Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Watch Out, Envy Will Sneak Up On You
Genesis 37:1 Now Jacob was living in the land where his father had made a place for himself, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph, a boy seventeen years old, was looking after the flock, together with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph gave their father a bad account of them. 3 Now the love which Israel had for Joseph was greater than his love for all his other children, because he got him when he was an old man: and he had a long coat made for him. 4 And because his brothers saw that Joseph was dearer to his father than all the others, they were full of hate for him, and would not say a kind word to him.
12 Now his brothers went to keep watch over their father's flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, Are not your brothers with the flock in Shechem? come, I will send you to them. And he said to him, Here am I. 14 And he said to him, Go now, and see if your brothers are well and how the flock is; then come back and give me word. So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
19 Saying to one another, See, here comes this dreamer. 20 Let us now put him to death and put his body into one of these holes, and we will say, An evil beast has put him to death: then we will see what becomes of his dreams. 21 But Reuben, hearing these words, got him out of their hands, saying, Let us not take his life. 22 Do not put him to a violent death, but let him be placed in one of the holes; this he said to keep him safe from their hands, with the purpose of taking him back to his father again.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they took off his long coat which he had on; 24 And they took him and put him in the hole: now the hole had no water in it. 25 Then seating themselves, they took their meal: and looking up, they saw a travelling band of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead on their way to Egypt, with spices and perfumes on their camels. 26 And Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there in putting our brother to death and covering up his blood? 27 Let us give him to these Ishmaelites for a price, and let us not put violent hands on him, for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brothers gave ear to him. 28 And some traders from Midian went by; so pulling Joseph up out of the hole, they gave him to the Ishmaelites for twenty bits of silver, and they took him to Egypt.
31 Then they took Joseph's coat, and put on it some of the blood from a young goat which they had put to death, 32 And they took the coat to their father, and said, We came across this; is it your son's coat or not? 33 And he saw that it was, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast has put him to death; without doubt Joseph has come to a cruel end. 34 Then Jacob, giving signs of grief, put on haircloth, and went on weeping for his son day after day. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters came to give him comfort, but he would not be comforted, saying with weeping, I will go down to the underworld to my son. So great was his father's sorrow for him.
What a family drama! As parents we can all see the danger in being partial to one of your kids.
Jacob had a favorite son and all the other sons knew it, it was so obvious so let’s make it worse and give him a really sharp coat. Let’s make him really stand out so that everybody can see just how special Joe is. Jacob already had a problem in this area, he was partial to his second wife Rachel he really loved her from day one (Gen 29:16-20,30-31) and only took Leah because he was tricked (Gen 29:21-25).
Some lessons in life are hard to learn and we get hung up on the same mistakes over and over. I think that Jacob could have found Celebrate Recovery to be helpful.
Joseph’s brothers were in great danger for their envy almost led to murder but instead God saw to it that Joseph was taken care of. Be careful with envy it is very dangerous; it took Jesus life (Mark 5:9-10).
I will always try to treat my “kids”; they are adults now, with fairness and impartially.
Watch out for envy it is very dangerous we must be content.
Help me Lord to be content with who I am and with what you have given me. Keep me from the evil of envy.