The Conspiracy Against Joseph In The Bible.
“And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him” (Genesis’ 37:18).
In this study, we shall be considering conspiracy against Joseph, the son of Jacob born to him by Rachel. Jacob loved Joseph because he was the son of his old age; hence, he made him a coat of many colours which became a source of envy and hatred for him. Also, Joseph’s inexperience in relating his dream to his brethren led to more envy and subsequent plot against him. However, instead of being killed, the Lord saved him and he was sold into slavery in While in Egypt, while in Egypt, Joseph faced temptations in the hand of his master’s wife but he stood his ground and maintained his faithfulness toward God which attracted favour for Him.
JOSEPH’S EARLY LIFE AND DREAM
Joseph was the son of Jacob, the eleventh of his twelve children and was just seventeen years old when he was feeding his father’s flock. Joseph was a godly child and the hand of God was upon him. He lived a distinct life among his brethren. He refrained himself from doing evil. He lived a consecrated and separated life. This was why he reported the evil activities of his brothers: “…and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” (Genesis 37:2).
Though we should not cover up evil activities of others, yet it should be done in a godly manner with intention of getting the individual corrected. Joseph did not imitate the behaviour of his brothers, just as Samuel did not imitate the character of the sons of Eli (1 Samuel 2:22-24). Christian youths should be distinct and separate themselves from the worldly pleasures and amusements (Exodus 23:2). Joseph was an obedient and submissive child. He submitted to training under his elder brothers, as he fed the flock of his father. Youths should submit to the training and instructions of both their biological and spiritual parents. Joseph was not idle, but was fully involved in the family business. so must youths be fully involved in household, school and church’s activities. Joseph was hated and envied by his brothers because he brought their evil reports to their father and that Jacob preferred him above them.
“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 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” (Genesis 37:5,9). Joseph, being a godly child, well favoured and gifted, dreamt and told his brethren, which made them to hate him more. The fact that he revealed his dream to his father and his brothers aggravated the already strained relationship between him and his brothers. This action of Joseph showed his inexperience and immaturity in relating his God-given dreams to people. Youths of today must be careful in revealing personal and divine revelation from God to people so that it will not endanger their future fulfilment. Jesus told Peter and John, “…tell the vision to no man until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:9). There are some revelations that are meant to be kept till the appointed time.
JOSEPH SOLD BY HIS BROTHERS
Romans 13: 13;
“And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem, 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 l” (Genesis 37: 12, 13). Joseph, being a faithful child obeyed his father. As he went, he could not find his brothers in the place he thought they should be, yet he was not discouraged. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, “And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field…And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks” (Genesis 37:15,16). Youths should be humble to ask for counsel from godly leaders, teachers and parents in the choice of career, institutions to study. We should learn to seek God’s face in all endeavours. God still speaks to His people. There are various ways we can hear from Him such as through dream as in the case of Joseph, direct audible voice as in Samuel, (1 Samuel 3:3-5) small audible voice as in Elijah. (1 Kings 19:12,13) and above all through His words (Psalm 19:7-9; Psalms 119: 105; John 5:39). “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him” (Genesis 37:18). Conspiracy is a secret plan by a group of people, who are harmful or injurious. Joseph’s brothers thought of eliminating him right on the field. Jealousy and envy filled their hearts and they were ready to terminate his life so as to prevent the fulfillment of his dreams. God is against envy and it must not be mentioned among Christian youths. Though Reuben was not in support of his brothers, yet he did not deliver Joseph totally from the plot. He should have made his stand known.
Instead of being killed, Joseph was sold to Ishmaelite traders for just twenty pieces of silver. To cover up for this wicked act, they killed a kid (young goats) and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood, as if he was killed by a wild animal. “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” (Genesis 37:32). It is common among sinners to attempt to cover up a sin with another sin. The only cure for sin is repentance. All these, his brothers did to him because hatred and envy they had against him. As Christian youths, we should not allow any root of bitterness to spring up in our hearts against others. When people are prospering, we should rejoice with them. God’s hand was upon Joseph (Romans 8:28,) as his brothers brought him out of the pit and sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh where he later became a prime minister. If a youth trusts in God, God will use enemies’ conspiracy to fulfill good purposes.
JOSEPH IN POTIPHAR’S HOUSE
1 Corinthians 6:16-20;
1 Corinthians 10:13;
2 Peter 2:9;
2 Timothy 2:22
“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelite, which had brought him down thither” (Genesis 39:1). The boy, Joseph, was brought to Potiphar’s house, to the strange land as a slave. “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian” (Genesis 39:2). The godly life of Joseph made him to find favour in the sight of his master and was made overseer over everything in his master’s house except his wife. Meanwhile, Joseph’s master’s wife cast her eyes upon him to commit immorality, but he refused. It was a great temptation but God gave him victory. Joseph avoided temptation from Potiphar’s wife. He refused her advances and finally ran away from her. Temporary pleasure could have ruined God’s plan for his life. Many youths have destroyed their lives through temporary pleasure with sugar mummy and sugar daddy. Sometimes, merely trying to avoid temptation is not enough; youths should turn and run from them especially when the temptation is seemingly very strong, as in the case Of sexual temptation. We are to flee youthful lust. As Christian youths, we should not allow any form of lustful desire in our heart towards the opposite gender.
In order to overcome temptation, youths need to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41); associate with people of like precious faith (2 Corinthians 6: 14) and occupy themselves with profitable ventures. In order to cover up, Potiphar’s wife framed a story to implicate him; Joseph was put in prison but God was with him. God made him to have favour with the keeper of the prison (Genesis 39:21), he was put in charge of the inmates. Youths are not to be moved when they suffer from false accusation. The Lord will be with them to comfort and strengthen them.