When Others Hurt You

I am going to start this post by stating that I am not a Bible scholar. I am a Bible believer…and even though I have been taught the Bible since I was in my mother’s womb. I find that the older I get the more I realize I don’t know but a fraction of what God wants me to learn from his book.

I was thinking that since the name of this blog is “The Inspired Housewife”, I thought I should let you know that I am inspired by more than just decorating shows and “how to” blogs. But I do firmly believe that God gave us the desire to be creative for a reason…and that God too is someone with a desire for creativity…if you don’t believe me just go look at the sunset tonight.

The other day I got thinking about Joseph and how he must have felt when his brothers threw him in that well. So I grabbed my Bible and started reading. Wow…Joseph has so much to teach me and I have just been ignoring him all these years…grab your Bible and let’s look at the life of Joseph together…

We will be starting in the 37th chapter of Genesis…It starts off by telling us that Joseph was 17,the baby of the family…and a tattletale…”he brought their father a bad report about them.” It doesn’t say what that report was…but it does follow that with saying “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons” ..Wow…

Lets take that in for a minute…loved him more than than the others…not just liked him more but loved him more. It says that it is because he was the child of his old age. I have one of those kids…child of my old age…I don’t love her more than my others but sometimes I don’t let the stresses of parenting get to me like I did when I was younger. I have learned to just enjoy her now…and not spend to much time stressing about the what ifs…

So was it just a perception ? I don’t know…it says he loved him more so maybe he did…but it is clear that Joseph played into that…as youngest children often do. I can say that because I was the youngest in my family. It’s fun to see yourself as the favored one.

He tattled on his brothers. Youngest children often do this…it was actually my oldest that was the tattletale of the family and I didn’t discourage it. I liked having a spy in the camp..did Joseph’s dad feel the same way? But when the dad made him that special coat things had gone to far. He had to know that it rubbed his brothers the wrong way but there he was wearing it when he went to “check” on his brothers. I wonder why he didn’t go with them in the first place…was less expected of him because he was the youngest? I have to admit that I have been guilty of that at times. Do we as parents encourage sibling love or division with our actions? We need to learn from this passage that it is not good to play favorites. It says that the brothers could not speak a kind word to him…Dad knew how they felt and yet he did nothing to make it better…Joseph knew how they felt.

Wow…this just hit me…we are talking grown men…not children. Joseph was the youngest at 17. As a parent of adults we often forget that are children are still looking at us. They want our approval…and love.

Joseph made it worse by telling them his dreams of him ruling over them someday. He didn’t just have one dream and share it and then oops…that didn’t go over well…guess I shouldn’t do that again. No…he had another dream and was quick to tell them about that too. What was he thinking? Had his pride gotten in the way of other peoples’ feelings?

I guess we are all like that with family sometimes…we might watch our words with other people but with family we just say whatever pops into the head…which in some cases can be hurtful. Joseph needed to be thinking more about building a good relationship with his brothers.

Little did he know…he would have a lot of time to think about that later. How much did every conversation run through his mind over the next few years…

In verse 24 the brothers decide to throw Joseph in a well…or a pit since there was no water in it. He hadn’t been around them for awhile so this was hate that they had been harboring . He had yet to say a word to them and they were planning his demise. Maybe it was the sight of that coat that set them off…maybe God is trying to remind us that what we choose to wear could decide our day. What would have happened if Joseph had chosen a different coat? Was it just the sight of that coat that and not Joseph so much that brought out the anger? Maybe the anger was really at dad more than Joseph…they had to know the pain it was going to cause him…or maybe they didn’t. How often do we hurt someone and we just really hadn’t thought our actions would affect anyone else?

Remember now that all the brothers wanted to kill him…wow…I may have been mad at my brother through the years but kill? But for some reason he lucked out. Reuben thought death was a bit extreme and he convinced the brothers to just throw him in the well. I wonder why…was there a bit of love still left for Joseph?  For years I have read this and thought of Reuben as some sort of hero but I’m sure Joseph wasn’t seeing him that way. He’s in a pit…a dark and lonely place. Remember…they THREW him in the pit…he is probably hurt physically…not to mention emotionally.

Now this is the part that really got me…..They sat down to eat their meal…What????? They didn’t throw their brother in the pit and run…they sat there and ate. Think about that…Joseph is probably yelling…Hey guys…get me out of here…I’m hurt…guys…and they act as if they don’t hear him…they are eating. Going about life as if nothing happened.

Has anyone ever hurt you and you found yourself jumping up and down saying, “Hellllllo..I’m hurt over here”…and yet the person that has hurt you doesn’t even acknowledge your hurt? They just go about their life. We want an I’m sorry…I was wrong…are you ok?…but nothing comes…

Then his brothers get another idea and they decide to take him out of the pit and sell him. Now imagine you are Joseph…

You have been walking a long time and you finally find your brothers…you have stories you want to share with them…you are hungry..you are releived to see them…maybe you even run those last little bit when you see them…then all of a sudden they grab you…you think they are joking around…the way brothers do but this time they aren’t joking. They throw you in the well…a dark pit. At first you are mad..hey that hurt…guys…get me out of here…you are starting to get scared…

Finally they have come to their senses…they have sent down a rope and are pulling you up…relief sets in…ok that is over…but wait..it’s not over…they didn’t pull him up to say they were sorry…they didn’t pull him up because they cared about him. They pulled him up for their own agenda.

I wonder that if for a moment as Joseph was coming out of that well did he feel bad for making your brothers hate him so much? Then the next thing he knows, they have sold him to strangers and he facing a life that he never imagined for himself. I remember feeling hurt much like Josephs…I was being forced by others to give up the life I knew…the one I loved and in my own mind I kept searching for a way that this could end happy. Was Joseph doing that as he watched his homeland go farther and farther from his view? What pain he must of felt…total rejection…and sadness..

Have you ever been let down by people that you love? Maybe more than once? Do they not seem to even understand that they have hurt you? How do you deal with that?

We are going to continue to look and see how Joseph handled heart ache…abandonment..and fear.



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5 Responses to When Others Hurt You

  1. Wow, Dianne, this is an awesome Bible study! I’m looking forward to the rest of this study!

  2. Beth in the City

    Thanks, I’m going to enjoy this series with you!
    I hadn’t thought of looking at Joseph’s life in light of my own personal relational pain. It’s been hard for me to figure out how to deal with this stuff! I’m making progress but it’s hard work.

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