Genesis 37:1-36; Matthew 12:22-32; Psalms 16:9-11; Proverbs 7:6-23
OT: “Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him. Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more… Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” …His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind… They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert! So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” …Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed.” (Genesis 37:3-5, 9, 11, 18-20, 26-27 CSB)
In James 3:16, the Apostle James explains that wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, you will find disorder, confusion, and evil of every kind. We see that with Joseph’s 10 brothers. God signaled His plan to use Joseph to bring salvation the children of Israel, and ultimately salvation for the entire world. Satan used the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers to bring about his evil scheme to snuff out God’s purposes before they had a chance to be realized. Satan is always scheming to stop God’s redemption of mankind. However, no matter how hard Satan tries to sabotage God’s plan, and no matter how many people he drags down into his evil purposes – God’s purposes will always be accomplished… and many times the things that Satan uses to sabotage God’s purposes end up sabotaging Satan’s plans and setting up God’s plans for fulfillment and success. How foolish it is to willfully come against the purposes of God, for you will surely lose that battle.
NT: “Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to him. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. All the crowds were astounded and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? …If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you… Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not gather with me scatters. Therefore, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:22-26, 28, 30-31 CSB)
Blasphemy means to slander or revile someone’s good name. Satan leveraged the jealousy and selfish ambition of the Pharisees to lure them into the evil of actually saying that the Holy Spirit’s power was satanic… for the sake of drawing attention away from Jesus and back on themselves. So Jesus took that opportunity to teach some truths. No kingdom that is divided against itself will stand, and Satan is not about to come against his own purposes. Jesus was able to drive out the demonic because He was representing a kingdom that was directly opposed, and infinitely greater than the kingdom of darkness… and He was able to drive out the demonic, not by Satan’s power, but by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus then drew a “line in the sand.” He explained, if you are not with Me and partnering with Me in what I am doing, then ultimately you are against me and are in league with the enemy in trying to sabotage what I am doing, whether you realize it or not… whether you are doing it intentionally or not. What a sobering truth, and all the more reason to keep our eyes on the Lord, our hearts softened to His purposes and His desires, and our will submitted to His lordship.