Monday - The Pitfall Of Betrayal

Lesson Scriptures: Genesis 37:1-5, 19-24, 26-27

Key Lesson Theme: “The Pitfall Of Betrayal”

Today's Lesson: Monday, January 17

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Genesis 37:1-5, 19-24, 26-27

1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

2 These are the family records of Jacob. At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought a bad report about them to their father.

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a long-sleeved robe for him.

4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.

5 Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.


19 They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert!

20 So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them. He said, “Let’s not take his life.”

22 Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him”—intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.

23 When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the robe of many colors that he had on.

24 Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water.


26 Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?

27 Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed.

The Bible Meets Life

Most everyone has been hurt—inadvertently if not intentionally—by a person close to them—someone they trusted. In fact, you can’t be betrayed by someone you didn’t trust; that is what makes it hurt so much. The consequences of betrayal can greatly affect our families, jobs, or personal well-being. We do not need to feel defeated, however. The pain of betrayal can be overcome. We can be assured God never betrays us. Furthermore, He can help us overcome the pain, sorrow, suffering, and consequences that accompany betrayal. Old Testament Joseph is a prime example. By looking at his life, we can identify steps that contribute to betrayal, how to survive the hurt, and what it takes to rise above the consequences that could otherwise destroy us.

The Setting

Favoritism, hatred, and envy defined the family of Jacob. The older sons of Jacob so hated Joseph, their younger brother, that they wanted to kill him. While Joseph’s brothers were tending their father’s flocks, Jacob/Israel sent Joseph to check on them. The brothers spotted Joseph coming and quickly hatched a plan to dispose of him. At first, they planned to kill him, then they decided to profit from their hatred. So, they sold him to a traveling merchant band, who in turn sold him to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard in Egypt.

Most people who have attended Sunday School from childhood have heard the story of Joseph, his “coat of many colors” (Gen. 37:3) and his dreams that were so irritating to his brothers (vv. 5-10). However, the story is about much more than a young boy with a colorful coat and mean brothers. It is a story of faith that God is at work even when we don’t see it.

The full narrative is the longest in Genesis, covering chapters 37-50. In the stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we see men of faith engaged in ongoing dialog with the Lord God in which He called for their trust and commitment to Him in a covenant relationship; however, the biblical writer included no such conversations between God and Joseph in the Joseph narrative. Nevertheless, Joseph frequently affirmed his awareness of the Lord’s presence and activity.

In this session, we will be introduced to the dysfunction that characterized Joseph’s family and the way that dysfunction appeared to disrupt the course of Joseph’s life. But God was at work all along to complete the life destination He had planned for Joseph—a plan not only good for Joseph but for all who would come under his influence in what would be incredible circumstances.

Until tomorrow Saints...

Every day is Sunday