Genesis 37:15 – And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
Genesis 37:16 – And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
Genesis 37:17 – And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
Hello readers, I hope you are having a great weekend. Today I want to briefly talk about “a certain man” who gets a small mention in the book of Genesis, and whom you might easily miss on your way through Joseph’s story, but who we can surely learn from.
It doesn’t matter if you are a nobody, you can make a difference in someone’s life. You can be that certain man in their life. Someone notable, someone who did you right, someone who had the answers, who was willing to give you the answers, a person capable of pointing someone in the right direction. Can you find someone that is lost? Can you help the wanderer?
The situation in this chapter is that Jacob has sent his son Joseph out to see how his brothers are doing, because they’ve taken the flocks far away to Shechem in search of greener pastures. Maybe they just wanted to get away from their dad, we know that they had been up to no good, and that’s what kids do growing up, get away from their parents asap.
I found out that Shechem is quite a distance from Hebron, and so this was no small responsibility that Jacob gave Joseph, but a decision that he would kick himself for for a very long time afterwards, because he would not see Joseph again for many years, thinking that he had sent the boy to his death.
If you have made some mistakes in life, don’t kick yourself. It wasn’t Jacob’s fault what happened thereafter, but maybe he could’ve made it his business to know the envy and jealousy that had been building up in his other sons over his favoritism to Joseph. Jacob obviously believed that “everyone has a bit of good in them” like we do, he underestimated what people can be capable of, he underestimated what his own sons could be capable of. Don’t make that mistake in thinking your boy or your girl can’t do what you think they can’t do.
But Joseph heads off, he’s got purpose and direction in his life, he’s a capable and responsible young man… but a long way from home, he gets lost, and he’s wandering around looking for his brothers, not knowing where they’ve got to, because they had actually gone from Shechem to a different place, Dothan, with the flocks. Hmm, did they lie to their dad? It wouldn’t be the first time rebel kids have had told their parents they’re one place when they are another.
But it is into this scene that we are introduced to “a certain man”. His name doesn’t matter, because it could be you or I, and the name really does not matter. Are you happy to be a certain man… or are you looking for a name in life? But how big a role nobodies can play in someone’s story though! This certain man found Joseph wandering in the field. And he helped him, he directed him to his brothers.
This man cared. He could see Joseph needed help. Do we see when someone needs help? Are we aware enough and do we care? And are we able to help? As Christians, do we care about the lost? Do we care about fellow Christians who don’t need us to eviscerate them, but to help point them in the right direction? Because Joseph had a right direction in life, but now he needed some directions.… and we all will need help with directions in life as we seek to obey God. Sadly, so many Christians send other Christians on wild goose chases while purporting to know when they do not… rather than being able to be a true helper of their faith.
But if we could get outside ourselves for a minute, we could see that we can have this ministry that this “certain man” had. Because he was aware and able to help. Often we are so interested in ourselves, we miss our chances to help someone that needs help, to give directions to someone that needs directions. And you may just play a small role in someone’s life, but what role will that be? What legacy are you leaving on people in your life? How many people I know that I might never see again, what legacy did I leave on their life? Did I help or hinder, did I help or harm?
Just picture how vulnerable Joseph was. Joseph was young and alone and lost. But this man did not take advantage of the situation. This man had a good heart. But you look at this world, and this is a world that exploits people who are lost, who are wandering, who are vulnerable, who are alone. What a litmus test of your faith is how you treat someone that is lost.
Sometimes people are at our mercy… and what do we do with people at our mercy? I can’t imagine standing at judgment having taken advantage of a situation in life where I knew more than someone else, or I exploited someone who needed some grace and some help. This man cared, and this man had compassion on Joseph. He helped him find what he was looking for, he pointed Joseph to where his brothers were.
I do not believe I am overstating what happened here. You can think about how many young people are out in this world, thinking they’re capable of navigating it, but who really have no chance. Think of how many girls cross paths with the wrong boys or wrong men… and what happens to them. This is a world that exploits the weak, the vulnerable, the defenseless, the wandering, the lost.
There are going to be people in your life who need your help, who will be at your mercy, where what you do or don’t do makes a very big difference to the outcome. Think of how lost Joseph could have got if he kept wandering around somewhere out there. One day you will have the responsibility placed on you and what will you do with it? Can you point them the right way? Will you point them the right way?
I want to be someone in life where my name doesn’t matter, glory doesn’t matter, but I care enough about people to be able to make a difference in their lives. Even a very small thing seemingly, but worthy enough of mentioning in Joseph’s story. Joseph would go through quite a lot of bad in his life, but imagine how happy he was when he came over that hill or walked round that bend and saw his brothers in the distance! Thank you for that “certain man” that you placed in my life. They only crossed paths one time… but what a legacy he left.
I’ve found I want to be that man, but I really am not. I don’t care enough and my life is so about me, I don’t see when someone is lost and needs help. I want to not be a “I think” but “I know”, as this man was. Hint: some people are going to be there and know when you weren’t there and don’t know. If you are the person that is there and knows, how about help someone that wasn’t there and doesn’t know. This bloke did not lie to Joseph, he did not pretend to know and didn’t know… he simply told Joseph what he knew. Free of charge, without strings attached, with no manipulation and exploitation and ulterior motives. He gave directions based on truth that he knew, may we be like that in our lives.
If you’ve read your Bible, you know some things just like this man did. You know that there’s a lost world out there. You know that there are Christians out there on a path of life who will need help, who may get to wandering around out there. And when they cross paths with you, will you tell them what you know to help them? Are you capable of putting someone on the right path? Or are you so self absorbed and self important… you don’t “hear” therefore you cannot “tell”. See if he hadn’t heard what Joseph’s brothers said, he wouldn’t have been able to tell Joseph where they were. Hear first, talk second. And make your business “finding the lost”, because that’s what business God is in. Get in the knowledge business, get in the directions business… get in the HELPING business. Be that “certain man” or woman who certainly helped in someone’s life!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)