Thursday, February 2, 2012

Genesis 35-37: Immaturity Worked Out

Genesis 35: 2 & 3

"Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, 'Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we’re going to Bethel. I’m going to build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere I’ve gone since.'”

My thought was…all of the supernatural encounters Jacob (Israel) had already had with God and His angelic forces and there were still idols in his home?

I also notice the prophetic symbolism in Genesis 37:23 & 24.

23 “When Joseph had come to his brothers, they stripped him of his [distinctive] long garment which he was wearing;
24 Then they took him and cast him into the [well-like] pit which was empty; there was no water in it.”

Joseph’s dangerously jealous brothers conspired to kill him, but firstborn Reuben intervened. Instead, they stripped Joseph of the coat His father made for him. I believe the coat here represents the Father’s glory. But no other other person can strip God’s glory from us. We need to willingly give it up. Could it be that Joseph allowed his Father’s glory to be stripped from him by walking in immature arrogance?

The second prophetic picture is that Joseph was cast in an empty pit by his brothers. There was no water in it. When we willingly allow God’s glory to be stripped from us due to active sin, another consequence is the lack of His Holy Spirit represented by the lack of water.

A third thought would be the pit. I submit to you that Joseph had already been stuck in a spiritual pit due to his pride in experiencing heavenly dreams and placing himself above his brothers. I don’t believe this pride was malicious; it was a sign of his immaturity, which needed to be worked out of him.

In effect, Joseph’s brothers were doing him a favor by treating him in this way, although I am not condoning their actions. Joseph’s pride would have stunted his destiny. The trauma of slavery burned the pride right out of him.

God used the abusive treatment of Joseph’s brothers and eventually brought good out of it for Joseph and for Joseph’s extended family (that comes later). :)

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