Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 35-37
In our reading today, we reach the beginning of Joseph's story.
Joseph was the favourite of Jacob & unfortunately it wasn't a secret either. He is even given an extravagant coat to display his status! Wow, every time I read this I just can't get past the fact that Jacob didn't consider what this would do within the family dynamics. If there weren't problems before...
This affection is quite possibly what led to Joseph’s arrogance.
To start with, in vs 2, we see him being quick to bring his father a bad report on his brothers. What a way to ensure his status as the favourite son; by being a tattle-tale & making sure his father knows what the others are up to.
Then we read about Joseph’s dreams:
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
Joseph proudly relays these dreams to his brothers &, not surprisingly, they don't go over well.
Did Joseph tell these dreams with the right heart or with a bit too much pride? We can definitely take this to heart & consider our motives & attitudes when we approach anyone. Perhaps we have something good to say but the time isn't right or maybe we aren't the right person to bring that message to them.
Getting back to the coat...we see him going out to the fields, (in vs 12-23) to find his brothers, wearing it. I don't know, but that doesn't seem to me to be the right time or place for it. At this point, you'd think that his brother's hatred for him would be quite recognizable & that he would rather let things cool a little than fan those flames.
I feel, as we read through Genesis, that we can pick apart so many of the stories of the patriarchs as we see them failing time & time again - and yet, God chose them, used them & then left them as an example for us in the Bible.
Thankfully Joseph's story doesn't end here & we get to see how God shapes him & uses him for many great things. Unfortunately, Joseph has to bear his consequences (being sold into slavery by the brothers who hated him so), but God used that all for his plan. God could take his young, prideful attitudes & shape him into a mature, confident, godly leader. God knew his plans for him but also knew all the ways he would fall short along the way.
Our God can & will use us in the same way. While we fall short so often, he is ready to pick us up, teach us from our mistakes & use us for his glory.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 38-40