Scripture to Read: Genesis 37:1-11
As we begin the story of Joseph today, we read that Joseph is 17 years old, that he's a shepherd (along with his brothers), and that Jacob (Israel) loved Joseph more than all of his other sons. Then we read about the dreams that our Lord gave to Joseph. Through images of the sheaves in the field and the sun, moon, and eleven stars, these dreams revealed that Joseph's brothers and family would bow down to him one day. From Joseph's brothers ' perspective, what seemed to be the pride of man will turn out to be the plan of God, as we'll see later. We also see the negative response of Joseph's brothers. Joseph’s brothers hated him because Joseph was Jacob's (Israel's) favorite child, as noted in Genesis 37:4. Joseph's dreams stirred the pot of his brother's hatred even more, and Joseph's brothers grew jealous of him. Thus, we see the breakdown sin brings in relationships. Joseph's brothers were hurt by their father's greater love for Joseph, and they allowed their hurt to lead them to respond sinfully. Their hurt turned into hatred, and their hearts grew more jealous. Hatred and jealousy never lead to good but always bring destruction and death to relationships. We see how their hatred and jealousy damaged their relationship. But, we will find hope in the story of Joseph because God is going to unfold His perfect plan. The hearts of Joseph's brothers were on the road to evil, but God's plan was on track as Jacob heard Joseph's dreams and kept "the saying in mind" (Genesis 37:11).
Challenge & Application
1. What did God teach you today about the devastation of hatred and jealousy in relationships?
2. Examine your heart and see where you may have anger, hatred, or jealousy toward another person. Confess your sin to the Lord.
Don’t forget to pray using the A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) method!