• W. Austin Gardner

God’s Will Might Just Hurt!


Genesis 37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. 4 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. 5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8 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. 9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

12 And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. 21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. 22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. 23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. 25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. 28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. 29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? 31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. 33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. 34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. 36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

  • Joseph has already offended his brothers by telling their dad about their bad deeds 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

  • God has given Joseph a very special dream and has a very special plan for his life 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

  • Joseph is only 17 when God tells him that He has something special for him 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

  • The dream and maybe the attitude that goes with it has stirred up some real hatred for their brother

  • Jacob, the dad, is the only one that thinks that maybe there is something to the dream 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

  • Hate and jealousy have caused the brothers to want to not only kill the dreamer but the dream 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

  1. God has an overriding plan that He is doing in this story

  2. God is moving Joseph to Egypt to save Israel in the time of the famine

  3. God is going to use the next 13 years to train and prepare Joseph to be the man He can use to do His will

  4. God is forming a nation that will bring great glory to Him by defeating all the false gods of Egypt

  5. God is preparing His people to be an example to all of us in the New Testament

  6. God is preparing the man to write the first 5 books of the Bible

  7. God has an overall plan that is bigger than any one person or group of people

  8. God’s people are often confused and hurt because they do not understand God’s overall plan--His will for our lives

  9. Joseph’s brothers determine to kill him 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

  10. Joseph thinks that God has something big He wants to do in his life--he is excitedly looking forward to big things

  11. Joseph is so sure of God’s big plan that he announces it and gets mocked and evidently hurt

  12. Joseph has no idea what God plans to do to get him to where he can do his part of the plan

  13. They decide to kill him

  14. Reuben talks them into putting him into a pit where he can rescue him later 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

  15. Judah decides to sell him into slavery 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

  16. Judah figures that they can at least make money out of the deal

  17. Joseph is sold into slavery 37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

  18. Reuben feels responsible and is distraught 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

  19. Reuben finds out that they have sold the kid

  20. He knows that he must explain things to his dad

  21. Reuben is truly broken-hearted that his brother is gone

  22. Reuben is more worried about how this makes him look than what happened to his brother or his dad 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go

  23. They make up a big story and deceive Jacob into thinking that Joseph is dead 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. 33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

  24. Jacob is heartbroken 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

  25. He immediately jumps to the conclusion that an animal has killed his son

  26. Jacob refuses to be comforted 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

  27. He rejects any love from the rest of the family

  28. Apparently, he becomes a bitter old man

  29. What we feel when things go wrong

  30. We think that if God is pleased with us and things are going according to plan that all should go well

  31. We see the plan from our perspective and not His

  32. I must be doing something wrong or my dream would be coming true

  33. I am sure this isn’t God’s way of doing what He showed me

  34. When things don't go my way I often get a bad attitude and get angry with God and those around me

  35. I have a tendency to draw up inside of myself, retreat or run

  36. I usually would deny this but I end up doubting God or myself saying that I must have had it all wrong--because it is dark--the old saying is, do not doubt in the dark what you believed in the light

  37. In the middle of the storm, all we can do is trust that God will work it out for His glory Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

  38. We must understand that God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.

  39. We must understand that we do not understand

  40. Joseph has a dream from God and that starts a downhill spiral that seems to be getting more and more out of control

  41. Usually, God allows our dreams to give us confidence and courage, and excitement

  42. Then God allows our dreams to die and nearly kill us so that we understand that it is He that brings them to pass John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

  43. No matter what you are going through God is working in your life to bring honor and glory to His name through you

  44. Personal applications

  45. Maybe though God hasn’t given me a special dream or calling that I understand yet I should understand and help those in whom God is working so much

  46. If you have been given a dream maybe you should be a little less brash, pushy, etc because it does stir up the bad feelings

  47. Rather than being afraid of God’s leadership in our lives maybe we should trust Him to do something great in our lives that will benefit not only us but many others

  48. Realize that if God has put a special calling on you, that it will call for deep sacrifice of personal comforts and conveniences

  49. Understand that from the time God speaks to you about what He wants you to do until the time He will do it there will be lots of time, trials, and testings

  50. No matter what happens around you keep believing that God is working in your life and just wait to see how He is going to work it all out