From Genesis to Now: Genesis 37:12-36
What a rift—a large gorge—between the children of Leah and Joseph—
Leah’s sullenness from the lack of Jacob’s love, Jacob’s outward favoritism of Joseph, and Joseph flaunting his gift of dreams produced out and out hatred of Joseph by his brothers.
Favoritism doesn’t bring people together. It does just the opposite. The hurt causes grudges, discord, and competition, none of which makes for good relationships.
Only Reuben—the eldest—tried to rescue Joseph, not by confrontation, but by deception. But, his good intentions backfired on him, and the ruthless brothers sold Joseph to cousins headed to Egypt. And, one deception led to another. They had to come up with a scheme to account for Joseph’s disappearance. So they led Jacob to believe that Joseph had been killed.
How did they feel when Jacob mourned so for Joseph? How did the guilt bear down on their shoulders, especially the two eldest (Reuben and Judah)? Yet, not a one would admit to the truth. So often a bad decision is simply carried while the consequence of the guilt and situation grows and grows. It appears that once a bad choice is made, there is no going back, no chance to make things right, no avenue to repentance. It is a lie of Satan. It traps us into our sin, a place of perpetual sorrow and regret. Held tight by pride and deception, we neglect the repentance owed to God and man. And we suffer.
What a terrible secret they kept as they watched their father’s sorrow. How often did they ponder their actions at night on lonely fields watching their family flocks? Only years and years later would the account reveal that the action had never left their memories, had never left off haunting them.—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything