Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
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.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Parents love their children. They want to give them the best that they can in just about everything. That's one reason why the baby industry is such a growing one with new products being released constantly so it seems.
Even if you haven’t been to a baby shower in the not-to-distant past or had a family member who had a child, I'm sure you know that's the case. Just think about the ads that you might see on television or even on billboards through the streets. There are dozens of different kind of diapers that you can buy for an infant that all claim to have the best mobility, or the best leak protection, or just the best look to them. It wasn’t too long ago that there was a brand of disposable diaper that advertised its denim look so that the baby would be crawling around looking like it had little jean shorts on when it just had the diaper on.
And of course it’s not just diapers that has this kind of variety, but just about anything you can think of. There are car seats for every stage of childhood, some with cup holders, or headrests or whatever else you could think of. Diaper genies for disposing diapers. Warmers that heat up the baby wipes before using them. The list could probably go on and on.
And it’s not just with infants, but you see parents spending lots and lots of money on things like personal sports coaches or private music lessons or animals to raise for a fair. Parents want to give their children the best they can.
Why do you think that is? Why does it seem like this is one market that just can’t seem to reach a saturation point. Well the reason I think that’s so is parents want to give their children everything. And it’s not just with infants, but you see parents spending lots and lots of money on things like personal sports coaches or private music lessons or animals to raise for a fair. Parents want to give their children the best they can.
And that’s a natural, even a commendable thing, to want to give not just your children, but everybody, everything that you love, to give them as much as you can. But in the verses you just read, we see one instance where that mentality backfired.
Jacob wanted what was best for Joseph, so much so that he didn't want him to work like the rest of his brothers. He loved him so much that he gave him a special coat to distinguish him from everybody else.
And all this led to a feeling of self-importance for Joseph. He thought so much of himself that when he had dreams concerning himself and his family, he shared it with all his brothers to make himself look good.
The devil tries to attack us the same way. He fosters this feeling of self-importance in us instead of the humility that God wants us to have. It can start with something innocent like wanting the best for someone you love or even for yourself. But the truth is we don't know what is best for us, only God does. Left to our own devices, we would probably find ourselves in the same sticky situation Jacob and Joseph did.
But God knows exactly what you need. You need a selfless servant. And that's exactly what Jesus was for you. He selflessly came to the earth to live for you. And he selflessly went to the cross to sacrifice his life so that you would live. God knows exactly what is best for you and he wants to give it to you too! And so he gave you a Savior in his Son.
What a great God we have. May you find peace in Jesus' selflessness and reflect that in your life as well.
God's blessings on your week!
Pastor Nick Schmoller