Joseph & Brothers • Devotion #1: Joseph as Dad’s Favorite
Wes McCullough | Production Director
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.” Genesis 37:3-4
Favoritism seems to be a genetic problem for this family. Isaac favored Esau while Rebekah favored Jacob. Of his wives, Jacob favored Rachel over her sister, Leah. Of his sons, Jacob favored Joseph. The case can be made that Rachel, being the love of Jacob’s heart, was his “first” wife while he actually married Leah first. Joseph, as Rachel’s firstborn and coming in Jacob’s old age, would definitely have a special place in his father’s heart.
I can definitely say I am my father’s favorite son, primarily because he only had one. However, when my sisters married, I noticed a certain change. My parents welcomed my sisters’ husbands into the family with the same love they had for me.
I have also seen them love my wife as their own daughter. My parents’ attitude and actions make me proud and have been an example to follow in all my family relations.
There are several lessons we can learn from this story. 1 John 2:9 says, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” Matthew 5:23-25 provides some directions for such a situation, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.”
Furthermore, 1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” At the root of it all is hate which Proverbs 10:12 addresses, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” Hate will lead to other sins. It will cause you to become someone you are not and do things you are against. Combat hate with forgiveness and love. Jesus taught us to love and forgive, and we would do well to honor those instructions.