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Daily Devotions – Bitter feelings lead to destructive actions

Genesis 37:12-14 (ESV)

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem.13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Genesis 37:18-21 (ESV)

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.”

Genesis 37:25-28 (ESV)

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

The anger and resentment of Joseph’s brothers caused actions that destroyed their relationship. In this passage there is little hope of future reconciliation. How can there be when Joseph is sent to another country as a slave! Sometimes the things we say or do bring destruction and leave little to no hope of any good outcome. Maybe we hurt a family relationship or a friend; maybe a relationship with someone at work. Often we sever all ties and move on. But God has different plans, for our hearts and our lives: reconciliation and peace.