Daily Devotionals

Peace Week 3: Monday

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. Genesis 37:5

Do you know someone who is really prideful? They are not pleasant to be around, are they? They make everyone around them feel frustrated. They destroy the peace of the people they spend time with. They also destroy their own peace. This week we are focusing on peace with others, and pride is one attribute that will immediately destroy peace. As a result, if we want to have peace with others, we have to let go of any pride in our lives and embrace humility instead. 

We are introduced to a man named Joseph in Genesis 37, who had to learn the hard way that pride disrupts our peace with others (and ourselves). Joseph was his father’s favorite son, which caused some resentment in his brothers. Joseph did not make matters better. It seems that he flaunted this status in front of his brothers. One night he had a dream where he and all his brothers had a bundle of grain. Suddenly all of his brothers’ bundles of grain bowed down to his grain. He told them about this dream, and his brothers “hated him more than ever” (verse 5). This conversation did not go well. Joseph would have done better to keep this dream to himself, but he did not learn his lesson. Soon he had another dream where the sun, moon, and stars bowed down to him, and he told his brothers about this dream, too (verses 8-9). He also told his dad. Even his dad scolded him for sharing this dream saying, “What kind of dream is that… will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” In his pride, he shared these dreams when he could have humbly kept them to himself. 

Joseph’s pride led to a disruption of peace. His brothers despised him. Soon after sharing his dreams, his brothers had enough, and they ended up selling him into slavery in Egypt. Now, don’t get me wrong, Joseph’s brothers definitely had bitterness towards him because of the favoritism their dad showed, and their actions were horrific. Still, Joseph’s pride did not help their bitterness and added to the chaos in their lives. 

Joseph’s story clarifies that pride disrupts peace in our relationships with others. If we want to live at peace with others, we must live humbly. What does this look like? Philippians 2 gives us one of the best pictures of what humility looks like: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (verse 3). So, my friend, let’s step away from pride and into humility, which is the way of Jesus.

Moving toward action

Pride can sneak up on us, and it is often hard to see it in ourselves. Let’s take a few minutes for self-reflection. Pray and ask God to reveal any pride in your life. Then, spend some time thinking, asking yourself if there is any pride that has made its way in your life. Is there an area where pride has snuck in? You may even want to ask a trusted friend who can honestly tell you if they have recognized pride in your life. Be prepared for how they might answer. If God reveals any pride that has made its way in your life, tell Him you are sorry and ask Him to help you live with a spirit of humility instead.

Going Deeper

Genesis 37:1-36 (NLT)

So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.

This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.

Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”

His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.

Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”

This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.

Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”

“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.

“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.

When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.

“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”

“Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.


When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”

But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.

So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.

Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”

Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”

Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.

Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.