Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors
The record of Joseph is a prime example of someone who stood steadfast on the Word of God regardless of the circumstances. We need to keep in mind that the people at this time didn't have God's Word written down so that they could read it and be comforted and exhorted by it daily like we can. The Bible wasn't written yet, God's promises were passed down from generation to generation by the fathers or Patriarchs. In contrast to our times, living the presence of God was their lifestyle. We have also seen that not everyone had an ear attuned to God, not everyone reverenced God and worshipped Him.
Joseph is the son of Jacob whom God named Israel. He is one of Israel's 12 sons, the second to the youngest. His mother was Rachel, the favorite wife of Israel. At this time culture dictates that the oldest son was the one with authority and should receive the blessing and property when the father dies. The oldest son is the 'second in command' and would run the family in the absence of the father. Now Joseph is the eleventh son, not much authority there, according to culture. But . . .
:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children,
because he was the son of his old age: [and the first son of Rachel his favorite wife]
and he made him a coat of many colours. [a sleeved garment indicating heirship]
:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren,
they hated him,
and could not speak peaceably unto him.[a severe case of sibling rivalry]
At the age of 17, Joseph was out tending sheep one day and God laid some pretty incredible revelation on him:
:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream,
and he told it his brethren:
and they hated him yet the more.
:6 And he said unto them,
Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field,
and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright;
and, behold, your sheaves stood round about,
and made obeisance to my sheaf.
:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us?
or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?
And they hated him yet the more for his dreams,
and for his words.
:9 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.
:10 And he told it to his father,
and to his brethren:
and his father rebuked him, and said unto him,
What is this dream that thou hast dreamed?
Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren
indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
:11 And his brethren envied him;
but his father observed the saying.
Wow, talk about a break in tradition! God told Joseph that his brothers and parents will bow down to him which angered the brothers considerably. Jacob, his father, knew better than to dispute this information yet he didn't condone it either, the revelation wasn't given to him. Joseph received this revelation twice (which makes it established) and both times he told his family about it. There is an important key to walking in the spirit that Jacob ignores here: Don't tell all you know. Jacob also loved Joseph much and made him a coat of many colors which gave Joseph prominence. The brothers had become very jealous and angry, so much so that they were moved to do evil.
:18 And when they saw him afar off,
even before he came near unto them,
they conspired against him to slay him.
:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him,
and cast him into some pit,
and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him:
and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
:21 And Reuben heard it,
and he delivered him out of their hands; and said,
Let us not kill him.
:22 And Reuben said unto them,
Shed no blood,
but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness,
and lay no hand upon him;
that he might rid him out of their hands,
to deliver him to his father again.
:23 And it came to pass,
when Joseph was come unto his brethren,
that they stript Joseph out of his coat,
his coat of many colours that was on him;
:24 And they took him,
and cast him into a pit:
and the pit was empty,
there was no water in it.
:25 And they sat down to eat bread:
and they lifted up their eyes and looked,
and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels
bearing spicery and balm and myrrh,
going to carry it down to Egypt.
:26 And Judah said unto his brethren,
What profit is it if we slay our brother,
and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites,
and let not our hand be upon him;
for he is our brother and our flesh.
And his brethren were content.
:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen;
and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit,
and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver;
and they brought Joseph to Egypt.
:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit:
and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit;
and he rent his clothes.
:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said,
The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? [go is the Hebrew word bow - go in, as to hide]
His brothers conspired to kill him but at Reuben's request, they decided to sell him into slavery, make a little money off of him and return his coat to Israel covered in sheep's blood. They did not get the money however, because he was found by Midianites and they sold him into slavery.
Remember, this is the son that Jacob (Israel) loved. What kind of effect do think this had on him?
:30 And they took Joseph's coat,
and killed a kid of the goats,
and dipped the coat in the blood;
:32 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.
:33 And he knew it, and said,
It is my son's coat;
an evil beast hath devoured him;
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
:34 And Jacob rent his clothes,
and put sackcloth upon his loins, [a sign of mourning for the dead and/or personal disaster]
and mourned for his son many days.
:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him;
but he refused to be comforted; and he said,
For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning.
Thus his father wept for him.
Jacob was so grieved he was going to carry that grief, maybe even wear the sackcloth until he died. The sackcloth is made of coarse goats hair and was a band or kilt that was worn around the waist next to the skin under their garments. It would be a continual reminder.
God told Joseph he would rule yet shortly after that he was sold into slavery. What do you think Joseph could be thinking? He was so excited about this revelation that God told him. He was loved by his father, he had no need for his family was not poor by any means, and then what appears to be a tragedy happens to him. Think about and empathize with him, put yourself in his shoes. Yet, there is no indication of any negative thoughts. He didn't question God, he didn't complain and whine about it, he held fast to the promise of God. He ended up being a slave in the house of the captain of the guard to Pharaoh in Egypt.
No matter the circumstances we must stand fast upon God's Word and promises. If we are in need of deliverance it is up to God to bring it to pass in His manner and not what or how we think it should be done. Be at peace and trust Him, believe Him and he will bring it to pass.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful [anxious] for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication
let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him
that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
II Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in
so let him give;
or of necessity:
for God loveth a cheerful giver.
:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work:
I Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God:
ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
Time and space do not permit me to write the over 900 promises in the Word of God.
An interesting note.
Just has Jacob had deceived Isaac his father into thinking he was Esau with the skin of a kid on his arms in order to receive God's blessing, he himself was deceived by the blood of a goat into thinking that his favorite son had been killed.