Genesis 37:12-17


Verse 12-17 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.  {13} And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.  And he said to him, Here am I.  {14} And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again.  So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.  {15} And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? {16} And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.  {17} And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.  And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.


I.    It is quite amazing that the brothers went to Shechem in view of the events of chapter 34.

A.  It seems the sons of Jacob were much more zealous and ready for a fight than their elderly father, Jacob.

1.   Young people are apt to do what they think is right, without thinking of the consequences of their actions.

2.   Jacob was that way in his youth, especially when he tricked his father into giving him the birthright.

B.   I do believe Jacob knew his sons were going to Shechem to pasture the flocks.

1.   Jacob send his sons to Shechem because he owned land there, Gen. 33:18-20.

2.   He became worried about their safety, because he wasn't sure what the inhabitants of the land would do to them if they got the chance.  See Gen. 34:30.


II.   Jacob sent Joseph instead of one of the servants.

A.  If he had understood the intense hatred his sons had for Joseph, he would have sent someone else.

1.   It's amazing that Jacob didn't see the hatred for Joseph.

2.   Apparently Joseph didn't see the hatred either, for he was very willing to go.

B.   One reason Jacob sent Joseph was because he knew Joseph would tell things exactly like there were.  See verse  2.

C.   One thing for sure, God worked all these circumstances to the eventual salvation of Israel.

D.  Joseph was willing to go, "Here am I."

1.   Children ought to be willing to obey their parents.

2.   Sometimes obedience entails a very dangerous journey into dangerous places.


III. The length of the trip.

A.  It was about 50 miles from Hebron to Shechem, and about 25 miles from Shechem to Dothan.

1.   If Joseph obeyed just the "letter of the commandment", he would have ended his journey at Shechem, for he had done what his father said to do.

2.   Joseph wanted to find out how the brothers were doing, so he went the "extra mile" to find out.

3.   So we should be willing to go the "extra mile" to obey our heavenly Father.

B.   Joseph was a long way from home when he was sold into bondage.

1.   When a person gets away from home, they sometimes think they can do things that nobody will ever find out about.

a.   But this isn't so.

b.   You can be 1,000 miles from home and meet somebody who lives just across the street from you.

2.   God isn't bothered by distance.  He sees all and knows all.


IV. The man who found Joseph.

A.  His name is not mentioned, although he is a pivotal character in this drama.

B.   Wandering in the field.

1.   The word "behold" seems to indicate that Joseph was surprised when he didn't find his brothers.

2.   Apparently, Joseph didn't know what to do, and was mulling over in his mind what his next step would be.