Back to the Beginning: Genesis 37:12-36

Today’s verses: Genesis 37:12-36
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The father unwittingly sent his favorite son out like a lamb to check on the wolves. Jacob had no clue what his preferential treatment of Joseph had done in the hearts of his other sons. If he had, he never would’ve sent him.

All sons need to know they are loved by their father, and when the love seems to be unbalanced in its weight, brothers’ hearts become murderous. We saw it from the very beginning of the Beginning. Cain and Abel (Genesis 4). It wasn’t Adam who showed preference for one over the other, but their heavenly Father.

Abel brought a sacrifice pleasing to God, Cain didn’t. Abel was blessed. Cain was rebuked. Now, God never gives preferential treatment. His dealings are always just. The difference in the treatment of these brothers had to do with the presentation of their offering. Cain’s scolding was a needed discipline and warning from a loving Father. But for our hearts of flesh, even the appearance of prejudicial acceptance breeds contention.

Jacob’s special love for Joseph was evident to all through the gift of an elaborate multi-colored coat. Add to the mix Joseph’s foolish disclosure of his prophetic dream and you have a recipe for disaster!

They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them
they conspired against him to kill him.
Genesis 37:18
The lesson for earthly fathers is clear. Love your children without preference. This does not mean to treat them all exactly the same. But to truly love them for who they are and learn to speak their love language to them. Not all will appreciate a multi-colored coat but they will all drink up words and acts of love.
We also need to learn the spiritual lesson of the love of our Father in heaven, and not misread His work in our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ as favoritism. He loves us all with the same steadfast unfailing love. He could not love us any more or less as is evident in the giving of His Son for our ransom.
God is love. And however He is working in your life, it is all done in love. Never allow yourself to be deceived and bring division in the church because you have misunderstood God’s heart. As sin crouched at Cain’s door, he’s crouching at your door too. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t let spiritual sibling rivalry divide us. Never doubt His love.
Father God, Your love is so great for me and all those in Your church.
You love even those who hate You. Grow us up in love for one another,
so those who don’t yet know You will be drawn to You.

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