Our Daily Bread 1st July 2020 Devotional – The Favorite
TODAY’S TOPIC: THE FAVORITE
Bible in a Year: Job 20–21; Acts 10:24–48
Key Verse: As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34
Today’s Scripture: Genesis 37:2–4, 17–24 (NIV)
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
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.
3 Now Israel 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[a] robe for him. 4 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.
- Today: Our Daily Bread 1st July 2020 Devotional
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 1st July 2020 Devotional
When Joseph’s story began, he was just seventeen years old (Genesis 37:2), and when he entered into Pharaoh’s service he was thirty (41:46). During the thirteen intervening years, he spent perhaps ten or so in slavery (first as a laborer and then as a household manager) before spending another two to three in prison.
Later, following seven years of plenty (41:53), there are two of famine (45:6) before Joseph’s brothers arrive and they reconcile. Imagine—twenty-two years from slavery to reconciliation!
Message: Our Daily Bread 1st July 2020 Devotional
My husband’s brother lives about 1,200 miles away in the mountains of Colorado. Despite the distance, Gerrits has always been a beloved family member because of his great sense of humor and kind heart. As long as I can remember, however, his siblings have good-naturedly joked about his favored status in their mother’s eyes. Several years ago, they even presented him with a T-shirt sporting the words, “I’m Mom’s Favorite.” While we all enjoyed the silliness of our siblings, true favoritism is no joking matter.
In Genesis 37, we read about Jacob who gave his son Joseph an ornate coat—an indication to his other children that Joseph was special (v. 3). Without a hint of subtlety, the coat’s message shouted: “Joseph is my favorite son.”
Our Daily Bread 1st July 2020 Devotional
Displaying favoritism can be crippling in a family. Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, had favored him over her son Esau, leading to conflict between the two brothers (25:28). The dysfunction was perpetuated when Jacob favored his wife Rachel (Joseph’s mother) over his wife Leah, creating discord and heartache (29:30–31). No doubt this pattern was the unhealthy basis for Joseph’s brothers to despise their younger brother, even plotting his murder (37:18).
When it comes to our relationships, we may sometimes find it tricky to be objective. But our goal must be to treat everyone without favoritism and to love every person in our life as our Father loves us (John 13:34).
Reflect: When have you struggled with showing favoritism? How is God helping you to treat everyone equally?
Today’s Prayer: Loving God, as I interact with others help me to avoid showing unhealthy preferences. Help me to see others as You do and to treat everyone fairly and without favoritism.
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