A Study of Joseph’s Life: Overcoming our Generational Patterns
Bible Text: Genesis 37:3-11 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Seal Training
Exodus 34:7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.
Psalms 78:4-8 We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors—stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
God warns us! One of the reasons the Lord is specific in sharing the flaws of some of his chosen people is that He wants us to avoid their mistakes and passing these mistakes to the next generation! 1 Corinthians 10:11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
Generational attitudes and sins and behaviors are passed down: Genesis 37:3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.
Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more that his other sons. Jacob loved Joseph more than his older brothers and he showed favoritism in a dramatic way by giving him a special coat: a coat of man colors. Joseph’s story is one of moral convictions and integrity.
Joseph was being given the rights of a FIRST BORN and therefor entitled to a double portion of the inheritance and the leadership of the family that would have been the first-born right!
We are all affected by sin and have a tendency to deceive ourselves: Jeremiah 17:9-10 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.
Jealousy and Hatred – Genesis 37:4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Jealousy and hatred are powerful destructive emotions in families. Resentment and bitterness are the roots of great injury in many families and churches.
The Sheaves of Grain – Genesis 37:5-7 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. Listen to this dream, he said. We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine! Can we imagine how Joseph’s family felt as he shared this obvious dream while wearing his obvious coat and so their response:
Genesis 37:8 His brothers responded, So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us? And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
This was a prophetic dream that came from the Lord. Genesis 42:6 Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground.
The Sun, Moon and Eleven Stars – Genesis 37: 9-11 Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. Listen, I have had another dream, he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me! This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. What kind of dream is that? he asked. Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you? But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. If there was any doubt about the meaning of the first dream, the second cleared it up.
Insights we learn:
Joseph: Because we know the story we can objectively conclude that if Joseph had been wise and secure in himself he would not have shared his dreams with his brothers and he would have gone to his father privately seeking his wisdom, insight and suggestions on how to handle his feelings and thoughts.
Jacob: Jacob would have been a wise father and not set up his son for failure and realized what was happening to his boys. His favoritism towards Joseph created the environment that triggered the jealousy, hatred, resentment and bitterness toward Joseph.
Us: This is what happens when we feel insecure when are rejected or disrespected by those close to us. Our tendency is to be defensive, prove them wrong and we tend to act in immature often destructive ways.
Principle: Beware of the factors that are IN us and AROUND us that tend to cloud our thinking and feelings and judgments!
There are problems we have that are self-induced! There are problems that are the results of others just as in Joseph’s situation, life. This is why it is so important for us to remain open and teachable and in a support community! We are all possible victims of this and no matter how much we know or think we know or don’t know we are ALL vulnerable to poor moments of judgment and that is one of the reasons we need one another. This is why we bounce things off each and learn to LISTEN WELL!
Titus 1:5-9 …An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. For an elder must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
Principle: All of us can make naïve judgments when we become anxious and insecure!
Beware of the power of rejection. When we feel this way we tend to become anxious and insecure and we feel threatened. There are many people who threaten others with their personalities, success, and capabilities. Most of us do not intent to act or think of ourselves as better than others, being more skilled or more capable but we cannot control others and their insecurities and therefore we may face strong reactions, even attacks at times.
Table Discussion Questions
If you are a parent, or grandparent are you showing favoritism? Please share why? What are the causes or reasons? Are they because of personality; finances; family of origin; past mistakes?
As a Believer in Jesus what factors in your personal experience that have caused you to be naïve and/or to use poor judgment?
Are you trying to prove yourself by working hard to please others who might or who are rejecting you because they are threatened by you? If you are willing and able please share you story.
Are you are people pleaser? Why do you think you are that way?
What insights form this teaching have you received regarding your own family background? Or you own current family system?
Are you aware of family patterns of thinking, feeling or behaving that need correction? How might you go about making these corrections?
What have you found to be good guidelines for making good judgments in your family, church, and vocation and/or in your social group settings?