Read with me Genesis 37:1-11
Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. 5 Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. 9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Gen 37:1-11 (NKJV)
What do we learn from Jacob / Israel?
He was dwelling as a stranger. He had many wives and sons. He gave gifts to Joseph, but not his other sons. He was offended by Joseph’s dream. He wondered what the dream foretold in the future.
What do we learn about the brothers?
They compared themselves to Joseph. They didn’t like Joseph who spied on them. They hated Joseph and couldn’t speak peaceably to him. They envied Joseph. They didn’t feel loved by their father.
What do we learn about Joseph?
He told the truth, without regard to how others would reaction. He was loved by his father. He treated his brothers kindly, even though they hated him. He shared his dreams with his family. He was naïve, innocent and had pure motives.
What things should we avoid?
Nothing good comes from playing favorites or by comparing our self to others. We should also avoid not speaking, even when we think others might not receive our message.
What timeless principle do we see in action here?
Joseph spoke the truth. He did not concern himself with how others would react to what he said. He simply spoke what was on his heart.
How about you?
Do you compare yourself to others? God made you unique. There is no one else like you. Comparing yourself to others is like comparing an apple and an orange. They are two different things that can’t be compared using the same scale.
Do you favor one person over another? God favors no one. He loves everyone, even those who hate Him. God was willing to die on the cross to pay for your sin and mine because He loved us so. To top it off, He died while we were still His enemies because of our rebellion against Him and His ways. God wants all to come to know Him and be saved. He doesn’t favor one over another, neither should we.
Do you fear others’ response so you don’t speak what’s on your heart? We do not know how others will respond to things we say. We can guess, but the fact is sometimes people surprise you. Don’t hold others back simply because they once rejected something you said. They might have had a change of heart and need to hear what God wants to speak through you. Speak what God tells you.
Lord God Almighty, you know the hearts and minds of men and women. Help us not to favor others or compare our self to others. Help us to speak the truth in love. In Jesus’ name Amen.