Jacob was a shepherd and so were all his sons. Genesis 46:32, 34; 47:3. The 10 older sons and Joseph their younger brother who was in his teenage years used to take their family’s flocks and herds for grazing to places where there was good pasture from time to time. While away from their home to the grazing land the older sons committed some atrocities and Joseph reported them, “Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” Genesis 37:2.
Joseph’s action implied a) he did not join them in doing the evil they perpetuated because God demanded separation and perfection from those under His covenant Genesis 12:1; 17:1. (b) His not partaking in their evil deeds and reporting them was in line with God’s injunction for believers not to be neutral or silent with respect to works of darkness and immorality but to reprove them – expose, rebuke, and speak against wickedness in all forms, John 7:7; Ephesians 5:11. (c) He reported them out of his love for them and so that they would be reprimanded and so that they would stop their evil deeds, Jude 22-23. Joseph’s report of their evil deeds could not be said to be made out of prejudice because their other actions and behaviors as recorded in the Scripture confirmed them as workers of iniquity evil, Genesis 34;25-29; 37:18-28, 31-32.
One of the greatest challenges confronting many in Christendom especially the youths is them joining older members of their families, peer groups/friends/schoolmates, and others in their immediate environment and in the world at large to perpetuate works of darkness and immorality. As a result of their involvement in sinful acts, their relationships with God have been destroyed, many great destinies have been truncated and many lives have been lost. SEPARATE YOURSELF MORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY FROM SIN
The Omniscient God knows that man has the inclination to imitate, copy and be influenced by others for both good and bad, therefore He has required right from the Old Testament to the New Testament that His people should separate themselves to Him by drawing near to Him in a close and intimate fellowship and also separate themselves morally and spiritually from sin and from everything that is contrary to Jesus Christ, righteousness and the Word of God (Exodus 23-24; Ezra 9:2; John 17:15-16; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; James 1:27; 4:4). Their separation will help them to remain in faith (1 Timothy 1:9; 6:10, 20-21), to be holy (John 17:14-21; 2 Corinthians 7:1) and live wholly to God as their Lord and Father (Matthew 22:7; 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
Many people believe separation unto God is a demand not achievable. However, Joseph demonstrated to us the possibility of a true believer in God through Jesus Christ to be different and holy and separated from all other people in order to belong to God as His very own and living for Him as He requested us to do, 1 John 2:6. Although, it is a known fact that older children have a great influence on their younger ones and can compel them to do their wishes and also that younger ones look up to their older ones and imitate/copy the way they do things whether good and bad. Yet, this was not so with Joseph. His older brothers could not influence him with their bad characters. He did not indulge in the evil deeds of his older brothers that he lived in the same compound with from his infantry and those he followed and spent quality time with while they went to feed their flocks. It wasn’t as if they wouldn’t have tried cajoling him or even threatened him to join them as older siblings/people often do. He was able to say “No” and remained resolute on his decision to stay separated unto God.
Joseph’s life also revealed that a consecrated life goes beyond not involving in sin but also being concerned about the souls of those involved in sin to change from their evil ways by reporting them to God in prayers and to constituted authorities or to reprove them personally. Joseph knew his brothers would not take his reporting them to their father lightly with him yet he did without fear of their persons or the evil they could do to him. Reporting them to their father contributed to why they hated him, Genesis 37:4.
Joseph did not achieve this by his own power and effort but by the special grace of God operating in his life because of the degree of his relationship and consecration to the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of his father Jacob. Joseph’s life was an example of a youth who had a deep understanding of what having a personal intimate relationship with the Holy and Perfect God implies! Joseph is a perfect example of a true believer called to be the Light and salt of their respective families and the world at large, Matthew 5:13-14; 1Timothy 4:12.
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to be different and be separated unto God and abstain from all evil actions in our families and the world at large, 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 3 John 1:11. Being like Joseph is to dare to keep one’s self holy and undefiled, Hebrews 12:14. Joining to do evil with evildoers will destroy one spiritually and also make one lose heaven. A Christian believer has been crucified with Christ and has Christ’s life. He is to live as Christ lived.
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to be one’s brothers’ keeper by not closing one’s eyes to their sinful ways by not reproving/reporting them. Although family members are often the most difficult to convert, yet do your bit by admonishing them when they do any sinful thing. God is interested in all your family members. God loves all men and Jesus died for all, John 3:16. Reprove them not minding the fact that it might result in your being hated, isolated, mocked, abused, and being called a traitor or snitch. Just remember that God loves you and is with you always, He will protect you as He protected Joseph.
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to be an example of the true believers, the light and the salt of the world, Matthew 5:13-14; 1Timothy 4:12.
From the life of Joseph, we saw that God rewarded those whose lives are consecrated unto Him by loving and cherishing them as His own children, protecting them, blessing, and favoring them greatly by His Presence, 2 Corinthians 6: 17-18.
However, not being separated causes great hindrances;
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
Neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2
REPENT AND BECOME GENUINELY BORN AGAIN, AND BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT SO THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE GRACE TO RESIST SIN.
AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SIN NOT, Ephesians 5:1-13
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.