Have you ever had resentment towards someone? unresolved resentment always leads to trouble. Or maybe you have allowed resentment to build into hatred and you feel like you have reached a boiling point.

In the first part of the Bible we are given accounts of some famous men. Men such as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and he had a lot of kids. He had twelve sons and one daughter. Now I am an only child. My dad died when I was young so there was never an opportunity for my parents to have any more children.

So I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like growing up with that many bothers and sisters. But maybe you do.

And this is where some problems start in this account. Although Jacob had all of these children, there was one that stood above the rest in his mind and he became the favorite child.

His name was Joseph.

Now, can you imagine a dad having a favorite child? Perhaps you have seen this happen in families that you know or maybe it even happened in your own family. If it did, you can already identify problems that this presents. Not only did Jacob like Joseph better, he made sure that everyone knew it. He had a fancy coat made out of many different colors designed just for Joseph. This coat was a status symbol. When people saw this expensive fancy coat, they knew that this meant that Joseph was the favorite. Can you imagine the hurt that this created? Can you imagine the resentment that began to build among the other children? And to make matters worse, Joseph began to have dreams. One of his dreams was of stars and the sun and moon. In this dream there were twelve stars and eleven of them bowed down to the other star. Then the sun and the moon bowed down to that star. He told this to his brothers and said that he was the star that everyone bowed down to. His brothers laughed at him and said, we will never bow down to you! And the resentment among his brothers continued to build. It turned to pure hatred.

Add to that that Jacob often had Joseph check up on his brothers. He wanted to see where they were and what they were doing. These other brothers hated Joseph and began to plot revenge. Now, lets press pause on this Bible account for just a moment and ask ourselves a few questions? Does any of this sound familiar to us in our own personal lives? Is there someone that rubs us the wrong way? Is there someone that we resent? Maybe that resentment has been building for years and is developing into pure hatred. Have we began to plot ways to get back at them?

Well, Joseph’s brothers did. The Bible tells us that one day, Joseph’s brothers were in a little village, watching over their flocks of sheep. And once again, here comes Joseph. Doing what dad wanted him to and check up on his brothers. As he walked into that little village wearing that fancy coat, all of the resentment and hatred bold over and the brothers grabbed him and plotted to kill him. Resentment had turned to hatred and hatred was turning into murder. They grabbed Joseph and threw him into an abandoned water hole and the Bible says that they began to eat lunch. Imagine that! Imagine Joseph hollering up to them while they were eating! “Guys, come on, this isn’t a great idea! brothers. why are you doing this?”

About that time, one of brothers spotted a caravan of travelers and had this idea. “Bothers! instead of killing our brother, lets sell him to these slave traders.”Well they talked about it for awhile and decided, yes, that was a good idea. They ripped his colorful coat off of him and sold him to the slave traders who were headed to Egypt. They assumed that was the last they would ever see of Joseph. Then they had to figure out how to tell their dad. So the made up a story of Joseph being killed by wild animals. They tore his coat up and dipped it in blood and headed off to tell their dad with the coins they had made off of selling Joseph jingling in their pockets.

[To be continued]

Grace Is More Powerful Than Resentment, part 1
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