Joseph - week 1, day 2

Today's scripture: Genesis 37:12-17

Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.

I didn’t want to take the sheep to the pasture near Shechem. My brothers were still so mad at me about the dreams, it just wasn’t fun being with them. They’ve been giving me dirty looks for days, and every time I try to talk to one of them, they just walk away from me without saying anything. I hoped Dad wouldn’t notice when I didn’t leave home with them and the flocks. But, of course, he did. He told me to go check on them, to make sure everything was okay. Right. Like they would talk with me anyway. They don’t want me around, that much is obvious. Don’t have to be the smartest person around to figure that out. So why would Dad do this??? I think I’m near now where the flocks should be, but I’ve stopped for a few minutes. It’s a nice sunny day, and I found a nice flat rock to sit on and write. There’s plenty of time for me to catch up with my brothers. Not like they’re waiting around for me to show up! They’re probably really happy I’m not there to bug them. It’s better hanging out here. I’m in no hurry...
— Joseph

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT...

  • Why do you think Jacob sent Joseph to the grazing land near Shechem to meet up with his brothers? What was he hoping would happen?
  • Jacob tells Joseph to go check on the "well-being" (shalom) of his other sons and the flocks. Shālom is a Hebrew word which means "welfare," "peace," "wholeness." Do you think Jacob hasn't noticed the lack of shalom in his family at this time, or is he trying to give Joseph and his brothers an opportunity to return to shalom?
  • Joseph's last interaction with his brothers did not end on a positive note, and this time Joseph's father is not nearby to run to for protection. If you were Joseph approaching his brothers, how do you imagine you would feel?
  • We're told that Joseph was "found wandering about" and was given directions to where his brothers' flocks were. Do you think this "wandering" was intentional (was he avoiding running into them) or was Joseph really lost?