Friday, January 21, 2011

JEALOUSY and the PIT - part 3

Over the last two postings we have been looking at the jealousy that resulted in Joseph's brothers assaulting him and throwing him in a literal pit of betrayal. What would cause such jealousy? We have seen two things so far:

Joseph's DAD - Jacob loved Joseph more than he did his other sons...and he showed it!

Joseph's DISCIPLINE - Joseph lived a disciplined life with clear values of right and wrong which resulted in his sharing with his dad some misdeeds that his brothers had committed!

Now, we see the third and final source of fuel to the jealousy that led to betrayal and it is Joseph's DREAM. As you read Genesis 37 you discover that Joseph had two different dreams that he shared with his brothers which communicated that one day his entire family would bow down before him. This did nothing to help the situation. Verse 8 says,

"Then his brothers said to him, 'Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?' So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words."

In fact, verse 11 goes on to say, "His brothers were jealous of him!" Some would argue that Joseph was bragging and exalting himself with his dreams and his words. Really? Let me ask you a question, "Who gave Joseph the dreams?" It was God. These dreams were not placed by Joseph in his own mind and heart, they were put there by God. The Lord had a great plan for young Joseph and he put that dream in his mind and his heart. And the result was that his brothers became jealous, hateful and ultimately threw their younger brother in the pit of betrayal and then sold him into Egypt as a slave, telling their father he was killed by a wild animal.

Some things don't change. Still today when God puts a dream in your heart - a longing and desire to accomplish something great for Him, it will not always be well-received by everyone, even those who are part of your physical and even spiritual families. In fact, the more you follow that God-given dream, the more it just might create jealousy in the hearts of others towards you and towards that dream.

It was jealousy that prompted Joseph's brothers to throw him into the pit of betrayal. Jealousy will cause you to do unthinkable things as well. So what do we learn from all of this? One thing we learn for sure is our need to guard our hearts against jealousy. I'll write more of that in a final posting on this subject on Monday.

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at or email me directly at

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