a. Joseph is obedient. After hearing the dreams of their brother and seeing the favoritism of their father, Jacob’s sons take the flock and go to pasture the animals near Shechem. I find it interesting that they tell Jacob that they are going to take the flocks back to Shechem. This is the city that they destroyed. They are the ones that the Canaanites and Perizzites wanted to exact revenge upon. I think you can get a little insight into how these men think. After some time passes, Jacob has a growing concern toward his sons and the flock. And so he calls Joseph to himself and tells him that he wants him to go to his brothers and see how they are doing. Notice a couple of things here. First, Joseph is not out keeping the flock with his older brothers. The coat of many colors was Jacob’s way of separating Joseph from the dirty and common work of keeping the flock. He was a boy of 17 and would normally be out with the flock. Second, Joseph answers his father’s request to run an errand with “Here I am.” Even though he is the prized son, and no doubt Joseph enjoyed that position, he answers his father’s request obediently. Jacob sends Joseph from the Valley of Hebron to Shechem to see if everything is ok. Now, we could debate the wisdom of Jacob on sending his son on this errand with the knowledge of his other sons’ resentment toward Joseph. Nevertheless, this is what Jacob decides to do and Joseph obediently goes. b. Joseph searches. Joseph arrives at Shechem and begins to wander around the fields looking for the flock and his brothers. As he is looking, a man found him in the fields and asks him, “What are you seeking?” Joseph tells him that he is seeking his brothers and asks him if he knows where they went. The man says that they left but he did overhear them talking about going to Dothan. And so Joseph leaves Shechem and makes his way to Dothan. Now Joseph’s errand is done. He went to find out if everything is going well for the brothers. He knows they’re alive and well and had moved on to Dothan. He could return home and tell his father that they weren’t at Shechem but had moved on. And yet, Joseph chooses to follow his brothers to Dothan. It is clear that we are meant to see the difference between Joseph and his brothers. Joseph is obedient to his father and is willing to travel all the way to Dothan for his brothers. In the next part of the story, we find the brothers wanting to kill Joseph and then they choose to deceive and lie to their father. In theology, we talk about people or events called types. These foreshadow what is to come after. There are many types of Christ in the Old Testament. Joseph is one of those types. Different events and actions that occur in Joseph’s life point forward in time to Jesus. They are to prepare the people for his coming. The apostles would use many of these types as they used Scripture in their writing. The book of Hebrews is full of this use of types. Now, Matthew Henry explains the type that is found in Joseph. “Joseph was here a type of Christ. Though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth, to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. He came to his own, and his own not only received him not, but consulted against him.” c. A man found him. One last observation before we are done. Joseph was in the fields wandering around looking for his brothers and man saw him out there and this man just had happened to overhear the brothers talking about going to Dothan. We as followers of God, know there is no such thing as chance or accident. The events that allowed the man to meet the brothers and to hear their plans and then to encounter Joseph out in some random field were not an accident. It was the hand of God. He is planning to move Joseph to Egypt and he chose to use some guy in a field to bring that into being. That’s providence.