25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelitescoming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cisternand sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
Let’s do a quick evaluation of what was happening here:
- The brothers felt their disdain was worth more than their brother’s life. Meaning, they were willing to kill him in a trade for their hatred. His life was not of enough value to them that it was worthy of overshadowing their hatred. Their value system was greatly skewed, but their hatred still seemed to be massive in their minds.
- Now the brothers feel not only is his life is of less value than their hatred, but not worth enough to get them in trouble. They admit their hatred is not worth being guilty, and his life is worth even less. So… though the hatred was vast it wasn’t THAT bad (bad enough that they would endure guilt). So, they’ve opted to trade him for a bit of money. $200 in today’s economy. That’s what he was sold for. Split among 11 brothers this would only be $18 a piece. Haven’t they reduced his value to even less than before? Before, their hatred warranted his death. NOW they feel his life isn’t even worth their guilt, so they’ll trade him for $18 a piece. He is still as good as dead to them, they know he will be a slave and they are going to tell people he IS dead… they just don’t think he’s worth their guilt.
When we strip people of their value we open ourselves to all kinds of sinful dispositions towards them. When we view someone as less than the valuable asset Christ died for, we allow ourselves options of how to treat them. In reality EVERY single human (black, white, brown, democrat, republican, etc.) is worth the life of Christ. When YOU treat someone disrespectfully (showing you don’t value them) you’re saying Christ’s death was worthless and that YOU have a better meter of human value than God. Be careful how you act. You’re allowing Satan to preach a false gospel of worthlessness to them through your actions. We are called to value people ABOVE OURSELVES… Whatcha treatin people like?
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackclothand mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.
The depth of human sin is so dark that we can be perpetrators of hate all while playing the part of compassion. These are our forefathers and we are no different. Humanity is completely evil and desires nothing to do with God. Only HIS Spirit can change our hearts so that we can love and desire good.
God, thank You for allowing us to exist even after our terrible history! We consistently disobey yet You are so loving towards us. Help us TODAY to see the places in our life that we undervalue others. Keep us from becoming hateful and treating Your cherished creation as worthless.
I cannot stress enough how almost all christians undervalue other’s. We are called to cherish our neighbors above ourselves. If we would do this we would eliminate most of the division within the Church and ultimately be giving everything we could to help those who are unsaved… including our lives, our health, our finances, whatever it takes. Yet we value all of these previous things more than other individuals. That is why our churches have been powerless in seeing conversions.