In our story about Joseph from Genesis 37:2-5 we begin to get a glimpse of the person Joseph and his relationship with his brothers and father. 2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. 3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Joseph’s father loved him more than the other boys and made a special coat to show his love. This gift added to the family discord. To make matters worse, Joseph sends back a bad report about his brothers. This gives us a clue that he did not have a very good relationship with them. The brothers were hurting on the inside, they wanted to be noticed by Jacob and as a result could not say a good word about Joseph.
What is going on with the brother’s relationships? Think about how you feel when you hurt on the inside. When I hurt on the inside I often take it out on others which gives an opportunity for the devil to work. Who is hurting in our story? The brothers. I think they just wanted to be loved by their father and fit in. Often hurt people hurt others. I think this is the case here. You can almost see the devil pitting one brother against the other to cause division, pain and misery.
When I hurt on the inside, our Lord Jesus is just a prayer away. In fact, the Lord is everywhere no matter where we go. The Psalms are filled with hurting people who cry out to God. Maybe you feel crushed down as you read this devotion. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Come to Jesus and He will lift you out of the mud and the mire of hurtful relationships.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 37:2–4). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 11:28–30). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.