The Deadly Fruit of Unjust Anger! (Gen 37:12-27)
There are two types of anger: just and unjust. Just anger is a righteous anger, with a good intention or cause. Eg: God’s anger towards sinful acts of men because God is holy and just. Unjust anger, on the other hand, is anger that can cause physical or emotional hurt to another person, and is usually for selfish reason that is against God’s Word. Genesis 37:12-27 reveals to us the three deadly fruits of the unjust anger of Joseph’s brothers towards Joseph.1) Victim (Gen 37:12-17)
In every unjust anger, there will always be a victim who will be affected and be hurt. Israel (Joseph’s father) asked Joseph to see his brothers who were in Shechem feeding the flocks. Shechem was an idolatrous place and Israel was concern for his sons and hence sent Joseph to them. Joseph obeyed his father. He arrived at Dothan, which was further north of Shechem, after finding out that his brothers were there, instead of Shechem (Gen 37:15-17). Joseph, whose life will be impacted and affected greatly after his encounter with his brothers in Dothan, was a victim of his brothers’ unjust anger as he had done nothing wrong against his brothers and was just obeying his father’s instruction to go and see them.2) Murderous Spirit (Gen 37:18-20)
When his brothers saw Joseph, they conspired to slay him (Gen 37:17) for they were envious of Joseph for his dreams (Gen 37:5-11), despite it being a prophecy of God’s will to save Israel (Gen 50:20). Their unjust anger towards Joseph resulted in bitterness and resentment being harboured in their hearts which eventually turned into a murderous thought of wanting to kill him. Unjust anger occurs due to selfish reasons, eg: when one’s pride was hurt, and it will result in one performing heinous acts that are against God’s commandment.3) Callous Spirit (Gen 37:21-27)
As a result of their unjust anger, Joseph’s brothers stripped off Joseph’s coat of many colours and cast him into a pit with the intention of killing him (Gen 37:23-24). They then sat down to eat bread (Gen 37:25). Their conscience was callous and numb, without fear of God. They were cold and felt no guilt or remorse. Unjust anger resulted in a hardened heart, unrepentant of one’s sins.
The solution to overcoming unjust anger is to have a total transformation of one’s heart through the Holy Spirit convicting our heart so that we will repent from our bitterness. We must constantly be studying, obeying and doing God’s Word, seeking God to mould and shape us to be more holy and Christ-like.