Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
Devoured by a Wild Beast (Gen. 37:12-36) Intro: 1. The story of "Joey" having his wallet stolen in Christian school illustrates the presence of the sin nature. 2. We would like to believe that Christians are exempt from the effects of sin. 3. We are often surprised that other Christians can have strong tempers, lie, gossip, cheat, steal, you name it. 4. Others may often be surprised at what they see in us! 5. Joseph was caught off guard by the depth of the sin of his brothers. 6. Genesis 37:12-36 teaches us what we can expect from sinful human nature. I. Expect opposition to obedience (12-28). A. If you are obedient you will be faithful (12-17). 1. Joseph obeyed his father, seeking the "welfare" (shalom) of those who could not speak "peaceably" (shalom) with him-v. 4 (12-14). 2. He went to Shechem, a place which reminds us of his brothers' previous murders--ch. 34 (15). 3. He pursued them to Dothan, showing his commitment--he was "seeking his brothers", a loaded statement. (16-17). B. Faithfulness may be met by treachery (18-28). 1. The plan--put an end to the dreamer and his dreams. --kill him, throw him in cistern, say that a wild animal devoured him. 2. Reuben intervenes--don't shed blood. --throw him in cistern, but don't kill him (so he could rescue him) 3. The plan revised by Judah--sell him instead. --threw him in cistern, ate (devoured) their food while Joseph cried out to them (42:21), sell him for financial gain without shedding blood. C. Bill Janssen's tape tie-down reminds me that this story happens today. II. Expect sin to bring deception and pain (29-35). A. Covering sin demands deception (29-32). 1. Sin severely limits your alternatives (29-30). 2. Jacob's sons deceive him with a slain goat--reap what you sow--27:9 (31-32). Note they used a goat (which was in their care) to ruin the robe (the object of their hatred) of their younger brother (like Cain and Abel). B. Sin inevitably brings pain (33-35). 1. Jacob identifies the killer as the "wild beast" (33). 2. Jacob's grief was deep, lifelong,--and needless (34-35). III. Expect God to be at work behind the scenes (36). A. Joseph actually moved into greater responsibility despite his brothers. B. God fulfilled Joseph's dreams using those who sought to destroy the dreamer. Conclusion: 1. Plan to be faithful in spite of opposition. 2. Keep the wild beast in its cage. 3. Repent of sin quickly to break the cycle of deception and pain.