by Dr. Ed Young

The Education of Joe
H. Edwin Young
Genesis 37:1-5August 20, 1978

Before we take Joe to college let's just pick him up as the Scripture did here when he was a seventeen year old senior in high school. Joe was an unusual young man. He was handsome. He was athletic. He was something special. Joe was the youngest at this time of ten older brothers. And unfortunately, Joe was the favorite of their father, Big Jake. Now Big Jake had a ranch out west - in West Canaan. Big Jake just looked at Joe and thought he couldn't do anything that was wrong. And his other children were jealous of Joe, and rightly so, because Big Jake on this occasion took Joe down to the Mall and bought him one of those new, you know multi-colored shirts and Joe was always dressed better than his other brothers. He had the latest in fashions while his other brothers were still wearing hand-me-down white shirts, and skinny ties and narrow lapels; hoping they would soon come back! Joe was unusual also in the sense that he didn't handle his favored position very well. He enjoyed "lording" it over all the rest of his brothers and saying, "How do you like my new shirt?" And he delighted in going back and telling his father, Big Jake, how he was the only one who was working and conscientious with the sheep while the other brothers were tardy and would forget their responsibility when Dad wasn't around. But Joe had personality. And Joe was the kind of person that when you were with him, you delighted in being with him. He wasn't the kind of guy I know that has such a negative personality that when he enters a room it sort of feels like someone has left the room. Do you know these kind of people? Not so with Joe. He was alive. He was forceful and I think we have evidence to see that he was rather proud. And you know the story of how on occasion Joe dressed up in his brand new shirt and his dad, Big Jake said, "Go out and say a word to your older brothers." And he traced them until he found them there a ...

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