Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10:21-42
37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father was an immigrant. 2 This is the account of Jacob’s descendants. Joseph was 17 years old and tended the flock with his brothers. While he was helping the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, Joseph told their father unflattering things about them. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was born when Jacob was old. Jacob had made for him a long[a] robe. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him and couldn’t even talk nicely to him.
5 Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had. 7 When we were binding stalks of grain in the field, my stalk got up and stood upright, while your stalks gathered around it and bowed down to my stalk.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them.
9 Then Joseph had another dream and described it to his brothers: “I’ve just dreamed again, and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he described it to his father and brothers, his father scolded him and said to him, “What kind of dreams have you dreamed? Am I and your mother and your brothers supposed to come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father took careful note of the matter.
Call it a lack of maturity on his brother’s part. Call it a problem of a spoiled child for Jacob and Rachel. Call it arrogance on Joseph’s part. When I read the story of Joseph which will unfold over the next several chapters, my mind goes to all these things and more. I know when many read the story of Joseph they see someone who loves God. And, while that is true, I see a spoiled rotten, arrogant, immature brat who in the end finds redemption. That is grace.
I think we have all known a Joseph in our lives. Hey, we might even be a Joseph. We might have even a Joseph and never known it. Such things often are easier to see in the lives of others than they are in our own.
That being said, there is blame that surely can go to Jacob and Rachel, particularly Jacob. Though in today’s story, it is more difficult to see, if we read the Joseph story in its entirety, we can easily see the blame. A special coat, tailor-made, just for him, getting to stay home while the remaining brothers were tending the sheep in the fields, the list could go on and on. Jacob gave special privilege to Joseph the rest of his boys never would get.
Then there are the brothers. Scripture says they hated Joseph. Nothing good comes from hate, ever. Scripture says they were jealous of home. Not much good is going to come from that either.
Make no mistake, the brothers are the ones holding the responsibility for what would happen to Joseph. At the same time, the others also held some measure of responsibility fell down on their responsibility too.
Today might be a good day for some soul-searching. Are we like Joseph? Are we with one of our children much the same as Jacob was with Joseph? Are we like the brothers, instead of trying to work things out, we attempt to throw away a human life out of pride and jealousy.
Yes, the blame that day rests on the shoulder of Joseph’s brothers, but there is room there for some blame to go all around.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.