Daily Word

Hope in suffering | Genesis 37:31-36

31 Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood; 32 and they brought the multicolored tunic to their father, saying, “We have found this; please examine it and decide whether or not it is your son’s tunic.” 33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces!”

34 So Jacob tore his clothes [in grief], put on sackcloth and mourned many days for his son. 35 Then all his sons and daughters attempted to console him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “I will go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in mourning for my son.” And his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile, in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph [as a slave] to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the [royal] guard.

Genesis 37:31-36 (AMP)

Deed is done

The dirty deed is done. Joseph has been sold off as a slave to the traders who are headed to Egypt…never to be seen again (so they thought). Now they need to cover the sin. Of course they can’t tell dad the truth so they come up with a lie. They made it look like Joseph was killed by a wild animal and they just happened to find his tunic. Seems kind of unlikely to me but Jacob believed it.

Mourning the loss

Yes, Jacob believed the trick and mourned the loss of his favorite son. The family (including the brothers who sold him into slavery) tried to console him. I can’t imagine how the sons could lie to their dad in such a manner. What did Judah and Reuben do? They could have “come clean” and confessed their role but there’s no record of that.

Jacob is terribly distraught at the news. So much so that he basically vows he will never get over it until he dies.

Hope in the suffering

As this is happening, Joseph is being sold as a slave. To whom is he sold as a slave? To Potiphar, “an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the [royal] guard.” If you don’t know the story, you can guess that God is preparing something special in this suffering. It’s no coincidence that this is where Joseph ends up.

“This chapter is the first of many, in the record of Joseph’s experiences, that demonstrates God’s ability to cause the “wrath of mankind” to “praise” Him (Ps. 76:10). He can make even bad situations work for the accomplishment of His purposes, and for the blessing of His elect (Rom. 8:28). (planobiblechapel.org)


  • “An important lesson of this chapter is that people who serve faithfully, as unto the LORD, often experience severe persecution, but God will preserve them so that they can fulfill their God-given destiny.” (planobiblechapel.org)
  • Are you serving the Lord faithfully? Have you encountered trials that cause you to want to quit? Take heart. Look to the end goal. “For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison (2 Cor 4:17)”
Cross of suffering and hope. Image from Pxfuel.com

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