January 29, 2021
Genesis 37:3-4, 34-35
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 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.

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.
New International Version (NIV)
               “Granddad played favorites,” my dad once told me about a grandfather that he idolized.  “Were you one of his favorites?” I asked.  “No,” he answered solemnly.  “How did that feel?” I asked sincerely.  “Not very good,” he sighed.  I wonder:  whose favorite are you in your family?  Who is your favorite?  Is somebody else the favorite?  How does that feel?  Carefully consider:  how is that working for you?  This usually does not end well. 

              For generations, Jacob’s family had played favorites.  Let’s review:  Isaac is favored over Ishmael.  Rebekah chooses Jacob; Isaac chooses Esau.  Then Esau and Jacob have families of their own.  Jacob loves Rachel more than Leah, but Rachel is barren.  After ten other sons, finally Rachel bears Joseph to Jacob.  At last, Jacob must have thought:  a son from the woman I love the most.  Not only did he love Joseph more but he honored him with an opulent gift right in front of his brothers.  This does not look like it is going to go well.

              Ironically, Jacob’s special treatment of Joseph backfires.  It costs the boy his safety, his freedom and almost his life.  Jacob, who wept tears of joy at Joseph’s birth, wept tears of sorrow when his other sons handed him Joseph’s ornate robe covered with blood and told their father Joseph had died.  The long line of lying continues in the Abraham family.  Things are not going well.

              Family curses come in many forms.  Lying to and about each other is one.  Favoritism represents a different kind of curse.  Intended to empower it often paralyzes and immobilizes the recipient.  Children do not choose to be the “favorite” but they will likely experience negative consequences because they are chosen.  We can love all of our family members well without ignoring their uniqueness. 

              Good news:  while Jacob weeps and Joseph ends up a servant in Egypt, God is still on his throne.  He does not work through the favoritism but in spite of it.  With 50:20 vision in the last chapter of the book, Joseph will put all of this in perspective, looking back.  God is still working for good in our families.  Ask the Lord to show you any root of favoritism in your heart and family.  Confess it and turn from it.  For the sake of the favorite, for the sake of the least-liked, for your own sake, for God’s sake stop the family curse.  By God’s grace this can still end well.
Pray with me:         
Father, we ask you to show us the truth about our families.  Heal the wounds inflicted on the favorites and the ones not favored.  Change our hearts.  End any self-deception in this matter.  Redeem what we have broken we pray.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Scripture memorization for this week:    
2 Corinthians 10:12
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.

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