Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bullies

By Mary Vee
Genesis 37: 12-24

Reuben and his ten brothers searched for fresh pasture in Shechem. They'd led their family's flock for many days away from their home in Hebron and had become concerned about the animals. "Let's go further north. There should be decent grass in Dothan." His brothers agreed. The sheep bleated and fussed as the shepherds pressed them to move forward.

As they neared Dothan, Simeon shaded his eyes from the sun. "Hey, look at that pasture! It's perfect. We can take a break while the sheep eat." The brothers slapped each other on the back and cheered.

An hour later their family's flock grazed on hearty grass. Dan sat under a tree and drank some water. He noticed someone in the distance. He squinted and realized Joseph, their little brother, was walking toward them. "Hey, Reuben, look. Here comes trouble."

Reuben slapped his forehead. "What's he doing here?"

Gad turned to him. "What do you mean?"

Dan pointed. "Look back at the road. I'd recognize that coat of many colors anywhere." Dan waved to the other brothers. "Look. There's Joseph. The dreamer who says we'll bow down to him."

Reuben leaned against the tree. "He shouldn't have come."

The other brothers laughed and shouted. "We should kill him. That'd get rid of the trouble maker." "Yeah, we're far away from home." "Father always treats him better than the rest of us. Let's see what happens when his favorite son disappears."

Reuben held his hand up. "Wait. Slow down. We can't kill Joseph."

The brothers shook their head. "What? Why not? He's been nothing but trouble since the day he was born." "Yeah, Let's kill him."

Reuben pushed his way into the middle of his brothers. "I tell you, we can't kill him. Here, I have an idea. See that pit? You could thrown him into there. That would leave him out here in the wilderness where no one would know to save him. At least his blood won't be on our hands. What do you say?"

The brothers stood quiet for a few moment. Simeon peered over at Joseph who was getting closer to them. "OK. Let's throw him into the pit. That would get him out of the way. Who knows, maybe a wild animal will come." The brothers laughed. They piled their hands together and shook on the idea then sat under the tree to wait for Joseph.

Reuben wiped sweat from his forehead. At least they won't kill him.

Joseph arrived a little while later. Levi stood. "So, you found us."

Joseph wiped his hands on his tunic. "Ahh, yeah. Father told me to see if everything is well with you and the flocks."

The other brothers stood and joined Levi. Joseph took a step back. The brothers grabbed Joseph and yanked his coat of many colors off. One shouted, "Here's what you get for being a trouble maker." They dragged Joseph to the pit and threw him in.

Joseph tumbled to the bottom. "My head! My leg! Let me out. Please help me out of here."

Reuben stepped back. I can't stand hearing him scream. He walked to the pasture to check on the sheep. I'll let the other's have their fun for a while then sneak back, pull Joseph out of the pit, and send him home.

Reuben cringed with each dastardly cheer from his brothers. He kneeled by one of the sheep. "I hope they keep their word. What would father say if they killed Joseph? He'd blame me." The lamb looked up at him and bleated.

Sometimes we see someone being picked on. What can we do? Reuben didn't want Joseph to be killed, but he didn't want his brothers to turn on him either. If Reuben could hear you, what would God want you say to him? Do you think Reuben made a wise choice when he told his brothers to throw Joseph in the pit? What's going to happen to Joseph?

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