All in the family

Daily reading: Genesis 37:3-8, 12-16, 17b-22, 26-34; 50:15-21
Monday September 26, 2016

Focus passage: 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 robe. Genesis 37:3

We all know that things don’t go well when a parent has a favorite.  This pattern of favorites continues; Jacob favors his beloved Joseph, the son of his beloved Rachel.   Joseph is 17 years old at the beginning of our passage for today.  He is confident and full of himself, which of course I am sure none of you know a teenager like that nor if you are older remember being that way.

It’s not enough to just think or even say to Joseph that he loves him best, Jacob has a special coat made for Joseph.  Can you imagine either as a parent choosing one child as your favorite or as a sibling knowing that you are the favorite, or knowing that you are not?

Clothing in the ancient near east was not easy to come by.  Clothing was the most labor intensive item one might have.  The fabric would have to be weaved and then cut and sewn.  It was a labor of love.   Couple that with Joseph’s dreams that reveal that he is favored by his father and he does not have enough sense to keep quiet around his already jealous brothers.

One day he tells his brothers about a dream he had.  He says that while they are all out in the wheat fields, his wheat sheath stands up and all of the other wheat sheaves that the brothers are working on gather around his and bow down to it.  The brothers respond in anger saying “oh no you didn’t, do you mean to say one day we are going to bow down to you?”  Fully crossing the line and completely full of himself, Joseph replies, well actually I had another dream too, this time the sun, the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.  His family’s response was shock and confusion, Jacob his father says “what kind of dream is this, are we all, including me your father and your family bow down to you?”

Prayer: Faithful God, thank you for your sure and constant presence in my life.  Help me to turn to you when I struggle with my relationships.  Amen.

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