Both Israel and Joseph have good intentions.

The old man wanted to know that all was well with his sons. He sent young Joseph to Shechem check on them. The lad, not finding them there, inquired of a stranger who suggested that they might have gone to Dothan. It was there that Joseph met them, in obedience to their father’s request.

he  had no dream to tell that day; but the damage had already been done. He was labelled “the dreamer” and his brothers conspired to kill him.

Well? not all of them. Reuben, the eldest, thought that he had a good plan to save his little brother from their fury, “Let us not take his life. “ was Reuben’s counsel. They agreed; and it seemed to Reuben that his plan was about to work out.

Judah, also re-considering the plot to kill Joseph, suggested that he be sold to the Ishmaelites. And they sold their brother for twenty pieces of silver. That plan clashed with Reuben’s so the latter crashed.

Poor Reuben. The narrative indicates that he had taken leave of his brothers, for we read “when Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.” Not realising how guilty his siblings were, he joined their plot to present Jacob with a story that a wild animal had devoured him.-  blood on Joseph’s special clothes (blood on their hands), that coat from his father.

I often wonder about Reuben. Did he not ever suspect his brothers of hiding something? With brothers around each other all the time, they could not remain forever tight-lipped.

But if the truth be told, it’s sometimes easier not to know the whole truth.

And the father mourned the loss of his son. And his son was sold into Egypt That dreamer found himself in the household of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

 

There were storms ahead for Joseph, storms for Israel and his sons, but God was riding upon and ahead of the storm.

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