Turning Trauma Into Triumph
September 26, 2021
This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of 17, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives… (Genesis 37:2)
Rachel was shapely and in every way a beauty, but Leah had lovely eyes. (Genesis 29:17 NLT) Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form and beauty. (Genesis 29:17 NIV)
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. (Genesis 29:20)
So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her…When morning came, there was Leah! (Genesis 29:22-25)
So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” (Genesis 29:25)
“It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Genesis 29:26-28)
As parents we recognize we can’t treat children alike, but we can love them equally.
“It would rather strain our credulity to think that basking in the favoritism of his father had no negative effect on Joseph in terms of overconfidence and self-righteousness tinged with arrogance.”—John Lenox
Joseph did three things that intensified their hatred for him:
1) He brought a bad report about them.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. (Genesis 37:2)
2) He wore that special coat a lot.
“Beware of the Pharisees. They love to wear special garments to call attention to themselves. They scramble for the chief seats in the synagogue and they want you to call them by their title. (Luke 20:46)
3) He shared his dreams of superiority.
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
“Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. (Genesis 37:8)
When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Genesis 37:10-11)
Whom the Lord loves he disciplines. (Proverbs 3:12)
One of the best things that parents can do for their children is to teach them unselfishness and sometimes deny what they really want, but don’t really need. Two lessons of application:
1. Every family has its share of sorrows and troubles, but some families have secrets that are toxic and hard to overcome.
2. All families can find help and hope in Jesus, regardless of how messed up they are.
Discipleship, at its core, is putting off the sinful patterns and ingrained habits of our birth families and being transformed to live as members of Jesus’ new birth family.
The Lord God will give to him [Jesus] the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:32-33)
“We do not want this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14)
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)