Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
Of all the the bible characters I have come to love— one amazing man would have to be the first in line. His life was very interesting and continues to give valuable lessons that are still applicable in our modern times. His name was Joseph … the favorite son of Jacob… a man who had beautiful dreams … the object of sibling rivalry.
In the story, Joseph was always the center of his father’s love and attention. Jacob even gave Joseph a colorful coat or garment that came to symbolize how special he was in his father’s eyes. Later on, he would pay for his father’s foolish actions. Joseph’s brothers resented him because he was the favorite son. Jacob, the father, had two wives, two concubines, and twelve sons — all competing for his attention. Joseph’s family drama have all the makings of a t.v soap opera…with various episodes of jealousy, hatred, deception and self-interest. Reading the account of Joseph’s life is like being glued to the t.v screen full of anticipation about what will happen next.
Joseph, “the dreamer,” once told his brothers about a dream that a day would come when they would all bow down to him. This dream made his brothers grow more angry towards him. One day, Joseph was sent by his father on an errand. Specifically, Joseph was tasked to visit his brothers who were working in the field. Some accounts say that his brothers plotted to kill him but later decided to throw Joseph into a pit. Joseph’s brothers also took his colorful coat and wiped it with animal blood. They later lied to their father by saying that Joseph died after being attacked by wild animals. After some time at the bottom of the pit, Joseph was picked up by traveling merchants and later sold him into slavery.
The young lad was later sold by the merchants to Potiphar, one of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s trusted leaders. As a worker in Potiphar’s household, he became distinguished in his labors. He was later appointed supervisor over Potiphar’s household. The story takes a drastic turn when Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to sexually assault her. Of course, Potiphar’s wife did this to get back at Joseph who repeatedly warded off her sexual advances. Enraged by the accusation, Potiphar sent Joseph to prison.
In prison, Joseph again found favor by being able interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was so full of stress and anxiety about the horrible dreams he had and the visions he could not understand. Through Joseph, the Pharaoh was able to understand the economic implications of his dreams for the land of Egypt. Later, he was appointed governor of Egypt. The famine that struck the land where Jacob and his sons lived became the reason why they were later reunited. Reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers paved the way for Jacob to again see his son.
This remarkable story shows how we, like Joseph, must cling to faith even in the most trying circumstances. Stress and anxiety need not stop us from believing that God has forsaken us and that we have been left alone in the middle of all our troubles. Indeed, overcoming life’s challenges is a journey of trust, faith, and perseverance that all of us must take. Like Joseph, we can also have great dreams and live up to our fullest potential.