Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.” Genesis 37:3
What father does not want to bestow love on his children? Jacob though went a little overboard showing more devotion to one of his children at the expense of the others. So, there was a lot of jealousy going on in this family.
And Joseph had dreams that he shared with his family. Dreams that showed his family bowing down to him which made his brothers more angry.
Yet Jacob made a special coat for Joseph. And Joseph wore it proudly.
One day, Joseph went to check on his brothers in the field wearing his beautiful coat of many colors that his father had given to him. As his brothers saw him coming, the jealousy they had for their brother (and perhaps their father’s devotion) drove them to sell Joseph to a group of travelers.
And they stripped Joseph of his robe, doused it in blood, took it back to their father and said “Is this the coat you gave to your son?” It sounds surreal. How could any child could go to their parent and knowingly make them believe that one of their children has been killed?
Not only that — Jacob went into mourning and his children could not console him. Did they really think they’d be able to?
Some of the most goriest stories I’ve read have been found in the Bible. I ask myself — why? And the answer is simple. Perhaps too simple.
For me, it’s all about being human. We all go through basic emotions. Fear, sorrow, anger, disgust, joy, etc. No one was born a robot. All of these emotions are stirred up inside of us by something or someone. And we all have different reactions.
I’m not saying that I would sell or kill my sister if my mother decided to give her a beautiful scarf and gave me nothing.
Dynamics in families are so unique.
But one little misstep, one cherished thought kept and repeated over and over in one’s head can lead to a lot of horrible things.
I’m thankful we don’t have a Bible full of stories of people who are only good because that would not be reality. I’m thankful that the stories show some extremes in bad behavior.
And that, in spite of all this, God is able to love us. All we have to do is return that love to Him.
Oh – the rest of the story … Joseph’s family did have to bow down to him just like his dreams predicted due to a famine in the land and the position that he eventually held. To read the rest of the story, click here and read Chapters 39-46
Thank God for some good endings!