Monday, November 09, 2020

2020.11.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 37:1–11

Read Genesis 37:1–11

Questions from the Scripture text: What two things is Jacob’s dwelling land called in Genesis 37:1? How does Genesis 37:2 introduce the next section of Genesis? Whom does the text, then, immediately mention? How old is he? What is he doing? Which brothers, specifically, does he tell on? To whom? What does Genesis 37:3 call Jacob? How did he relate to Joseph? Why? What else did he do for him? Who saw this favoritism (Genesis 37:4)? How did they feel about Joseph for this? What couldn’t they even do? What did Joseph have in Genesis 37:5? Whom did he tell about it? How did they feel about Joseph for telling? What did he ask them to do in Genesis 37:6? What were they doing in the dream (Genesis 37:7)? What did Joseph’s sheaf do? What do their sheaves do? What do his brothers ask in response (Genesis 37:8)? And how do they feel about him for his dream? What happens in Genesis 37:9? Whom does he tell? What was the content of this dream? Whom else does he tell, along with them, in Genesis 37:10? How does his father respond? What does he ask? How does Genesis 37:11 summarize the family relationships?

Being hated is what we deserve. Hating and being hated is the condition in which we begin (cf. Titus 3:3). 

But it is part of God’s amazing gospel that this is what He has given His Son to endure for our sakes. As Jesus teaches in the parable of the vineyard and the wicked servants, God sent a stream of other servants ahead of His Son, who were abused in anticipation of what would be done to Christ.

This passage’s emphasis upon Joseph being hated points us forward to Christ being hated.

So, we respond by marveling that Christ subjected Himself to being hated for our sakes. He Whose rightful place is to receive the adoration of that glorious host in heaven. Yet, He took the form of a slave, and subjected Himself to the mocking, scoffing, abuse, and death of the cross. 

And, we rejoice that God was accomplishing our salvation through His Son’s being hated. He Who is the eternally beloved Son. He who knew no sin even became sin, so that we might be saved. He was forsaken so that we might be declared righteous and lovingly adopted.

And, we expect that we will not be treated any better than our Master. Indeed, there are many Christ-like qualities that are endearing. But the more we are associated with Christ, and the more that we are like Him, the more that those who are rejecting and hating Him and our heavenly Father will reject and hate us. Let us bear it patiently and not be surprised. The Lord Jesus tells us in advance that we will be hated.

And, we hope that God will be pleased to use us in saving even those who hate us—as He did through Joseph and through Moses, and ultimately through Christ. How many times—both before and after Christ—the Lord has been pleased to save people through the very ones whom they had been hating! What an opportunity for Christlikeness we have when we are hated for Christ’s sake. 

And, whether or not the Lord is pleased to save them, still the blessing is ours: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).

What reception did Christ have in this world? What did this gain for you? When can you imitate Him in this? 

Suggested songs: ARP22A “My God, My God” or TPH352 “Man of Sorrows, What a Name!”

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