Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Favorite Son

Jacob hasn't seemed to settle down too much yet, and I'm in Chapter 37 of Genesis. His son, the oldest of Rachel's two, which is Joseph, is clearly his favorite.  In fact, he loves Joseph so much that he decides to make him a varicolored coat. This type of coat signified favor and meant that Joseph would receive the birthright. All of his brothers saw that their father loved him more, and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms! That sounds like a stressful family environment, don't you think? I know when my son and daughter are bickering with each other, it creates a much longer day.
Matters were not helped at all when Joseph had a  couple dreams that strongly indicated that he would rule over his family. It caused some anger and more jealousy with the brothers. So much so, that when he went out to check on his brothers as they were tending the sheep, they pitched him into a pit. Then, later when a caravan of Ishmaelites came along they sold him!
When the brothers went back home to their father, they had Joseph's varicolored coat, which they had stained with the blood of a male goat, and they told Jacob, their father that Joseph had been devoured by a wild animal. Hmm? See the family pattern? Like father, like sons?  Just a little scheming going on, some betrayal, and deceit.
Jacob was beside himself with grief. His favorite son, devoured by a wild animal. Dead. He tore his clothes and mourned for many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. All he could do was weep.
I look at this story and marvel at God's grace. These are the ten sons of Israel that threw Joseph in the pit, sold him, then came up with an elaborate story about his death. Yet, still God used them to build  a nation, His Beloved people. God was able to fulfill His purpose and His plan even though the enemy of their soul was continually attacking them! God made promises, He was steadfast, faithful and true, the entire time.
I can apply so much of Jacob's story, the story of his sons, to me and my journey with God. I've read it all hundreds of times, but this time, God is pointing out new things, and I like that. It feels a little more personal.
Say That Again God of Jacob, You are on this journey with me, and You will remain steadfast, faithful, and true, the entire time!

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