Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Twenty-Nine

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Twenty-Nine – “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us? – Joseph’s brothers (Gen. 37: 8)
Just in case you didn’t already know, or lost track of the count, Jacob had twelve sons. Leah’s sons included Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Rachel’s sons were Joseph and Benjamin. Bilhah (Rachel’s servant) bore to Jacob Dan and Naphtali, and Zilpah (Leah’s servant) had Gad and Asher. (Gen. 35: 23-26)
Of the twelve sons, Joseph was Jacob’s favorite.  I’m not saying that was right, or healthy…I’m just saying what the Bible says. “Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons…” (Gen. 37: 3) Jacob made for Joseph a robe that was “richly ornamented” – a.k.a. the coat of many colors. Just in case his brothers didn’t ALREADY know he was Jacob’s favorite… Can you imagine the tension and jealousy this caused among the other sons?
Joseph’s “job” just added to the tension.  His “job” was to go and check up on his older brothers as they watched over the flocks, and come back report to Jacob how they were doing.  When I was in school, we would say, “Tattle tail, tattle tail, hang your britches on a nail.” Often, Joseph would give his father a “bad report” about his brothers. And the anger simmered...hatred grew.  Golden boy. Goody-two-shoes. Daddy’s pet. Tattle tail. They hated him! I’m not saying it was right, or healthy…I’m just saying what the Bible says. Joseph’s brothers “hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” (Gen. 37: 4)
If strolling around in his coat of many colors and spying on his brothers weren’t enough, Joseph would add another reason for them to hate him: his dreams. One day Joseph said to his brothers, “You wouldn’t believe the weird dream I had last night! I dreamed we were out in the field binding sheaves of grain, and all of the sudden my sheaf of grain rose up, and your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.  Weird, huh?”
I don’t know if Joseph was clueless as to how he came across to his older brothers. Did he really NOT understand how something like this would sound to them?  Was he really that self-absorbed? Hmmm.  I remember being 17 years old (Joseph’s age at the time). If I’m honest about that time in my life, I was pretty well wrapped up in my own orbit.
Anger boiling over, Joseph’s brothers said, “So, YOU are going to rule over US, Mr. Fancy Coat? When hell freezes over!” Would those words ever come back and bite them?!
Reflection: How does it feel when someone else gets all the positive attention? Have you ever had someone be jealous of the positive attention you received?
Action: Read Rom. 12: 3-5. Write down your thoughts on this passage.

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