Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 23 2011 - E100.11a – Gen 37:1-11, Joseph and his brothers

Jacob had a complicated household. He now had twelve sons born to his two wives and their maidservants. Only the youngest two sons, Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin, had been born to his favourite wife, Rachel. Rachel had died giving birth to Benjamin. Jacob's great love for Rachel was reflected in the way he loved these two sons more than all the others. In particular, he showed his love for Joseph in making him a special coat – whether it was 'a coat of many colours' we cannot be sure; it could have been a coat with long sleeves (the meaning of the original term is unclear).

Joseph is now seventeen and is enjoying his 'most favoured son' status. He seems to enjoy getting his older brothers into trouble by telling father Jacob about anything improper they had got up to. As a result, his brothers hated him.

And Joseph had dreams, dreams that suggested he would lord it over his brothers and even over his father and his step-mother Leah. His father rebuked him for his dreams – or perhaps for the way he related them. But, at the same time, his father turned over in his mind the things Joseph had said. His brothers simply hated him all the more.

Joseph is not an attractive character; he is a spoilt and arrogant young man. Nevertheless, God purposes to use this man to save his whole family, safeguard the promise made to Abraham and bring blessing to the nations of the world. Again we learn that God uses broken people like us to accomplish his purposes and establish his kingdom.

Father God, thank you that, despite the perversity of my character, you can use me in the work of your kingdom. But keep me, I pray, from an arrogant spirit. Help me to know that your work in me is for your own glory so that I may never boast in anything except the greatness of your saving work in Christ.

Peter Misselbrook