June 16, 2024

The evil of men and God’s plan

Passage: Genesis 37:12-35
Service Type:


  • We see God working in wonderful ways, planning all things
  • We also see the wickedness of the human heart
    • The doctrine of total depravity/corruption
  • We see this in Joseph's brothers
    • We see the depths of the human heart - to plot the death of their brother
      • No love for their father
      • Jealousy turned to hatred
    • Joseph is an upright man
      • He is concerned for his brothers
    • The brother's sin leads to more sin
    • Reuben tries to rescue his brother
    • Judah does not want to kill him
  • Yet, God is working out His purposes
    • "He makes the wrath of man to praise Him" (Psalm 76:10)
    • God is orchestrating events
      • Joseph was to be a mediator of their salvation
  • The evil of men & the plan of God

A Foolish Decision

  • Jacob made a foolish decision to send Joseph to his brothers
    • He was foolish to show favouritism
      • He should have remembered what happened in his own life/family
  • He should have realised what his other sons were like
    • They could not speak peaceably to Joseph (Gen 37:4)
  • Jacob was not wise like a serpent
    • Simeon and Levi had already shed blood - Gen 36
  • Application:
    • Not to have a suspicious spirit
    • We need to be discerning
    • We need to learn to not put our trust in men
    • We must not overlook the sins of our children

An Obedient Son

  • Joseph responds "Here I am" (v13)
    • He represents Jesus Christ who came to do His Father's will
  • He was prepared to go the second mile (v17)
    • This reminds us of Jesus Christ who went all the way to the cross

A Strange Providence

  • Joseph meets a 'random' person (v15-16)
    • Without this - he would have been saved so much suffering
    • God was working out His purposes
    • When bad things happen - we must not blame our circumstances
  • Why did this happen to Joseph?
    • A humbling experience - to cause reflection
    • What men intended for evil, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20)

A Conspiracy to Kill

  • They conspire to kill Joseph from "afar off" (v18)
    • Some people respond when provoked - this was premeditated
      • A great difference to the Prodigal Son/Father
    • Here we see something of the worse of human nature
    • There is a depravity that the human heart is prone to
  • They planned to kill him (v19-20)
    • Reuben intervenes - the kindness of God
      • Perhaps he had learned from his previous encounter
    • Judah intervenes - suggesting Joseph is sold
    • They make their father think Joseph is dead

Closing Remarks

  • Joseph reminds us of Jesus Christ
    • The religious leaders plotted against Him
    • Pilot tried to save Him
    • Betrayed and sold for money
    • Handed over to the Gentiles
    • Raised from the dead
    • God's plan of salvation was through Jesus Christ – Acts 2:23-24, 36
    • Descended to the depths
    • Raised to glory
  • We are reminded of the evil of men but the plan of God
  • Jesus saves from death, hell and destruction
    • Do you know Jesus Christ?
    • Are your sins forgiven?
    • Trust in Him as Lord and Saviour
  • God's plan works together for good