A Dreamy Teenager?
Holy Father, You know before I ask what I desire and I need. I trust You and praise You totally and completely.
Read GENESIS 37:1-11
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Recall and give thanks to God for family members who have been especially supportive of you.
This is no happy family. As a teenager, Joseph alienates himself from his brothers by “squealing” on them to his father. To complicate matters further, Jacob’s preferential treatment of Joseph fuels his brothers’ antagonism toward him. An already tense situation is not helped when Joseph dreams that his brothers will bow down to him. When Joseph tells of a second dream in which his whole family worships him, even his father Jacob is offended. Yet, in the process of rebuking Joseph, Jacob takes careful note of what his favorite son has said. We are expected to anticipate something special regarding Joseph.
We are surely meant to learn from this dysfunctional family. Paternal favoritism quickly breeds jealousy, and spoiled teenagers can easily become captivated by their own importance, and despise everyone else. Are there lessons to learn about human relationships by reflecting on this family?
Something profound is being communicated here. If we have read the preceding chapters, we can see that Joseph’s royal aspirations are not simply the delusions of a pretentious teenager. From Abraham onward, the author of Genesis has been especially interested in tracing a line of descendants to one who will become a special king. The promise of royal descendants begins with Abraham (17:6) and continues through Isaac to Jacob (27:29). At each stage an older brother is passed over in favor of a younger sibling (Ishmael in favor of Isaac; Esau in favor of Jacob). In the light of his family history, Joseph’s royal dreams take on special significance. While we later discover that God uses Joseph to save many people, the story of Joseph points forward, ultimately, to Jesus Christ, the future King through whom God restores wayward humanity to himself.
Can you think of a family situation that needs your prayers and/or action right now? If so, pray for wisdom.
Sovereign God, I pray that You will make straight the crooked places in my life and the life of my family. Use me in any way You will.