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When Others Hate You     Gen. 37:2b-11, 17-20, 28     April 06-08

Introduction
Perhaps few of us have been really hated by others. In our home my wife refused to allow our daughters to use the phrase, "I hate You." It is good to establish a standard in our homes building toward proper treatment of others. In this lesson I think Joseph stirred up his brothers hatred toward him. It may be that he did it unintentionally but it appears to me he did it never-the-less. All of us need to seek ways to be careful we relate wisely to others at all times but especially When Others Hate You.

1. When Others Hate You . . Willingly Seek To Do Right. 37:2-4

A. Willingly Seek To Do Right Don't . . Provoke Others. 37:2
2 At 17 years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought a bad report about them to their father.

B. Willingly Do Seek To Do Right Don't . .Parade Your Blessings. 37:3-4
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring
themselves to speak peaceably to him.

        Joseph provoked the attitude of hatred in his brothers by his statements to them concerning his dreams. Did he, in a haughty manner, parade in front of them with his colorful robe? A seventeen year old young man would normally show off a colorful coat given to him by his father. I think we surely can say he did not act wisely or with a desire to build his relationship with his brothers. Imagine you are one of his brothers; do you appreciate the actions of Joseph? In our lifestyle today do we project ourselves in front of family and friends in a manner that might encourage their great dislike?

2. When Others Hate You Communicate . . Wisely. 37:5-11

A. Communicate Wisely Don't . . Antagonize Others. 37:5-8
5 Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.  6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: 7 There we were, binding sheaves of grain in  the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down
to my sheaf." 8 "Are you really going to reign over us?" his brothers asked him. "Are you really going to rule us?" So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.

B. Communicate Wisely Don't . . Aggravate Others. 37:9-11
9 Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. "Look," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to me." 10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him. "What kind of dream is this that you have
had?" he said. "Are your mother and brothers and I going to bow down to the ground before you?" 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

        As we read more about Joseph's actions I believe we can say Joseph antagonized and aggravated his brothers and relatives by telling them about his dreams. He may very well have shared his dreams in an immature manner. Mot of us increase in wisdom as we grew older, walked with, and served the Lord. As we read ahead in the scriptures we learn about Joseph's life and we know he gained wisdom from the Lord. The Bible tells all of us who lack wisdom to seek it from the Lord. That certainly encourages all of us does it not? I regularly keep that prayer command on my prayer list.

3. When Others Hate You . . Witness The Lord's Intervention. 37:17-20, 28

A. The Lord's Intervention When You Face . . Elimination. 37:17-20
17 "They've moved on from here," the man said. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan.'" So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan. 18 They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, "Here comes that dreamer! 20 Come on, let's kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we'll see what becomes of his dreams!"

B. The Lord's Intervention When You Face . . Exile. 37:28
28 When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for 20 pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt. HCSB

        Joseph's brothers hated him and because of his actions that hatred grew. It grew to the point they planned to kill him, but then one brother suggested selling him to Midianite traders. Where was God in all of this? He was doing exactly what the inspired dreams indicated He would do. So many times we do not fully understand what God plans to do until it occurs. All during the time Joseph faced elimination and exile God was working out the details of His plan to bring Joseph to Egypt and cause him to be a leader in that land. Did God work with and through the hatred of Joseph's brothers? I would say the answer is obvious. So we may conclude; trust God to work When Others Hate You. Amen? Amen!