Read Genesis 37:18-36
What a messed up family!
You would think that Jacob would know better than to show such extreme favoritism for one child, since he was less loved himself, but no. He blatantly favors Joseph – Rachel’s firstborn – over all his other children.
So the brothers hate Joseph.
You can hardly blame them.
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, God gives Joseph dreams where he is so great that his parents and all his brothers bow down to him.
And Joseph tells everyone.
By the time he comes to the brothers at Dothan, their jealousy is burning high. They want to kill him but Reuben, the oldest, says no. He persuades them to toss Joseph into a pit, planning to come back secretly and rescue him.
I wonder if he really loves Joseph, or is he trying to get back his father’s favor after sleeping with his concubine?
At any rate, Joseph is in the pit when the Ishmaelite traders roll by, giving the brothers a whole new idea. In the end, Joseph is sold as a slave. Can’t you just hear the brothers cackling among themselves as they divide the silver? What a great plan! They got rid of Joseph, made some money, and didn’t even have to dirty their own hands.
Now the dreams surely won’t come true.
Off they go and trick their dad into thinking Joseph is dead. Poor Jacob, tricked again – this time by his own sons. And so the wheel turns.
Again, I wish God had put more detail into the story. I want to know what’s going on with Joseph as he is carted off to slavery. Is he full of hatred? Is he terrified? Is he surprised by his brothers’ betrayal? Is he worried about his dad? But most of all I wonder if he is thinking at all about those dreams.
Those dreams that, really, brought this all about.
Those dreams that now seem to mock him.
Those dreams that came from God.