Abraham fathered Isaac who was the father of Jacob who, after wrestling with God, became Israel.
Israel. We know this name as a nation, but at this time it was simply one man. One man who grew in wealth and cattle and sheep and sons. 11 sons. One favorite. Remember? I told you that would happen.
The favorite was his youngest son. And very spoiled. Have you ever been around a spoiled child? (stop looking at your siblings). This wasn’t just undertones of “he doesn’t have to work as much.” Or “she gets more stuff than me.” I think each sibling could point to another and find some sort of “unfair” charge. No, this was outright favoritism. He was loved more than the others and they knew it. How would that feel?
And how would it feel to have your little brother telling you that he was going to be your ruler?
I don’t know what Joseph’s attitude was, but from the reactions of his brothers, it doesn’t seem good. A little proud maybe? A little snotty?
Finally, his brothers turned their backs on him. Took his prized coat, staged his murder and sold him as a slave.
Relationships have a way of breaking. Jeering jokes, dirty looks, proud glances, hurtful tones. All of these things are like tiny cracks. And sometimes...one crack and it all shatters.
When something breaks, we have options. We can mend it, throw it away, or let it sit in a box for years. Relationships are like that. Some we find easy to just toss away. Lack of communication or interaction makes it easy. We feel we didn’t need it anyways. Others are vital. We couldn’t do without that person, so together the two sides mend the treasure. Piece by piece.
And then there are the ones we put in a box. For later.
In the years to follow, Joseph would face slavery, false accusations, prison, and probably guilt and remorse for his part in the brokenness. The 10 older brothers would have to live a lie. Letting their father believe that his son had died. They would struggle and almost starve.
God did provide a way of escape through Joseph. He did end up ruling over them and saving them. God planned it all for their salvation.
But the beauty of the story also lies in the word restoration.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they broke the relationship between themselves and God. Then they ran, leaving the pieces under the tree. But God does not run away. He does not give up or turn his back on His relationships...he runs towards them. To restore. He cares so much about putting the shattered pieces back together that he would give his only Son to restore what was broken. And this is just what he did. He sent His Son into the body or a tiny, helpless infant to restore Light to broken, darkened hearts.
Is there a relationship with cracks in your life? Maybe one that has begun to break. Maybe you feel one is shattered. Piecing back together all of broken pieces takes time. And maybe many many tries. But here is a hint. Remember the Light. Trying to put together broken pieces in the dark will make something...but it won’t be right. Use the Light of our Lord inside your heart to work side by side...and He will restore.