Summary: What can we learn from Jacobs family about building a stronger Family

This message began with a clip from Joseph and the Technicolor DreamCoat. The clip was when the brothers sold Joseph into Slavery and then told Jacob the news.

Wow that is the family that put the fun in dysfunctional.

My Daddy told me once that everybody is good for something even if it’s to serve as a bad example. And if we look at the family of Jacob, You remember Jacob don’t you? He was Abraham’s grandson and Joseph’s father; we discover that they make a great bad example. And it was probably because he had seen the mistakes that his father had made in raising his kids that Joseph seemed to do alright with his children and then later on with his siblings when they were reunited.

Most people know the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. You either learned it in Sunday School or heard it in a sermon or watched it in Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical, which by the way was the opening clip for this morning’s message.

In case you’ve forgotten the highlights of the story, Jacob had twelve sons but he had one favourite son and that was Joseph. Now I know that we all think that our parents love our siblings more then they love us but Jacob did love Joseph more, it wasn’t a guess it was a given. The bible tells us in Genesis 37:3 Now Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. And just so nobody would doubt how he felt about his youngest son the verse goes on to say So one day he gave Joseph a special gift—a beautiful robe.

Well, the rest of the siblings weren’t blind or stupid they knew how their dad felt about little Joe and Joseph didn’t make it easier for them to like him. We are told that he was quick to tell his father about any mischief the other guys got up to, and then there were the dreams. On two separate occasions he had dreams which he interpreted to mean that he would eventually rule over his brothers. Now in twenty-twenty hind sight we know that those dreams were destined to come true, and you can’t fault Joseph for having the dreams. But did he have to go and tell his brothers about it, after the incident with the pretty coat it would have been like rubbing salt into their wounds.

One day when the rest of the boys were out tending sheep Joseph was home, not tending sheep and his father sent Joe out to check up on the guys. When he arrived, well if it was a movie the music would have changed to a minor key suggesting that something bad was going to happen. I don’t know what the boys had been talking about before Joe came but I would suspect that he was the topic of the conversation because when they saw him the bible tells us that made plans to kill him.

Now if you know the story then you realize that there was a change of heart and instead of killing their little brother they sold him into slavery. I’m glad my older sister never thought of that. Joseph ended up in Egypt and after a number of years and a series of misfortunes and adventures including a couple of year in jail he ends up the most second most powerful man in the kingdom right under the Pharaoh. He married and became the father of two sons. When a famine stretched across what would eventually become Israel, the brothers had to come cap in hand to Egypt looking for food to sustain their families, never imagining that the man they would need to approach would be their long lost brother.

So, if you were Joseph how would you feel? You would have gone from favoured son to slave, gotten a good owner and then you were falsely accused of rape and were thrown in prison, you did someone a favour and thought it would get you sprung but you ended up spending two more years in jail. It’s probably a character flaw on my behalf but I think I would have spent at least a little bit of that time plotting revenge. And now the brothers stand before him, wahah-hah-hah.

But that isn’t what happened, Joseph did have them jump through a few hoops but it was primarily to see if they had changed in the time that had passed and they had. And so listen to what Joseph does to these brother’s who had treated him so, so wrong. It’s found in Genesis 47:11 So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the land of Rameses—to his father and brothers.

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