"They have moved on from here," the man answered. "I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
Go, I pray thee, see whether, &c. Joseph left home unexpectedly. He knew not when he left it to seek his brethren that he would never come back again. After a longer journey than he anticipated Joseph finds his brethren.
I. Like many leaving home, Joseph MET WITH FAITHFUL GUIDES. There are generally companions, teachers, ministers to help.
II. Like many leaving home, Joseph FELL INTO SNARES. He could not help himself. The snares were not such as were willingly entered. The wicked entrapped him. On his youth, far from home, defenseless, and kindly-intentioned, nine cowardly men fell.
III. Like many away from home, Joseph FOUND THAT GOD CARED FOR HIM WHEN HIS EARTHLY FATHER COULD NOT. Reuben was the means of saving him from death. Sold into slavery, he was still on the highway to eminence. We have to beware of hateful and murderous thoughts, remembering "that he that hateth his brother is" (so far as intent goes) "a murderer." In all journeyings we have to commit our way unto the Lord, and he will guide and defend. - H.
His brethren went to feed their father's flock.
Do you discover in this any type of the Redeemer? Does it remind you of one who left a far better home, and descended from the bosom of a far more illustrious father, to travel through this wilderness world in quest of his wicked and wandering brethren? Brethren, there is a closer analogy between the two cases than appears at first sight. It was at his father's command that Joseph abandoned the comforts of his father's home and became a wanderer in search of his brethren; and it was equally at the command of His Father that Jesus came down from His eternal home in the bosom of the Father, to seek and to save our fallen race. We sadly overlook this in our theology. The Lord Jesus, then, did not come into our world unsent. He was "the Messenger of the Covenant," the Sent of the Father. He did not come to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him. The obedience of Jesus to His Father, however, infinitely surpasses the obedience of Joseph. Joseph might have anticipated danger, but he could not certainly know that his brethren would treat him roughly and cruelly. Jesus came into the world, having a perfect knowledge of every indignity that awaited Him. Imagine yourselves each a beloved Joseph sent forth by a fond father to your brethren with a message of peace and love; speak to your fellow sinners in this way — talk to them of the glories of your Father's home — point them to an everlasting resting-place in a Saviour's arms — entreat them no longer to wander in the wilderness.
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