Do I have a Story for you, Joseph.

This is a story about Joseph with a modern twist,

based on Genesis 37-47

Joey came from a large family. He had 11 brothers, and sisters too. Joey’s father Jake had several wives, so Joey only had one full brother and the rest were half-brothers. Jake, Joey’s, father, loved his mother more than his other wives. But she died when Joey was a little boy. All of his brothers were jealous of him, and even hated him, because He was Jake’s favorite son. Joey walked with God and God would give him dreams. So they called Joey a dreamer, and one of his dreams had all of his brothers and his father bowing down to him.  When he told them about his dream, you can just imagine how outraged they were, even his father was upset at that thought.  For him to think that now they were going to bow down to him, well, that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

One day when his brothers were out in the fields, Joey’s father sent him to see how they were getting along in their work. Now Jake had bought Joey this expensive coat with all these colors. It made him look like royalty. Sure enough this is what Joey wore to check up on his brothers. When they saw Joey coming at a distance they all gathered and began to plot how they were going to get rid of him. Many of the brothers wanted to kill him, but his brother, Reuben was against this idea of taking his life. He just wanted to scare the boy a little by throwing him into a pit. So they all agreed. When Joey finally reached them, they grabbed hold of him and threw him into the pit, but not before they took off his fancy coat. The brothers then ate lunch, but while they were eating they saw some men coming toward them. These men were human slave traders. The brothers except Reuben, for he  was not with them at the time when these men came, thought what a good way to rid themselves of their brother and not having to kill him.  So the brothers sold Joey into slavery. Before Reuben went back to where the brothers were gathered, he looked in on Joey, but found that he was not in the pit. Quickly he ran back to the brothers yelling, “ Joey is gone,  we must find him”, but they reassured him that Joey was on his way to another land.  Now the brothers had to tell their father the sad news that Joey was dead. So they took his coat and poured blood from an animal on it, and took it to him saying, “Do you recognize this coat?”  Jake said, “Yes, this is Joey’s coat.”  The brothers said, “A wild beast must have attacked him, and killed him, and dragged his body off somewhere.” Jake had lost his favorite son, and so he mourned for many days and no one could comfort him. The brothers’ hatred towards their brother not only caused them to lie, but they dishonored their father. Joey ended up in Egypt, but he was not alone, for God was with him.   Joey became the slave for a man whose name was Potiphar. 

Potiphar was an officer, a captain of the bodyguard for the king of Egypt. So the Lord gave success to Joey in the house of his master. In fact Joey became Potiphar’s  personal servant and overseer. Joey was over his master’s house along with all of what he owned. Now the master had a wife and she found Joey to be very handsome. She would make advances toward him day after day, but Joey always got away from her. He knew that, that spelled trouble for him. One day Potiphar’s wife managed to get Joey alone when no one was in the house and she grabbed him and he said to her, “ I will not sin against God and my master.” And with that he fled, leaving his coat in her hands. Twice now Joey had his coat taken from him. Potiphar’s wife was not going to be made a fool of, so she called out for someone to hear her and when they came running she showed them Joey’s coat and told her version of the story. When Potiphar came home and heard all that his wife told him, he had Joey thrown in prison. But once again God was with Joey.  The chief jailor liked Joey, because he could see that he was no trouble maker. So he put Joey in charge of all the prisoners and made him responsible for their conduct. The Lord kept prospering Joey and one day one inmate told him about his dream and that same day, another inmate told Joey about his dream. Both of these men worked in the king’s palace. Joey told them that God would interpret their dreams  and God did give Joey the interpretations. He told the one that he would be returned to his job, and the other he told  that he was going to get the death sentence and sure enough it happened just as he said it would.

