They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. Genesis 37:18
What was in Joseph’s mind as he was searching for the brothers? Maybe this was an opportunity to sit down with them away from home and build a better relationship?
But before Joseph ever got there, they had already made their decision about him. “They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him” (37:18).
It is a great mistake to make decisions while you are far from God. If you would let Him come near. If you would let Him speak to you. If you would open your Bible with a humble heart, you would end up taking a better path. But if you insist on making your decision about God while you are still far from Him, there can only be one outcome.
The brothers made their decision about Joseph while he was still a long way off, and so when he arrived their minds were made up. They took him and threw him into the pit. And then they sat down to eat (37:25). How is that possible? They “saw the distress of his soul.” Joseph “begged” them and they “did not listen” (42:21). How could their hearts have been so hard?
The Bible speaks very clearly about the effects of sin in the life of a sinner. Ephesians 4:19 speaks of sinners having “lost all sensitivity” (NIV), becoming “callous” (ESV), and being “past feeling” (KJV).
Sin has an erosive effect on the conscience so that sinning gets easier for the sinner over time. Sensitivity towards the pain of others diminishes. Awareness of guilt before God no longer feels like an issue. The more you sin, the easier it gets to sin more.
Has sinning gotten easier for you? How is your sensitivity to the pain of others? Do you have an awareness of your own guilt before God?