Genesis 37* Joseph is loved of Jacob, but hated by his brethren. (1-4)Joseph's dreams. (5-11) Jacob sends Joseph to visit hisbrethren, They conspire his death. (12-22) Joseph's brethrensell him. (23-10) Jacob deceived, Joseph sold to Potiphar.(31-36)1-4 In Joseph's history we see something of Christ, who wasfirst humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot ofChristians, who must through many tribulations enter into thekingdom. It is a history that has none like it, for displayingthe various workings of the human mind, both good and bad, andthe singular providence of God in making use of them forfulfilling his purposes. Though Joseph was his father's darling,yet he was not bred up in idleness. Those do not truly lovetheir children, who do not use them to business, and labour, andhardships. The fondling of children is with good reason calledthe spoiling of them. Those who are trained up to do nothing,are likely to be good for nothing. But Jacob made known hislove, by dressing Joseph finer than the rest of his children. Itis wrong for parents to make a difference between one child andanother, unless there is great cause for it, by the children'sdutifulness, or undutifulness. When parents make a difference,children soon notice it, and it leads to quarrels in families.Jacob's sons did that, when they were from under his eye, whichthey durst not have done at home with him; but Joseph gave hisfather an account of their ill conduct, that he might restrainthem. Not as a tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithfulbrother. 5-11 God gave Joseph betimes the prospect of his advancement,to support and comfort him under his long and grievous troubles.Observe, Joseph dreamed of his preferment, but he did not dreamof his imprisonment. Thus many young people, when setting out inthe world, think of nothing but prosperity and pleasure, andnever dream of trouble. His brethren rightly interpreted thedream, though they abhorred the interpretation of it. While theycommitted crimes in order to defeat it, they were themselves theinstruments of accomplishing it. Thus the Jews understood whatChrist said of his kingdom. Determined that he should not reignover them, they consulted to put him to death; and by hiscrucifixion, made way for the exaltation they designed toprevent. 12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Thosechildren who are best beloved by their parents, should be themost ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethrenwere against him. They thought to slay him from maliceaforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother isa murderer, #1Jo 3:15|. The sons of Jacob hated their brotherbecause their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams andthe like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in theirhearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts inhis hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, forhe was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. Godoverruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph aninstrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type ofChrist; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, andhated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of hisbosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came fromheaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plotswere laid against him. His own not only received him not, butcrucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design toredeem and save us. 23-30 They threw Joseph into a pit, to perish there with hungerand cold; so cruel were their tender mercies. They slighted himwhen he was in distress, and were not grieved for the afflictionof Joseph, see #Am 6:6|; for when he was pining in the pit, theysat down to eat bread. They felt no remorse of conscience forthe sin. But the wrath of man shall praise God, and theremainder of wrath he will restrain, #Ps 76:10|. Joseph'sbrethren were wonderfully restrained from murdering him, andtheir selling him as wonderfully turned to God's praise. 31-36 When Satan has taught men to commit one sin, he teachesthem to try to conceal it with another; to hide theft andmurder, with lying and false oaths: but he that covers his sinshall not prosper long. Joseph's brethren kept their own and oneanother's counsel for some time; but their villany came to lightat last, and it is here published to the world. To grieve theirfather, they sent him Joseph's coat of colours; and he hastilythought, on seeing the bloody coat, that Joseph was rent inpieces. Let those that know the heart of a parent, suppose theagony of poor Jacob. His sons basely pretended to comfort him,but miserable, hypocritical comforters were they all. Had theyreally desired to comfort him, they might at once have done it,by telling the truth. The heart is strangely hardened by thedeceitfulness of sin. Jacob refused to be comforted. Greataffection to any creature prepares for so much the greateraffliction, when it is taken from us, or made bitter to us:undue love commonly ends in undue grief. It is the wisdom ofparents not to bring up children delicately, they know not towhat hardships they may be brought before they die. From thewhole of this chapter we see with wonder the ways of Providence.The malignant brothers seem to have gotten their ends; themerchants, who care not what they deal in so that they gain,have also obtained theirs; and Potiphar, having got a fine youngslave, has obtained his! But God's designs are, by these means,in train for execution. This event shall end in Israel's goingdown to Egypt; that ends in their deliverance by Moses; that insetting up the true religion in the world; and that in thespread of it among all nations by the gospel. Thus the wrath ofman shall praise the Lord, and the remainder thereof will herestrain.
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