Joseph & Brothers • Devotion #4: Hatred and Jealousy
Jill Osmon | Assistant to Lead Pastor
“They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, ‘Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.’” Genesis 37:18-20
Bitterness, hatred, and jealousy are not new. Something from deep within us can react to the mere perceived slight from anyone. Joseph’s brothers come to this moment with a wealth of history piled up into a heap of anger. Joseph was the favorite, Joseph was clearly anointed by God, Joseph had the coat, and Joseph had the dreams to remind his brothers of these very things.
Does this story instantly bring someone to mind that reminds you of Joseph? Is there someone in your life who seems to have it all, knows they have it all, and reminds you that they have it all? Replace dreams and coat with social media and success, and maybe then you can imagine someone. It makes you discontent, and in that discontentment, it opens a harshness that spreads like cancer to every aspect of your life. You find yourself secretly wishing upon them failures and messes because their life highlights what you do not have.
Hatred and jealousy say more about us than it does about the person we have decided to point out all of our frustrations. We are wounded, hurt, and wondering why God has lavished such favor on someone else. It makes us react out of a place that is unhealthy and harmful. Joseph’s brothers were not psychotic, evil people. They were wounded and reacting, and we have all been there. I have been reading a book, “Uninvited,” and this statement has stuck with me, “The only thing I’ve seen work in my life to protect my heart from these deep wounds is the constant pursuit of the sweetest grace.”
Take a moment, think through your life, find those places, situations, and people that pull out the bitterness, hatred, and jealousy. Pursue grace with them and for them. God’s favor does not exclude anyone from hurt and difficulties. We are all in need of God’s grace, to pursue it, give it, and receive it from each other.