesis 37:4)
There are many similarities of Joseph as a type of Christ. Jesus was hated by the Jews because He said that He was God in the Flesh; that He was His Father’s beloved Son. This can also be applied as to why the world hates God’s sons and daughters (John 15:18-20). They hated Jesus, the Son of God; and they will hate us.
Why do the unbelievers hate God and His Children? The answer is – because they know not the Father:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:20)
“But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” (John 15:21)
In other words, Jesus explains Joseph’s problem and our (the Regenerated’s) problem today.
The first problem is the world realizes that the saved man is not of this world. He has a different nature that causes him to follow Christ and His teachings of Love. (See Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35; 1 John 2:6; 3:17-24; 4:7-21; etc.)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“But ye have not so learned Christ;” (Ephesians 4:20)
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:” (Ephesians 4:21)
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” (Ephesians 4:22)
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” (Ephesians 4:23)
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
Joseph’s brothers could plainly see Jacob loved Joseph above them; the coat of many colors represented this fact to them. (See The Cost of the Coat Devotion.)
The world can plainly see God’s Love in us, and working out of us, who are regenerated and have been made free “from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). For:
- We have a special relationship to the Father.
- We have power to overcome sin daily.
- Our garments are Righteousness (Holiness) and Peace.
The world can plainly see that we, as His Children, are Persons of Preeminence.
B. The Position of Perfection
Joseph dreamed a dream and told it to his brethren; this dream projected (prophesied) that Joseph would reign and rule over his eleven brothers.
Genesis 37:8 says:
“And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.”
This is exactly why the Jews hated Jesus. He said He was God. He said He was The King. He said He was King over His Kingdom; and that this Kingdom was spiritual, in their hearts. (See Luke 17:20c-21; Matthew 21:5-11; Mark 11:8-11; John 12:13-16.)
The Jews hated Jesus for the above reasons – plus He revealed: their rebellion; that the Kingdom would be taken from them and given to another nation (the Church); that He was the True Temple, the Throne of God; the Resurrection of His Body after three days in the earth; and after His Resurrection, He would be highly exalted and would rule on His Father David’s throne for ever and ever. (See Matthew 12:38-41; 21:43; Mark 14:58; John 2:19-21; Ephesians 2:20-22; 3:21; Colossians 2:9; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Philippians 2:9.)
The Jews of Jesus’ day did not hate the Lamb Doctrine; but they hated Jesus saying He was the Lamb of God and that He was the King of His Kingdom.
The reason God’s Children are hated by the world today is their Position of kings in Christ (Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 5:10). That is, in Christ we are kings and priests. As His Body, the Church, we are His Bride, the Holy City, New Jerusalem. (See Revelation 21.) Paul said we are the Temple of God (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-26).
The world hates the saved man’s Position in Christ and his Position of security (Romans 8:29-39). They hate the Father’s Love to His Chosen Children, their garments of Salvation (Isaiah 61:10), their Position of Ruler, and their Position of Perfection.
C. The Protection of Providence
Joseph’s brethren hated him so much; they conspired to kill him (Genesis 37:18). However, Reuben and Judah were used of God to spare Joseph’s life (Genesis 37:21 and 26).
The same is true even of Jesus; and of us, His Children – they could not touch Jesus until His hour had come. (See John 2:4; 7:20; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1; Mark 14:41.)
The same with Joseph – but his brethren could not kill him; for God had already given His Promise of Joseph’s rule and reign over his family, in Joseph’s dreams (Genesis 37:5-11).
So it is with all of God’s Children (Romans 8:31-39).
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
David said in Psalm 31:15, “My times are in thy hand…” (not in the enemy’s hand).
“Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;” (Job 14:5)
“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” (Job 23:13)
“For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.” (Job 23:14)
Yes, the enemies of God hate His Love for us; our Garments of Salvation and Robe of Righteousness; and our Position in His Kingship and Rulership. But they cannot kill our bodies until God says so. And they can never have our spirits; for they are forever and always in Christ. (Hallelujah!) Yes, we have His Protection of Providence.
Child of God, read the Story of Joseph over and over, and glean the beautiful truths of our King Jesus, and our Position and Portion in Him.
Yes, The Difference is who we are; for we (the saved) are the Chosen of God, Beloved of the Father in Christ Jesus, our Savior, our God, and our Father. Amen and Amen!