Memorise: “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?”- Proverbs 27:4Read: Genesis 37:3-11 (KJV)
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
In the course of my life, I have come to realize that it pays to accept the validity of God’s word and live by the wisdom it contains. When the word of God says “Wrath is cruel and danger is outrageous” the wise will receive word and run away from anger and any form of cruelty. The truth is, a lot of anger is borne out of envy. According to today’s Bible reading, Joseph’s brothers envied him, and when you consider the consequences of the anger that resulted from this, you will agree that what Jesus says in Matthew 5:21-22a:
“21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:”
Joseph became a victim of his brothers’ envy, and he would have lost his life but for God’s intervention. Nevertheless, he was separated from his loving father for a good number of years and suffered as a result of the malicious allegations of Potiphar’s wife. He would not have been subjected to slavery, blackmail and imprisonment if his brothers had not envied him. No wonder Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:36:
Beloved, are you a victim of envy from members of your household? The Lord will deliver you today in Jesus’ Name.
One important lesson to learn from Joseph’s experience is that the love which Jacob openly lavished on him above his brothers was enough to generate envy. This was then compounded by the fact that Joseph naively shared the dreams of his future elevation over his brothers with them. Joseph could have kept his dreams to himself and nothing would have stopped him from fulfilling his destiny because it was of the Lord. Speaking of this truth, the Holy Spirit says in Psalm 33:11:
“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”
You must therefore be careful who you share your visions, dreams and aspirations with because the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Your unguarded statements can draw devastating envy to your doorstep, hence the need to be circumspect in what you share with others. May you not fall victim to the envy of your enemies in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heaven 7 February 2019 Thursday Action Point:
Think of the things you do that attract avoidable envy from the people around you and stop doing them.
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