When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer! 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 had been a while since his brothers had seen Joseph and they were ‘just fine, thank you’ without him around. After all, he was a dreamer, the favorite of their father, and they hated him. So when they saw him coming towards them from afar, they planned to do him in. Can you imagine how great this hatred for Joseph was? How do things get so out of hand in a family?
As we consider their plot, we need to keep at least two things in mind -- first the underlying cause and secondly the concern that they had. Clearly, their intentions were a direct result of their feelings about his dreams and the fact that they would some day, according to his dreams, bow down to him. They would serve and worship him. I believe we are safe in assuming that as the text mentions it twice. First, they say to one another, “Here comes this dreamer!” and later on they say, “…let us see what will become of his dreams!” once they’ve killed him. Was it just jealously, or did they have enough knowledge of how God had used dreams in the history of their family to fear the great potential of truth in Joseph’s dreams? We can only surmise, but my guess is the latter.
The second thing to note is that they feared how the killing of Joseph would be presented to their father, Jacob. So they contrived a lie to tell him that a wild beast ate Joseph. This is a classic case of how one sin leads to another. Many of us know from personal experience that when we start down a road of evil, more evil is required to keep the truth from being exposed.
I believe there is also a message here for those that are on a mission for God. You will be opposed. People will plot against you. They’ll be jealous. They’ll try to kill your dreams. Like Joseph, you may be unaware of their feelings or plans, or as is just as often the case these days, they make their intentions known clearly. You need to know that when you are pursuing what God has told you to do, the enemy will use people you thought were your friends, even your family, to keep you from accomplishing your assignment. The best advice anyone can give you is to keep on going and stay very close to God.
And as for Joseph, yes, let’s see indeed “what becomes of his dreams!”
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