AVOIDING SLIPPERY SLOPES January 10, 2021
This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers… and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, and (Jacob) said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them. Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then Jacob sent Joseph off… So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns (pits) and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” When Reuben (oldest) heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing—and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?” Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.” He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. Genesis 37, NLT
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIN & SINS
Sin is a tree bearing the fruit of sins.
In one sense, “sin” is equal in that it separates us eternally from God (Romans 3:23; James 2:10).
In another sense, “sins” are not equal, nor do they carry equal consequences or judgments (John 19:10-11; Ezekiel 8:6-16).
THE SNOWBALL EFFECTS OF SIN
Jacob’s manipulation causes Esau to trade his birthright. Rebekah’s favoritism causes Jacob to deceive his father. Jacob’s deceit causes Esau to run away. Laban’s selfishness causes Jacob to marry both daughters. Jacob’s lust causes him to have more wives. Jacob’s favoritism of Rachel causes his favoritism of Joseph. Jacob’s favoritism causes the brothers to hate Joseph. Joseph’s arrogance causes the brothers to hate him more. The brother’s collective hatred causes them to kill Joseph. Reuben’s cowardice causes the brothers to abandon him. Judah’s greed causes the brothers to sell Joseph. The brother’s deceit causes their father to grieve.
THE SEVERING EFFECTS OF SIN
1/ Sin has a way of weakening conscience.
They invented ways of doing evil. Romans 1:30, NIV
2/ Sin has a way of strengthening carnality.
The more a person eats, the more they want to eat (The Diderot Effect).
THE SIDE EFFECTS OF SIN
Sin always negatively affects people on a spiritual, emotional, and mental level. It can also affect us on in a physical way.
Sin hurts me and it hurts my people, even if I cannot see it on the surface.
CHRISTIAN LIFE LESSONS
1/ We recognize that sin often begins in our emotions.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowedto grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:14-15, NLT
2/ We put a plan in place to resist the temptation.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you! James 4:7, ESV
Sin fascinates before it assassinates.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT
3/ We confess our sins to safe people.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16, NLT
4/ We bring our sins to Jesus.
The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8, NLT
“We overcome sins by confessing it to death.” Ray Ortlund
5/ We remind ourselves that even if we sin, we are still children of God!
The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children. 1 John 3:1, NCV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV