Thursday, January 20, 2011

JEALOUSY and the PIT - part 2

I started yesterday talking about Joseph and the pit his brothers threw him into as seen in Genesis 37. We stated that the main reason that his brothers gave him the "heave-ho" into the pit was "jealousy." We are identifying three causes for this jealousy. We saw the first cause in yesterday's posting. Joseph's brothers became jealous of him becuase of his DAD. Go back and read yesterday's posting to see why. Today we see the second reason. They also became jealous of him because of his DISCIPLINE. In verse 2 of chapter 37 we are first introduced to Joseph with these words:

"Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Billah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to his father."

Yesterday I stated that I could at least understand why Joseph's brothers would be jealous of their younger brother becuase their father loved him more than he did them, and even worse, he showed it. That would hurt. Many would say the same thing here. After all, nobody likes a "tattletale"! But was that what this was? Was this simply the case of a spoiled younger brother tattling on his older brothers to get them in trouble?

Before you jump to that conclusion let me ask you this question, "Is tattling a sin?" Or how about this question, "When is tattling not a bad thing?" Let me ask you one more question, "What was it that Joseph's brothers were doing that resulted in their younger brother telling on them?" The truth is we really don't know. The Bible does not give us any specifics. Let me warn you to be cautious before simply labling Joseph as a "tattletale" who had it coming to him. It is very possible that his brother's were doing something that their father needed to know about. They may have been doing something that was putting their father's livestock in danger or something that was very evil or destructive.

I am willing to give Joseph the benefit of the doubt rather than judging his motives. We always make mistakes when we presume to know why someone does something or why someone says something. I like to think that Joseph was a young man of DISCIPLINE. Right vs wrong was important to him. And as a result, when he saw a wrong action causing damage he felt compelled to do the right thing and tell his father so that the injustice could be stopped.

But we know one thing for sure...Jospe's brothers simply became more jealous of their younger brother as a result of his DISCIPLINED life. Tomorrow we will see the third reason for their jealousy that ultimately pushed Joseph into a pit. This third reason would be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

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