Scripture: Genesis 37:3-4 Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
Devotional: Not only were Joseph’s brothers jealous of his relationship with their father Jacob, they were jealous of his position.
Taking a look at the deeper meaning of the ornate robe Jacob gave to Joseph, we can see that Joseph elevated his younger son to a position of the oldest. This coat of many colors was a symbol of position.
Typically a father’s birthright went to his firstborn son. Rueben was Jacob’s firstborn by his first wife Leah (who he was tricked into marrying), but because of Rueben’s gross immorality (Gen. 35:22) he lost that birthright. Jacob, rather than give it to his next eldest son, chose to give it to the firstborn of his beloved wife Rachel. When Joseph’s brothers saw him in that ornate coat, a symbol of the birthright, it was a sign of their father’s choice to make Joseph preeminent over them. And they seethed because of it.
They could not accept their father’s choice, and allowed it to cause bitterness to take root and grow in their hearts.
- Have you had someone else receive a position that you wanted or felt you deserved? How have you dealt with that?