When the man returned to his job, he never told anyone about Joey interpreting his dream. Years went by and one night the king had a dream, but his closest advisers could not tell him what it all meant. Finally the former inmate told the king about Joey and how he interpreted his dream correctly. The king immediately called for Joey.  So Joey put on his good clothes and groomed himself and came before the king. The king told Joey his dreams and Joey told him exactly what they meant. Famine was coming and it was staying for seven years, but they had seven years to prepare. The faithfulness of God never ceases.  The king made Joey second in command over all of Egypt. The king stood before his subject and declared “ This is Joseph the prince of Egypt.” No one had more authority, other than the king over all of Egypt. Joey went from a slave to second in command, all because God was with him.  So Joseph had all the people prepare for the famine. Now the time came and the famine was long and hard, but the people of Egypt had food. But back in Joey’s hometown it was a different story.  Jake, Joey’s father, had his sons travel to Egypt and buy some food.  Little did they know that they would have to deal with their brother. Now, you have to realize that Joey had changed after all those years living in Egypt. He dressed like the people, and basically looked like them, and talked like them, and of course, he was much older now than when his brothers last saw him. Joey was married and had children and all around he was quite different, or was he?

The day came and so did his brothers. Joey recognized them  immediately, but they did not recognize him.Why should they? They sold him into slavery, they weren’t expecting him to be the second most powerful man in Egypt.  Joey began accusing them of being spies, speaking through an interpreter.  The brothers bowing to him said, “No, my lord, we have only come to buy food.” Joey never forgot his dreams and how he dreamt that his family would bow down to him.

They continued to tell Joey that there were twelve  brothers, but one died and they had an older father at home with the youngest brother.  Now it was Joey’s turn to torment them, and he said to them, “No! You are spies and unless you bring your youngest brother here I will not let you go,” and he threw them all in prison for three days. You see Joey and the youngest brother Ben from the same mother, so naturally Joey was concerned about his brother. He also wanted to test his brothers to see if they truly ever repented of their sins committed against him. After three days Joey said to his brothers, through an interpreter, “One of you shall be left behind while the other take back the food to your people and bring back your youngest brother and then I will know that you are not spies.”  They began to say to one another, “We are surely guilty  concerning our brother, because we saw him in distress when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen to him. So now we are in distress.” Joey understood every word that they were saying, but of course he would, but they did not know this. Joey told the steward who filled their bags to put their money back in each of their pouches, without them knowing. The brothers headed back home without their brother Simeon. When they came to a rest stop, the one brother opened his pounch and lo and behold, there was the money. They all, one after another opened their pouches and found their money. “Oh no!” They thought, what is going to happen now?

When they got home they told Jake their father all that had happened and they also told him that they had to take his son Ben back with them. Now Ben, being Joey’s true brother and the fact that Jake loved their mother the most said immediately, “NO!”  I lost Joey and I am not going to lose Ben also. You see the brothers had great resentment toward their father that he had favorites. Jake loved Joey and Ben’s mother more than theirs. This had caused a great rift in the family all of these years and now it is once again staring them in the face.  The brothers wanted to see Simeon returned and Jake did not care if he returned or not. Reuben spoke up and told his father that he would take responsibility for Ben and if he did not come back with him that Jake could kill his two sons. You see how this has gotten so out of hand that these brothers didn’t know what they were saying. This is what sin does. These brothers were feeling so guilty over what they did years ago to their brother Joey because they were not only jealous of him, but that jealousy turned into hatred and hatred is a murderous spirit. The famine was so severe and the time came when they had to go back and get food or they would all perish. Now it was Jude’s turn to talk to his father. He told him again how important it was to bring Ben back with them. But this time he said, “If you are not going to send Ben with us then we are not going to get food.” Jake was filled with pain. In his mind he had to once again remember the day he lost Joey and he could not find it in himself to lose Ben also. But Jude told the father that he would be responsible for the boy. Jake agreed and told them to bring the man a gift of nuts and honey. Jake blessed his son Ben and they left once again for Egypt.

