Genesis 37: 1-2: Youth work

“Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.” NIV

As the major part of Joseph’s story opens, he is just 17 years old. We know that he knows that he is a person of destiny. He is aware of it it even at such a young age. He may not always handle this information wisely. We can’t expect him to be as mature as he’s going to be one day. But the Hand of God is on him. Let’s pray fervently, and with faith, for the teens in our families and in our churches. Who knows what God may do through them?

We may feel that Joseph, the beloved of his father, was a tell-tale. That may be the case. But it could also be that he was asked to fulfil a watching brief. We know these brothers were not the best behaved bunch in the world. They had something of a ‘track record’, we might say. It could also be the case that what they were doing did require reporting. There are some things we should never turn a blind eye to, even if we are accused of telling tales.

Jesus said: ‘’This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds may be exposed’’ (John 3:19,20). That may well be a commentary on today’s short passage.

PRAYER: Lord, I want to shine brightly in this dark world, but I realise it will not make me popular if I do, So please strengthen me to be your witness,