SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” Joseph replied. 14 So Jacob said to him, “Go now and check on the welfare of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob sent him from the valley of Hebron.
15 When Joseph reached Shechem, a man found him wandering in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are grazing their flocks.” 17 The man said, “They left this area, for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 Now Joseph’s brothers saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!”
21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph from their hands, saying, “Let’s not take his life!” 22 Reuben continued, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” (Reuben said this so he could rescue Joseph from them and take him back to his father.)
23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.)
25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites then took Joseph to Egypt.
29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! He tore his clothes, 30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters stood by him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” So Joseph’s father wept for him.
36 Now in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.