That many people should be kept alive

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” Andhis brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem.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.” 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 ofHebron, and he came to Shechem. And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.  (Genesis 37:3-18)

Hundreds of years later, the beloved Son of God, with whom the Father was well pleased, would come and proclaim that there was no way to the Father except through Himself.  He would claim to be the Messiah and God Himself, and those who were sons of God, by name, would conspire to kill Him.

Those who were so proud to be Abraham’s descendants, the heirs of God’s promises, the supposed keepers of the law of Moses, would beat Him, mock Him, and turn Him over to Roman authorities to be brutally scourged and murdered.

And yet many of them were saved.  Despite their previous hatred of Him and offenses against Him, He allowed them to turn away from their sin and receive eternal life by trusting in Him for salvation.  Like Joseph would later say to his brothers, Jesus could say to His murderers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).  How gracious is King Jesus!

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