Most Bible stories are told from the perspective of the hero. We tend to side with them and hear how they endured. But this message is from a different perspective. It’s from Genesis 37 all the way to 50, so take some time this week to read the whole thing to get a full view of it all.
MONDAY: This is about Joseph in Genesis 37. We normally talk about what all he went through and how his life turned out great despite what terrible things he endured, but let’s look at things from his brother’s view. Joseph was their dad’s favorite. He was the baby. We all know families where the baby is the favorite. Joseph’s dad was out spoken about it, even to the point of making his son a special coat of many colors. This of course, created jealous among his big brothers. Their culture usually favored the first born. They were the ones to get the biggest blessing and all, so this was different. Good parenting makes everyone feel loved. Being a Christian means that we need to show love to people too. Even if they have something we’d like to have. Don’t let jealous take you over.
Father God, help me be a parent who doesn’t have favorites. I want to love my children and everyone like you do, unconditionally and without favorites. Thank you for helping me do that. Guard my heart against jealousy, too, Lord. Help me not struggle with that. In Jesus name, amen.
TUESDAY: Nobody likes a tattle tale. Joseph was just that. He would tell his dad things his brothers had done. This just added to the bad feelings they had towards him. Now, there is a time and place for such things. If someone is being abused or in danger, that’s totally different. You can see how the brothers were just being treated by Joseph. I doubt Joseph was trying to hurt them though. He probably didn’t even realize how he was doing things was making his brothers feel hatred toward him. When you are in a situation and you’ve been hurt, a great way to handle it is the “I feel” statement. “I feel really sad when you say things like that to me.” “I feel angry when you don’t do what I asked you to the first time.” Tell them how you feel because what they did was probably not done to hurt you on purpose. This helps people not get defensive so fast. You aren’t accusing them of something. If you need help with this, God will help you and remind you of it right when you need it.
Father God, help me learn how to use this “I feel” statement so that I can communicate with my loved ones in a healthy way. I don’t want to have bad relationships like it seems these brothers had for so long. Show me how to do this and work out problems in a good way. In Jesus name, amen.
WEDNESDAY: Do not make decisions when you are emotional. In Genesis 37:19-22 we see the brothers who just suddenly decided to kill their brother. Your emotions will lie to you. They will try to tell you things that just aren’t true, so that you in turn, make a decision that was not thought out. People do crazy things when they are in a group of people too. So, try to not talk about this with a lot of people then have all of them encouraging you to do something out of emotion. Pray about things. Ask God to help you handle them and allow Him to show you in the Bible ways to handle whatever you are going through. He will.
Father God, please help me to never make decisions when I’m emotional. I see how emotions can lie to me and cause me to do things I know I will regret later. Please lead and guide me. Help me handle emotional issues by praying to you about them. In Jesus name, amen.
THURSDAY: Are you allowing something from your past to still haunt you? When Joseph’s brothers and the rest of his family got to Egypt, they didn’t know who Joseph was at first. When he revealed who he really was to them, they immediately thought that he would have them killed because they sold him into slavery. There were years in between the time they sold him and when they stood before him as the second in command of Egypt. Years. Their first thoughts were of what their country was in a famine because of what they did to their brother. It was their punishment. But that is not what it was about at all. Stop living in guilt and shame. Stop thinking you are being punished for your past, because you aren’t. God does not work that way. If God forgive you, maybe it’s time for you to forgive yourself.
Father God, help me stop allowing my past to hold me back. If you have forgiven me, then I need to forgive myself, for sure. I ask that you will please guide me through this, help me so that I can be healthy and walking fully with you. I don’t want to live in the past. In Jesus name, amen.
FRIDAY: The story of Joseph and his brothers is a great picture of what Jesus did for us. Joseph had the power to do whatever he wished to his brothers. After all, they had sold him into slavery and told their dad he was dead. But he forgave them, and made room for them in Egypt to live during the famine. They didn’t necessarily deserve it, but Joseph loved them still. We aren’t the hero in our stories, Jesus is. Nothing we can do will make God love us any less. Just like nothing you can do will make God love you more.
Father God, thank you for showing us this story about Joseph and the lessons we can learn from it. Thank you Jesus for what you did for me. Thank you for loving me, and forgiving me, even when I didn’t deserve it. In Jesus name, amen.