Posts Tagged ‘Judah’

Genesis 37:25-36 – DIARY OF A DREAM KILLER – Part 6 

Dreamer © Image by Ross Cochrane

I imagine that this is the diary of Judah, writing about the events of his brother Joseph, extrapolated from the Biblical narrative, and with my personal reflections.  

Diary of Judah: I noticed their camels from a distance while we were eating our meal. Traders. Even before meeting them I could tell from their clothing that they were distant relatives. Ismaelite and Midianite traders. We spoke the same language. Ismael and Midian were sons of our ancestor Abraham. I had heard their families had joined together for commercial reasons and for protection as they travelled.  

Solved 

It solved my dilemma with the dreamer in the well. I didn’t like the idea of Joseph starving to death in the bottom of a well. I would have preferred to just kill him but even that was a little distasteful, because as much as I don’t like it, he is my half-brother. Now he will see his visions of grandeur crushed by the realities of life because he did not truly embrace the honour of belonging to his brothers.  

I said to my brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? His blood would just give us a guilty conscience. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” It was clear that all my other brothers agreed (Genesis 37:26). Reuben was looking after the flocks while we all ate so he was not here. 

Code 

Since Shechem we brothers have had to live by certain rules in order to survive … 

  1. We defend our freedom.  
  2. We make our own decisions. We don’t let anybody tell us what to do. We do what seems right in our own eyes, not what outsiders may think.  
  3. Spur of the moment, gut reactions are often the best way to deal with a problem. Live for the moment. Accept the outcome, whatever it is. 
  4. The right thing is not always the best way to go.  
  5. We are ready for a fight and if necessary, we will go down fighting. Survival is the true test of the rightness of any conflict. 
  6. We don’t trust anyone with authority. 
  7. Life is full of tragedy. (Ask my little sister.) Life is a struggle.  
  8. Honor is important. We look after each-other. We stick together and don’t get too high and mighty. We don’t tolerate anybody who threatens us or betrays us (including those within our ranks). No-one gets away with reporting on our activities or betraying us or trying to hold us accountable to others without consequences. No spying. No exceptions. 

Joseph has to pay the consequences for acting as a spy to our father. No exceptions. So, when the Midianite traders came by, we pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. He deserves what he gets. We rid ourselves of a usurper and betrayer.  

If it hadn’t been for Reuben, Joseph would already be dead. The traders paid us 20 pieces of silver. Win, win. Two pieces of silver each. Reuben won’t get his share, since he wasn’t here.  

It was a good idea. Was it right? … Not exactly. But it solved a problem, and we will finally be rid of Joseph’s influence. What will happen to him? … Not our problem. His dreams of rulership threatened the fabric of our family relationships. Now they are dead and gone. His so-called God-given dream has realised his worst nightmare. From ruler to slave. 

Reuben 

After the Traders left, Reuben came running into camp. His clothes were torn as if he had been grieving. He was shouting, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”  

“What will you do now?” I said. “What do you mean, Reuben? Were you intending to do something? Did you have some kind of plan, perhaps to let Joseph go secretly? He pulled himself together and said nothing. I explained what had transpired and he stood there with his eyes wide.  

We devised a suitable plan on the spur of the moment. We killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. We sent a servant back with a message to our father. “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”  

Grief 

We arrived home yesterday. Our father had already been mourning for many days. He had taken the bate. He surmised that a wild animal had eaten Joseph. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” 

He had torn his clothes as an act of mourning and distress and dressed himself in burlap. He refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep. 

Responsibility 

Our father is understandably upset with the apparent death of his favourite son, but then he’s also responsible, getting him to betray his own brothers by spying on us and reporting back to him all the time. That doesn’t work for us.  

My father once deceived his father by killing a goat to receive the family blessing and birthright. Now he gets his own back. What goes around, comes around.  This is kind of like God’s judgment on him. We are not responsible. 

Joseph could have been part of us, but he insisted on his dreams of grandeur. He brought it on himself. We’ll be a better family without him. Now, the Dreamer and his dream are dead to us, finally.  

TO BE CONTINUED … 

Note from Pastor Ross: Dream killers are victims of their past and their own flawed laws. They take no responsibility, and continually justify their actions.  

