The Pitfall of Betrayal

The Pitfall of Betrayal
October 31, 2021

The Pitfall of Betrayal

Passage: Genesis 37:1-36
Service Type:

Session  1- The Pitfall of Betrayal

Scripture:  Genesis 37:1-36

Subject:  Betrayal

Central Theme: Avoiding Betrayal’s Pitfalls

Objective Statement: We can deal with the pitfalls of betrayal by answering two questions.

Keyword: Questions

  1. How can we avoid the pitfall of betraying others?
  2. How can we avoid pitfalls in responding to being betrayed?



  • We all want to be successful in life.
  • Not just material- spiritually successful
  • There are a lot of pitfalls- places where we can be tripped up.


  • Tonight, I want to begin a 5 weeks study in the life of Joseph.
  • This study is really practical for two reasons:
    • Joseph had a tougher life than you and I probably will ever have.
    • Joseph ended his life avoiding all kinds of pitfalls that helped him be a success spiritually.
  • Tonight, I want to deal with the first pitfall that he encountered- The pitfall of betrayal.
  • Have you ever dealt with betrayal?
    • (Yeti)
  • It hurts.
  • God has a reason for it.

We can deal with the pitfalls of betrayal by answering two questions.

1. How can we avoid the pitfall of betraying others?

How did betrayal express itself in Joseph's family?  Four words walk us through the story.

1. Disfunction. (v.1-5)

Genesis 37:1-5

(1)  And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

A. Disfunction in how they approached marriage.

(2)  These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

(3)  Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

B.  Disfunction in parenting.

(4)  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

C. Disfunction in sibling relationships.

(5)  And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.


2. Disloyalty.

Genesis 37:12-14

(12)  And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

(13)  And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.

(14)  And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.


Genesis 37:18-24

(18)  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

(19)  And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

(20)  Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

(21)  And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

(22)  And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

(23)  And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

(24)  And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.


C. Dispatching.

Genesis 37:25-28

(25)  And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

(26)  And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

(27)  Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

(28)  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.


  1. Deception.

Genesis 37:31-36

(31)  And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

(32)  And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.

(33)  And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

(34)  And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

(35)  And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

(36)  And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.



Question #2- How can we avoid pitfalls in responding to being betrayed?

When we are betrayed we may think these three wrong beliefs.

1. God is absent.

  • I’m sure that when Joseph was in the pit he could wondered what God was doing.

Psalms 139:1-10

(1)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

(2)  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

(3)  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

(4)  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

(5)  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

(6)  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

(7)  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

(8)  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

(9)  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

(10)  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.


Matthew 28:20

(20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


2. God has no plan.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

(11)  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

(12)  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

(13)  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


Romans 8:28-32

(28)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

(29)  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

(30)  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

(31)  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

(32)  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?


3.  Vengeance belongs to us.

Romans 12:17-21

(17)  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

(18)  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

(19)  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

(20)  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

(21)  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

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