Read Genesis 37
Believing a Lie Doesn’t Make it True
There are many lessons that can be learned from Genesis 37 as it relates to Jacob and his sons. We see the danger of favoritism: Jacob’s unhidden preference for the son of his true love set Joseph against his older brothers. We see the danger of boasting: the teenage Joseph probably should have kept his mouth shut when it came to his dreams of ruling over his family. We also see the danger of envy: Judah and his brothers desired the affection Jacob showed to Joseph, and that envy led them almost to the point of murder.
One other lesson that can be learned in this chapter relates to the pain of deception. Judah and the other sons of Jacob decided not to kill Joseph, but to make some money off him. They sold him into slavery for twenty shekels of silver, dipped his coat of many colors in goat blood, and presented the coat to their father. Jacob concluded, “A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces” (Genesis 37:33)
Notice the effect this lie had on Jacob: “Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted” (Genesis 37:34-35). There was nothing anyone could say to Jacob in his mourning. He truly believed that his child was dead. “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning” (Genesis 37:35).
Joseph wasn’t dead, though. Jacob believed that he was gone forever, but Joseph was very much alive. Jacob believed a lie, and it impacted his entire disposition.
Sadly, there are many today who believe a different lie. They believe that they are in good standing with God because of the lies they have been told by religious people they trust. There are a number of false doctrines that are prominent among religious people, but those doctrines will not lead to salvation. “Faith only,” “the sinner’s prayer,” and “once saved, always saved” are eternally destructive teachings because they are lies.
Do not put your trust in the lies of men, but in the truth of God’s Word. Repent of your sins, be baptized for the remission of sins, and live a life of faithfulness. That is what God desires and what God requires.