Today I Read: Genesis 37.
(“Gee… Maybe I shouldn’t
have been such a jerk to
Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, among others) has a knack for flipping well-known fairy tales on their head. The lines begin to blur and you wonder, “Who’s really the good guy and bad guy here?”
If there’s one thing I hope people get from this blog, it’s that the Bible is full of stories of broken, messed up people that God chooses to love and work through.
I really admire Joseph. He trusted God in the darkest of times. He had integrity. He stood strong in the face of sexual temptation (and was promptly punished for it). But… He was also kinda a punk.
Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son. He really couldn’t help that, given that he was the firstborn of Jacob’s favorite wife. But he sure did know how to add wood to the fire.
When we first meet Joseph he is tattling on his brothers. From there, he brags about dreams he has – dreams of him being in power over his brothers. It seemed he loved to strut his stuff and flaunt. His brothers are so enraged that they hatch a plan to kill him. They don’t end up going that far… They just sell him into slavery.
Were they right in doing so?
Can I understand their anger?
For those who don’t know, I have Cerebral Palsy. Admittedly, my disability has led to many people going easy on me or giving me the upper hand. Just today, I spilled my sweet tea at a movie theater and some lady got up and bought me a new one (for the entire movie I was petrified that I would spill it again and cause a raucous.)
I’m sure that for my 2 sisters, growing up with me as their brother made things difficult at times. Like Joseph, some of it was out of my hands. People will react however they will react. But also like Joseph, there were [are] times I strutted, taking advantage of my situation.
This chapter shows me how damaging pride can be. I really do believe it was pride that made Joseph a showoff. Pride wrecks relationships. And I’m so prone to it.
When pride creeps up, I want to kill it.
2 thoughts on “Confessions of Angry (And Justifiably So) Brothers”
“If there’s one thing I hope people get from this blog, it’s that the Bible is full of stories of broken, messed up people that God chooses to love and work through.”
One of my favorite examples of this is the story of Esther. I grew up hearing this told as a tale of heroism… a young, innocent Jewish girl who remained faithful to God and so was used in an extraordinary way. But when I read the account with less biased adult eyes, it seemed that she was actually quite flawed: a person who made one compromise after another. And yet, she was at the right place at the right time and made the right choice.
It’s not a story of great character. It’s a story of grace and Providence. And that’s a better story, I think.
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Very true, Tim. The closer we look at the stories of biblical heroes the more we see that the true hero is God.