And they said、 each man unto his brother,— Lo! that master of dreams yonder coming in! Now therefore、 come! let us slay him、 and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say— A cruel beast hath devoured him,— And let us see what will become of his dreams.” (Genesis 37:19–20, EMPH)

Dear Younger Us:  Now that you’ve settled into Dothan and your father’s flocks are grazing peacefully on the fresh grass, we have some advice for you.  Tomorrow afternoon you’re going to see your brother Joseph making his way to you from far off.  You know, the one we all refer to as “That Master of Dreams,” the one who is going to rule over us some day.

You’re going to hatch the nastiest plot in the whole book of Genesis.  You’re going to want to kill your younger brother because, well, you hate him, but Reuben, ever the oldest brother, is going to talk you into dropping him into a pit for awhile.  You decide to do what Reuben wants, and let the little usurper rot in the silence of the pit for awhile.

Then along will come a handy band of Midianites, headed for Egypt.  Someone is going to suggest that you sell your brother into slavery!  After you do it and after you go home and deceive your father into thinking that Joseph was killed by a wild beast [a lion perhaps?] you’re going to feel a little guilty and that guilt is going to stay with you a very long time.

Here’s the thing though.  You need to do it.  You need to sell him into slavery, into Lady Chance that will sweep him up in her powerful undertow and take him all the way down to Egypt to what?  Work in the mines until he dies?  Become a slave on an Egyptian boat?  You won’t care at the time, but ironically enough, it’s this terrible betrayal that is going to save your life in the future.

So even though you sell your brother into unknown slavery, even though you have to lie to your father about it, despite the fact that you’re going to be shredded with guilt from your actions, do it.  Do it all. It’s this very action that is going to turn into salvation for you and for all of your clan.  The God whom you [don’t] serve is going to take your sin and deception and guilt and he’s going to turn it all around [Our father refers to this as God redeeming the worst in us] and make it all good.  This is amazing and to this day we don’t understand it, even though we’re all down here in Egypt now thanks to our brother Joseph.  That’s a very long story and we’re going to have to leave it for another day.

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