The definition for the word arrogance is in a sense the “confidence in one’s own abilities.” We are built for a spirit of humility, and, when we clothe ourselves in our own abilities, we become anti-Christ like. We all have to contend with a coat of arrogance in our lives. For some of us, it’s our coveted garment before we met Christ. For others, it’s our continued covering after our Christian conversion.
In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Joseph was given a coat by his father to indicate his favor and his authority over his brothers. Although Joseph may have viewed his new duds as a testimony to his faithfulness, the brothers saw the coat as sign of arrogance. Joseph was innocently arrogant when he disclosed his recent dreams to his family. He saw in his dreams that his brothers and parents would bow down to him. This caused an even deeper riff between the siblings, and they plotted to murder their own brother after this. At the tender age of 17, Joseph was stripped of his coat, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery.
God was beginning a process of deliverance for Israel but he had to begin with Joseph first. God will not marry his divine purpose with our personal arrogance. This is a lifestyle we must give up or have stripped from us. One is an act of obedience and the other an act of pain. Joseph was thrown into a waterless pit as a make-shift prison. In the dry regional climate of the Middle East, wells were a necessity. They were meant for replenishment - not for imprisonment. The thing that is supposed to feed us will imprison us if we don’t feed it. In other words, if we don’t feed our humility, our arrogance will enslave us.
Here’s the skinny, the greater the arrogance, the deeper the pit. The lifestyle of arrogance is to depend on “me.” The lifestyle of humility is to depend on “God.”
Joseph was sent to a place called Shechem to find his brothers.He eventually located them in Dothan. Shechem in Hebrew means “shoulder.” Dothan in Hebrew means “well.” Joseph became lost in Shechem searching for his brothers. When we are dependent upon ourselves (what the shoulder can accomplish), then we will become lost in our own efforts whether we know it or not. Joseph’s destination was always Dothan, which is the deep heart of God. He was stripped of his arrogance at Dothan, his earthly favor was betrayed at Dothan, and his freedom was sold out from under him at Dothan. A place of deep wells in God will leave no room for a covering of arrogance.
Let’s give up our arrogance to keep it from being stripped from us. God wants to begin a process in us, and the coat of arrogance will be the first that needs to go. Let’s talk more this Sunday at Christpoint Church. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.