Your God-given dream will often threaten others, even those closest to you. Courage to dream is often tested by Dream Killers. Hold onto your dream. Challenges are part of the adventure of a God-given dream. Trust in Christ, see your circumstances, and even the dream killers, through the eyes of the Cross, and you will find perspective and continue to see your God-given dream realized. 

Pastor Ross 

WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS

Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 2

“The old one and his iron smiths are to be spared. We can use their skills for our own weaponry,” said Joab. “Asahel, your men will take them from behind after Abishai distracts them by attacking the soldiers from the southern side of the hill. Make sure that none of the smiths are killed. Be careful and remember, God is with you.”

Asahel could barely control his excitement. He had been on raiding parties before but this was the first time his brother Joab had entrusted him with a battalion of men. Abishai and Asahel moved their men quickly and silently into position.

The raid was sudden and unexpected as they had planned. Many of the Philistine warriors died, their senses and ability to fight dulled by intoxication and blood loss from the previous day’s celebration.

The old smith and his sons were completely taken by surprise. As Obed-edom stood bewildered by the attack from the southern side of the hill, the precious dagger was snatched from his hands by a young Israelite warrior. He was knocked to the ground before he could mobilise his considerable strength. As he struggled to his feet he felt the dagger pressed to his throat and he looked frantically for his sons. He was relieved to see that they too were being taken alive, and only then did he allow the young soldier to bind his hands without resistance.

Joab’s forces collected the newly formed weapons and smashed the central furnace. The dynasty of Philistia’s iron smiths was coming to an end. Molech had forsaken them. They were bound and forced to enter the strange world of the Israelites, a world where only one God was worshipped and a nation which at this very moment was on the brink of a full-scale civil war.

The old iron smith and his sons were paraded through the Israelite camp with the plunder of weapons and brought before the commanding officer where they were stripped of their clothes and held securely by a number of men. The humiliation of being stripped and tied was almost more than the old man could bear and he swore incessantly in his native tongue at his captors. His eldest son, who was still trying to appraise what was going to happen to them urged him to be quiet.

“Father, they may kill us if you insult them any further!”

“They don’t understand our language,” said Obed-edom, and then turning to one of the priests he said, “Do you, you worthless dog? If ever I escape I’ll make you pay for this!” It was at this moment that he saw the young man who had captured him unsheathe a dagger. Obed-edom recognised the shape of the blade immediately. This was the dagger he had so carefully designed.

“So, I am to be killed with my own dagger?” said Obed-edom. “May the curse of the dagger of Molech be upon you, you Israelite coward! May it bring vengeance upon you! May you die in the hands of your enemies!” He could not realise how demonically prophetic his words would be.

“Use this and do it quickly,” said Asahel to the priest, handing him the weapon. The strange Hebrew words meant nothing to his captives.

The blade of the dagger shone in the light as the priest approached him.

“Father, he’s going to torture us!” said his eldest son, struggling vainly against the ropes.

“No son,” said Obed-edom, for the first time realising who his captors were. “This man is one of the priests of Israel. I have seen them before at the valley of Elah. They have only one God. He is called Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts. I have witnessed His power against our people once before. It seems that we are going to be sacrificed.” He spat at the priest and cursed again. Asahel, who had been standing nearby, responded with a blow to Obed-edom’s stomach and jaw which almost left him unconscious. His sons were horrified but could do nothing.

As the priest approached him, Obed-edom closed his eyes and said breathlessly, “Goodbye my sons. I have nothing I can leave you but my love and to show you that I can die bravely.”

The circumcision came as quite a shock to Obed-edom. For a moment he thought he was going to be castrated or mutilated but the priest accomplished his purpose on each of the captives efficiently, and returned the dagger to Asahel. Then he had them untied and gave them bandages to stop the bleeding. Obed-edom had heard of this savage practise of circumcision and soon they would realise that all Israelites and their slaves were marked in this way.

When the bleeding had stopped they were given new clothes, considerably better than their old ones, and taken away to be fed, walking carefully due to the pain. Though they were very hungry, none of them ate much that day.

Israel and Judah were involved in a bloody civil conflict and Asahel and his men were gone by the next morning.