Text: Genesis 37:3,4; Philippians 4:11
Prop: a colorful coat
Summary: Joseph learned to trust God no matter what his circumstances were.
The weather is getting colder. Some of us are wearing sweaters and coats to stay warm. Some people let the weather decide what their day will be like. If it is sunny, they are happy and cheerful. If it is rainy and cold, they are gloomy and miserable. Other people, you might say, carry their own sunshine with them. No matter what the weather is like outside, they choose to be happy anyway. No matter what circumstances life brings them, they trust in Jesus and go along with persistence. The Bible mentions that in the following verse:
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11
This reminds me of the story of Joseph. He grew up to be like that. He was not perfect. His mother, Rachel, died when he was 15 years old. Two years later, his father gave him the authority to be shepherd over the flocks, even though he had several older brothers. He was a tattle-tale when his brothers did bad things. They were not happy about that! To make matters worse, Joseph’s father gave him special treatment by giving him a multi-colored coat.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. – Genesis 37:3,4
Then one day Joseph had a dream. He told his brothers that he dreamed that a day would come when they would bow down to him and be his servants. Then he had another dream. He told his father and brothers that one day all of them would bow down to him. Even his father resented hearing this and told him so. His brothers envied him even more.
Jesus said neither cast your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). One of Murphy’s Laws says the same thing: Never teach a pig to sing. It is a waste of time and annoys the pig. These dreams were from God to comfort Joseph and strengthen him for the hard times he would face later. Joseph unwisely got very prideful about these dreams. He had to learn the hard way that all we have comes from God, so we should be humble and thankful.
Well, that coat of many colors that showed he was the favored son got Joseph into trouble with his jealous brothers. Joseph spent many years in the house of Potipher as a slave. He was wrongfully accused of a crime and put in prison for thirteen years. Eventually, after these humble years, he was exalted to a position of honor with the ruler. Through all of these bad and good times, Joseph learned to be happy where he was and be the best person he could be with what God gave him. He learned to trust God no matter what his circumstances were.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.