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.

So begins the great journey of Joseph. An innocuous errand will lead to his entire life being changed. Unlike his father and great-grandfather, Joseph didn’t know that he was about to leave his home. He had no bag packed and had said no goodbyes. He was plucked out mid-stride and against his will.

I also am noticing in these verses how the story of Joseph is representative of the savior. A father sends his favored son as a representative to his other children. The son comes to see whether his brothers have properly cared for their flocks, or have gone astray, and the brothers respond by trying to destroy him. But their attempt is in vain, for in both cases the favored son is led through the tragedy to fulfilling his great purpose.

So no, Joseph was not anticipating the detour that awaited him, but as terrible as his fate may have seemed for a time, God was in it, and it all worked out for the greater good.

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