Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joseph Sold By His Brothers

By Odon Bulamba (28 June 2002)

Genesis 37

We are going to talk about how Joseph was sold. Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him. The Bible says that if you hate anyone you are a murderer. From the beginning Joseph’s brothers hated him and by hating him, it made them eligible to be murderers. According to his brothers Joseph had no value as a human being, he was compared to a thing. This is what many people do today; they neglect people to the point that their dog has more value. There was a person who would spend more than $2000 on their dog and loved it more then his workers. Many Christians today hate pagans and think they have little value, if a pagan goes through a hard time they say, ‘it is just his reward for doing what he did’.

So for making Joseph pay his price they dug a hole and threw him in. We know a well is a source of water but this well was transformed into a prison for Joseph. Many Christians today put people in holes as Joseph was; they humiliate and neglect them to the point where they are weak as Joseph was. Try to imagine a group of ten men throwing you into a well; I think it will be very difficult to escape especially when they are stronger then you. However if forgiveness existed it would have been better.

Joseph’s brothers didn’t think he had the right to live, they didn’t think about the consequences nor did they think about forgiveness. How many times do we neglect and furthermore humiliate people when we are comfortable and don’t think of forgiveness? How many times do we think about the value of their soul? When you do something against your brother do you consider the consequences later?

When Reuben arrived to his brothers he asked for Joseph. By this time they had sold Joseph as a slave. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver, and Jesus was sold for 30 pieces. This is how we compare the value of people, maybe it is because of our knowledge, perhaps it is our race or possibly our religion, but how many times do we neglect other human beings? When God created you, nobody advised God to make you short or tall, so how much did you pay God to make you the way you are?

There were two clever students in a class who used to call others stupid because even though they didn’t study they always succeeded. The other students would work all night and achieve a C+ and because of this the two clever students would say, ‘you are really unintelligent because you don’t understand anything’. Do you suppose that these two students thought about God giving them this ability? We must not be proud with what we have and judge others; to say one is stupid is not acceptable for a Christian.

From here two groups are formed, the clever students and the not-so-clever students. When God gives you something His purpose for you is to help others, if you understand maths, help those who don’t. If you can pray, then help those who can’t and if you can read the Bible, then help those who cannot. If you don’t God will ask you, “what did you do with what I gave you? I gave you something but how did you use it?’

Joseph’s brothers forgot that God was watching them when they made their father believe soaking his clothes in Goat’s blood killed him. Many people organize their lives and forget that God is watching, they don’t realize that God also has a plan and is not blind. We forget that God is omnipresent and knows our thoughts even before they enter our minds.

Today many people make others miserable by putting them in trouble and making themselves look good. They are like mirrors, on one side you can see yourself but on the other side there is nothing, and this is Christian life today.

We call ourselves Christians and have a Bible, but when it comes to live a life in the Lord we are very different.

Reuben came and asked for Joseph, the brothers said an animal ate him. Reuben was shocked and ripped his robe, and then he started thinking about Joseph’s value, ‘what will my father say?’ Do we feel bitterness when we see people going towards spiritual death? Or are we happy that they are dying? Our brother Reuben didn’t have time to rejoice in Joseph’s death, but he started thinking about his life, ‘what will our father say when he asks me where is Joseph’?

As Christians we forget that we have to give an account to God for our lives. Jacob is seen here as an image of God and God will ask you the same question, ‘where were you when this person died in his sin?’ If your friend died in prostitution what did you do about it? We must be very careful with people’s lives, if you see that your brother is making mistakes don’t let him to carry on with it, if you see that your sister is sinning tell her because you will have to give an account one-day.

So the brothers took Joseph’s robe to their father to see what he’ll say and even though they knew they were deceiving their dad they still followed through. Jacob didn’t know the difference with the blood but said this is my sons robe, and Jacob mourned for him. From this the brothers changed their father’s joy to sorrow; they turned their father’s good thoughts into agony. How many times do we make people sick? How many times do we turn people’s joy into mourning?

The bothers didn’t think their dad would mourn for the rest of his life, nor did they think he would contemplate about Joseph’s life, and it is the same with us, we don’t think about the consequences. Some people are experts at disturbing others, to the point where they can’t stop. Try to imagine Joseph’s brothers dividing the 20 pieces of silver between them? With something little you can make life miserable, it is like a father who becomes angry and pushes his son against the wall and dies. After three minutes the anger will pass, but now you are left to think about what you’ve done, but it will be too late because you can’t change consequences. The time we live on this earth is very short, and if we do things that disappoint our God woe to us because we will reap the consequences for the rest of our lives.

There was a father who told his son not to respect adults. The father had a lot of anger inside of him and hung himself. Anger led him to death, like our sins which lead us to death. What you do to someone today be sure that you will reap the consequences later, and if you don’t think about the consequences you will never be a good believer.

When John Paul the second came to Africa he received about $4 million from people, even though he was already rich people gave him a lot, but what about feeding the hungry people with their money? If Helen Clark (ex prime minister of NZ) was to visit Michael’s place, Sylvie would prepare a luxurious meal, but she will not do it if Odon comes. When people receive great people they spend a lot, they don’t do the same for poor people. So who are we? We make disparity between the rich and the poor, we make disparity between the strong and the weak and we forget that God made them both, and this is why the church is confused today. If you want to see evil today go to a church and you will see many sins, because Christians do what pagan’s wouldn’t even do.

Oscar visited a person one day who asked him about his future life?’ Oscar said only God knows my future, but maybe I’ll have a family one-day. Oscar confessed he needed money to bring his wife from Zaire and the person answered, ‘if I had the money Oscar I’d give it to you’.

Then another man came over and was selling puppies at $300 each, so the first man brought one for his wife. The man handed over $300 for one puppy. Oscar was there watching, he saw him hand over $300 for the pup and said, ‘I thought you didn’t have any money?’ He said that this was not his money but someone else‘s. The puppy had more value than Oscar. This is how we act when it comes to money. With money we sacrifice people’s lives as Joseph’s brothers sacrificed him and Judas sacrificing Jesus.

Money is useless, it is only paper and can be ripped easily, but as adults we worship this bit of paper, so are we different from those who worshipped Baal? At least those who worshipped Baal were worshipping a wooden statue because the statues use to be a living tree, but today we worship paper. Lets’ be careful with what we are doing especially with the souls around us because one day we will have to give an account to God for them. Whether you like it not you will be accountable, rich or poor you will be accountable, and always remember that one day your life will end.

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