Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Genesis 37:3-4 (ESV)
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.
Why Him? Why her? We’ve all found ourselves at one time or another staring at a coat of many colors, and green is sometimes the color that stands out most.
It is thought that jealousy first came to be associated with the color green by the ancient Greeks who believed it caused an ill effect in the body. Without doubt, envy and jealousy can certainly overcome us if left unchecked. Proverbs 14:30 even says jealousy is like a cancer in the bones. Especially in the social media culture of today that constantly promotes self and the approval of others, it can be quick to sneak into our thoughts and spread. And what about just daily life? When others are picked over us for the promotion or the team? When someone appears to have it perfectly all together, and we seem to just barely get by?
Jealousy and envy are both arms that reach for resentment, and Joseph’s brothers displayed the pattern of these tendrils. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. The root of the phrase used here with the word “saw” indicated more than just visibility. It also includes inspection, perception, and consideration. The comments, the affection, and the gifts all lumped together into one unbearable sting that spiraled out of control.
Their father should not have shown favoritism. However, while we can’t control the actions of others, we can control how we choose to react and heal. Joseph’s brothers chose hatred and vindication which ultimately led to a desire to kill.
Maybe we don’t take it quite that far, but unchecked envy and jealousy will begin to eat away our joy and contentment, and can even destroy relationships. The brothers could not even speak peacefully. This sentence catches my attention the most. Our words are such a reflection of our heart. Before they chose to act, there were words. And before there were words, there were thoughts. The enemy is hard at work in all of this…even in us today.
God offers peace and joy and love instead. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Such life God speaks into our body, mind, and soul! Bones once riddled with cancerous jealousy can instead be pierced at the joint and marrow and be set free.
Are you struggling with a jealous heart this week? Let Jesus free you today. Ask the Lord to show you what colorful coats are causing problems in your life. He is faithful to forgive us and to heal any resentment towards others by HIS great love at work in us today.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, teach me how to love people like you do. Reveal to me any area of comparison or jealousy in my heart today so I can live in the fullness of your joy and in obedience to your commands. Stir in my heart compassion so that I can love and champion others, and fill me with contentment and thankfulness so that I may fully praise you today. In Jesus Name, Amen
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.