Beyond the Weekend

May 7 | Sibling Rivalry Explodes

May 7, 2018


Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. Genesis 37:3

Read: Genesis 37:1-4

Listen: Genesis 37


The story of Abraham’s flawed descendants continues this week with the focus turning from his grandson Jacob to his great-grandson, Joseph. Because Jacob steals his older brother Esau’s blessing, he must run for his life to his northern relatives. Ironically, his uncle Laban deceives him into marrying both of his daughters. But Jacob only loves Rachel, not her older sister Leah (Genesis 29:1-28).

The family dysfunction accelerates with Rachel and Leah pitched into a boy-birthing rivalry to win honor and favor from Jacob. Because Rachel is (so far) barren, the score is Leah 6 and Rachel 0. Finally, God remembers Rachel and she gives birth to Joseph (Genesis 30:23-24). Because Jacob openly loves and favors Joseph, the sibling rivalry between the older brothers and Joseph explodes into a conflict they didn’t start.

Through this very flawed family, God is telling a good story. But it’s a good story that has some awful parts. As we’ll see this week, God works in, around and through this situation that ultimately escalates into tragedy. But there is hope because God has a plan to use imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will.


Maybe there is a “Joseph” in your life. Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a situation that’s not your fault. Open your heart to God by praying, “Lord, meet me in my anger and hurt. Help me be forgiving as you work in me through my pain. Help me to trust you and believe you are telling a good story through my difficult circumstances.”

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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