When the brothers all arrived in Egypt they headed straight to the Prince of Egypt AKA Joey, which they still did not realize was their brother . When Joey saw his brother Ben, he told his steward to bring them to his  house and prepare a meal. Now these brothers were so stressed as it was and now they wondered why they were being taken to the prince’s house. “It’s all because of the money,” they frantically said one to another.  So they told the story to the steward on how they found their money in their pouches and they knew that they had paid for the food. He reassured them that he had received their money, and perhaps the God of their father had blessed them. Simeon was released from prison and they all met at Joey’s house. When Joey arrived the brothers gave him the gifts of nuts and honey, which started turning the heart of Joey. He had all the brothers sitting at the table from the oldest to the youngest, with Ben sitting next to him. Then he asked about their father, and if Ben was their youngest brother.  None of this even began to open the eyes of the brothers, like how did he know who was the oldest and so on. And why is he concerned about our father? And what is his interest in Ben.  Joey was so overtaken by the sight of his brother Ben that he left the room and began to cry. Soon he regained his composure and went back in to have the meal served. After the meal Joey had the seward fill their sacks with food, but he also told him to place his silver cup in Ben’s pouch.  Joey was not yet finished with his brothers. The brothers had just left the city when Prince Joseph said,  “Quick go and stop those men, for they have stolen my silver cup. Go and search them and bring  back the one where you find the cup.” When the brothers were stopped and told of what had happened they could not believe it. They said, “Why would we steal a silver cup?” “Let the one who stole it be put to death and we will all become his slaves” Of course, they did not think that they would find this cup with them, so to make such remarks would have no value. But how ironic that they said that they would become slaves, when this is exactly what they did to Joey. Well, they found the cup with Ben. The brothers’ torment and stress had reached it peak. They fell on their faces before Joey and Judah cried out to the Prince of Egypt saying, “What can we say?”  “How can we justify ourselves?”  “God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves. But Joey said “No!”  “Only the one who had the cup shall be my slave.” Then Judah drew closer and begged Joey to let him speak once again.

Judah went through the whole story again about their father and how he reacted when he heard the news about their brother Joey and what their father will do if he hears now about Ben. By this time Joey could no longer play this game.  He said, “Have everyone leave this room.”   Once everyone had left, Joey said to his brothers. “I am your brother Joey whom you sold into slavery.”   “You meant evil, but God has turned it around for good. God sent me here to prepare for a severe famine. so that people could be saved. So you could be saved.” His brothers were in shock. They could not believe what they were hearing. Joey told them to go back and bring their father and their families to live with him in Egypt. Then he took his brother Ben and the two of them hugged and cried on each other. And then all of them cried and hugged their brother.  So they went back and told their father and he could not wait to see his son. They packed up and moved and lived in the finest land of Egypt. What was once hatred and anger turned to love and the jealousy no longer was there, for if their father loved Joey and Ben more than them, it no longer mattered. 

How about you? Do you hate your brother or sister? 

1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.” 

You may say, “I do not hate anyone”, and yet, if you do not love them, then there’s only hate. Hate is a murderous spirit. Yeshua tells us in Matthew 5:21-24 this, 

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.  Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” 

Yeshua took the commandments very seriously and so that no one could misunderstand, He clarified many of them. 1 John 4:20, also says this, 

“If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” 

Hatred caused these brothers to do something very awful that not only brought pain and suffering to their brother, but it also brought sorrow and pain to their father. The commandments also tell us to honor our father and mother. These boys lied to their father and brought great sorrow to his soul, dishonoring him, let alone they lied, which was another sin. It is true that parents should not have favorites, but when it does happen two wrongs never make a right. These boys should have told their father how much his lack of love for them caused them great hurt. But turning your hurt to jealousy and anger and hatred only leads you down a road of destruction for yourself. Solomon wrote that Jealousy is as cruel as the grave.

Galatians 5:20 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.…”

 The brothers brought debauchery, hatred, discord, jealousy, division, factions,  and envy. 

How about you? Maybe you need to see the bigger picture, that God is in control of your life and He has a plan for you , as He has a plan for each one of us. Don’t let the flesh bring you down. Look to God who loves us all and let Him tell you how much He loves you and let go of anger and unforgiveness and hatred and the like and turn it around to forgive and love and unite.

To close, Romans 12:18 tells us, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.”

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