Obedience to the Father

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 37:5-225And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7For, 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. 8And 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. 9And 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. 10And 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? 11And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. 12And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13And 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. 14And 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. 15And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17And 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. 18And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. 21And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. 22And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. (Genesis 37:5‑22)
Joseph dreamed a most remarkable dream. He dreamed that he was binding sheaves in the field, and that his sheaf arose and stood up while his brother’s sheaves bowed down to his. Then he dreamed again that the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed to him. This made his brothers envy and hate him still more, for they could not help but feel the truth of what he had dreamed. So the Lord Jesus was particularly hated by His brethren the Jews, when He told them of His kingdom and glory and warned them that there was a day com­ing when they would have to acknowl­edge it (Matthew 26:6464Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:64)). Although the nation still abides in unbelief, what a wonderful time it will be when that One whom they rejected comes in power to set up His kingdom at Jerusalem. They will gladly bow down to Him in that day; in fact, all shall bow before Him then, even the lost who will be cast into the lake of fire (Philippians 2:1010That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Philippians 2:10)). May the Lord lead any unsaved one who is reading this paper to bow the knee now, and own Him as Lord while it is still the day of His grace. If you do, you will be saved (Romans 10:99That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)), but those who bow at the great white throne judgment will not find any mercy there.
A Willing and Obedient Son
One day Joseph’s father asked him to go and see how his brothers were, and his immediate reply was, “Here am I.” He was a willing and obedient son. In this day of disobedience to parents, it is good to see some children who want to obey the Scripture which says, “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:2020Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)).
What a beautiful picture we can see in all this of the Lord Jesus, who, at the Father’s word, came down to this ruined world — sent by God His Father in love to poor sinners. He was always willing to do His Father’s will, even to dying on the cross.
Joseph set out to find his brothers who were wandering away from him. At last he found them in Dothan after seeking them for some time. This re­minds us of the Lord who is seeking sinners, even though they are wander­ing farther and farther away from Him. When Joseph’s brothers saw him afar off, even while he was coming to them in love, they were planning to kill him. This makes us think of the Jews when the Lord Jesus was here on earth; for though He went about doing good, healing the sick, and raising the dead, they hated Him and sought to kill Him.
No Man Can Serve Two Masters
We know that the Jews really did kill the Lord Jesus, but in Joseph’s case God graciously intervened, delivering him from death. Reuben suggested that they put Joseph in a pit, hoping to be able to get him out of their hands so he could send him back to his father. Reuben was like a Christian who is in bad company, trying to please his un­saved friends, and please the Lord too. Of course we know that this cannot be done, for the Scripture says, “No man can serve two masters” (Luke 16:1313No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)). We must take a clear stand for the Lord or we will be in trouble all the time. A Christian who is trying to be good friends with the world is a most un­happy person, for he is sure to have a bad conscience, and what is more solemn still, the Word of God says, “whosoever  ...  will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:44Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)).
Further Meditation
1. What did Joseph dream?
2. An obedient child is a delight to his parents. How many verses from the book of Proverbs can you find that refer to the obedient or disobedient son?
3. You might find the booklet Obedience: The Saint’s Liberty by J. N. Darby a real eyeopener if your mind has been subtly trained to think of obedience as bondage.