Jealousy, lies, deception lack faith which shows that they are fearful and demonic and are the opposite of Godís heavenly love.
The opposite of love is fear, and if we really think about it, jealousy, lies deception, and lack of faith are all the result of being fearful.
Most people seem to think that the opposite of love is hate, but if we really think about it, hatred is the result of being fearful of something, or someone, or even a race of people, and what we think they can do.
Letís begin our Bible discussion about jealousy, lies, deception lack faith by looking at Genesis 37:1-28Ö
1. Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.
And remember that neither his father or grandfather wanted to take a wife for his son from the land of Canaan, because of their lack of faith and belief in God, because they knew that there ways would very like pull their sons away from God.
2. These are the records of the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
Joseph was the son of Rachael, whom Jacob originally wanted to marry, but his father-in-law deceived him into marrying her older sister first, and Bilhah and Zilpah were their maids, and where the trouble begins, for this relationship is against Godís heavenly will of having one man and one woman to form a marriage, and this is where we believe the trouble really begins.
3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.
We hope we can all see how this could very easily set up jealousy among his other sons,
4. And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.
Remember that hatred is really a byproduct of fear, as in this case that Joseph would receive more things or power than they.
5. Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
Sometimes it is best not to tell others about these kinds of dreams, because it is a way of lording something over them.
6. And he said to them, "Please listen to this dream which I have had;
Is Joseph doing the out of pride?
It very likely could be, but we are not told specifically.
7. for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf. "
Joseph must have known that this would anger his older brothers.
Is he doing this in retaliation for the ways his brothers treated him?
We just donít know, but family jealousies are quite common in the world today, just as they probably were then.
8. Then his brothers said to him, "Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
When we try to make people jealous, which is also against Godís will, it can escalate out of control as it is in this case.
9. Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
This is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
10. And he related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"
Even if these things are true, they are not received well by others, especially those who are affected by them.
We need to do and say everything in the heavenly love and will of the Lord.
11. And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
Even though Israel was initially angry, he obviously believed that there could be some truth in what Joseph told him.
12. Then his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem.
And let us not forget that God created the animals to be our companions and not our property, so this whole Biblical episode is taking place in he corrupt ways of the world.
13. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go."
Both Israel and Joseph knew there were relationship problems between Joseph and His brothers, yet at the same time he is being sent to them, even though they both know that Joseph will be alone with them.
14. Then he [Israel] said to him, "Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock; and bring word back to me." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
Itís at least a four day journey on foot, and if they were moving the animals it would take at least twice that time, which means that the earliest that Israel would hear anything back from Joseph would be 8 days, and a lot could happen in those 8 days
15. And a man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, "What are you looking for?"
16. And he said, "I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock."
From the sound of the transcribed conversation, they seem to know each other, or at least the man knew the family, because Joseph doesnít them to the man.
17. Then the man said, "They have moved from here; for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
This was at least another three days walk, which Israel doesnít know about, and considering the problems between them, this trip seem to be a bad decision.
18. When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death.
Festering jealousy in the minds of a group of people can easily escalate, and if we add to this that these brothers feared that Joseph would give their father a bad report, it can easily become even more violent, as we see here, which is something that Israel should have known before he sent Joseph.
19. And they said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer!
Joseph was walking into the violence of worldliness, much the same as it is today.
20. "Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"
It is impossible to destroy the heavenly will of God by killing the person who told of it to the people as they did with many of the prophets, and even Jesus, and what the brothers are planning to do is really no different.
21. But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, "Let us not take his life."
Reuben knew that what they were planning was against the heavenly will of God, but he only went so far in altering their plans.
22. Reuben further said to them, "Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him" ó that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father.
Was Reuben also afraid of his brothers and only went this far?
We just donít know, because the Bible doesnít tell us.
23. So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him;
24. and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.
The way the pit is described, it sounds like it could have been an old dug well that was too deep to climb out of, but not so deep that Joseph would have been seriously hurt, thus Reuben hoped he could rescue him at a later time.
25. Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt.
26. And Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?
This is the way the world thinks, but even though it was against the heavenly will of God, it played into His hands.
27. "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him.
They were planning to sell their brother into slavery.
28. Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
In this Biblical story, we have seen how jealousy, lies, deception lack faith in God, but also how God used their evil intent for His glory, but in the process, they caused a lot of pain and suffering.
Letís now look at these worldly ways from an entirely different perspective in Matthew 14:22-33Ö
22. And immediately [after He heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded] He made the disciples get into the boat, and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
His cousin John was murdered by the evil worldliness that He came to try to have the people repent of and follow the heavenly will of God.
23. And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Jesus probably wanted to still mourn John and the evil ways of the world and to pray.
24. But the boat was already many stadia away from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
The conditions are being set up for a miracle and to test the faith of the disciples.
25. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
This was a miracle taking place before their eyes, but will they recognize it as such, or will they still look on it with worldly vision?
26. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were frightened, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
Even after spending time with Jesus, they still think like the world.
27. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
Jesus was trying to quiet down their fears and restore their faith.
28. And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
Just think about how Peter answers; ďif it is youĒ shows his doubt, and even if it wasnít Jesus, that person could have lied and commanded Peter the same way.
Either we have faith or we donít; there is no middle ground.
29. And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Does this mean that Peter regained his faith?
30. But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Fear is not of God, it is of the world
31. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Jesus tell Peter that he acted with a lack of faith, and as a result he failed, just as we so often do.
32. And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
This is just another miracle, that hopefully would strengthen their faith, just as the Bible writers hoped it would strengthen ours
33. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"
Words can be very cheap and we do not know how strong their faith really became after this incident.
However, we do know that the denied Jesus and fled prior to His crucifixion and returned to the profession of killing fish following His crucifixion instead of being fishers of men that Jesus called them to be.
Jealousy, lies, deception lack faith, but consistently living in the heavenly will of God with an outpouring of love, compassion, and empathy for the whole of creation shows our faith.
We hope and pray that we all come to have the faith that Jesus wants us all to have.
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