1. The Favorite Son And Despised Brother (Genesis 37:1-11)Related Media
Dysfunctional behavior occurs in many different places - in families, workplaces, and churches. Today we’re talking about dysfunctional families. Dysfunctional families seem to perpetuate themselves. Children learn from their parents. The children of alcoholics often become alcoholics. Children with abusive parents (whether physical or verbal, sexual, emotional, or psychological) often become abusers themselves. It’s hard sometimes to break the cycle and often when the cycle is broken, the hurt and memories linger.
I believe that we can overcome the cycle. We can break free from the negative influences of our upbringing or environment. In Christ, we can discover that we are precious to God, we are his sons and daughters, and he values us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. That is an incredible discovery and one that can and should set us free from the torment of our past.
When we realize that we are responsible before God for the way we live and not before our parents or colleagues or friends, that is a liberating discovery! When we discover that we cannot change our DNA or genetic make-up with which we were born but we can change our behavior, that is a liberating discovery! When we discover that through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and the life changing power of the Gospel we can live lives that are glorifying to God, that is a liberating discovery! We are set free. Set free from the negative criticism, abuse, ungodly thinking and behavior of others that once held us in its bondage. Set free to imitate Christ and live to please him. Set free because we have been born again into a brand new family with a brand new spiritual DNA. Set free because we are new creatures in Christ.
Abuse of alcohol can produce dysfunctional families. There are several reasons that I do not drink alcohol. At a logical level, I don’t drink alcohol because it is a highly addictive, mind-altering drug. At a pastoral level, I don’t drink alcohol because there are so many people in our churches who have been so badly hurt by alcohol. Many of them have lived horrible lives under the influence of alcoholic fathers or mothers. For them alcohol is a vicious and destructive enemy, a cycle that they want to break. To discover that their pastor drank alcohol would not only destroy the pastor’s credibility but also further hurt them, because someone they thought they could trust and with whom they were safe is a drinker, and alcohol is unsafe.
Favoritism can also produce dysfunctional families. Favoritism seems so benign but can cause so much damage. Often the youngest child is favored over the others, perhaps because the parents are older and don’t have the energy to carry out discipline any more. Perhaps because the parents have more money by the time the youngest child comes along and they lavish more things on him or her. But these acts of favoritism can destroy the child and the family unless they are stopped.
One of the things I like about the O.T. is its reality. These studies in O.T. characters are reality, unlike “reality” TV which is often totally unreal. The Spirit of God looks into the lives of these O.T. characters and paints a picture of them just as they really were in real life – no airbrushing, no cuts in the video footage, no tampering with the evidence. What we find is that they faced the same kind of challenges and temptations that we face (albeit in a different culture and at a different time period) and they had the same victories and failures that we do.
The point of these Bible narratives is not to entertain us but to reveal God to us in the real issues of life, for their God is our God, he has not changed. Not to be shocked by their flaws but to learn from them how to live (what to imitate and what to avoid).
Our subject in this study is: “The Dysfunctional Cycle of Favoritism” (Gen. 37:1-11). What we’re going to discover in this series on Joseph is that “dysfunctional family patterns can be broken by the power of God in a person’s life.”
Notice the first principle we learn here...
I. The Root Of Dysfunctional Behavior In The Family Can Go Back Generations (Gen. 37:1-4)
It’s important when starting a character study to understand the historical and literary background. So, let’s review some history for a moment - first, the literary background of this Scripture passage. Genesis is structured around certain “generations”: the creation of man (1:1-4:26); Adam (5:1-6:8); Noah (6:9-9:29); sons of Noah (10:1-11:9); Shem (11:10-26); Terah / Abraham (11:27-25:11); Ishmael (25:12-18); Isaac / Jacob (25:19-35:29); Esau (36:1-8; 36:43); Jacob / Joseph (37:1-50:26). These, then, are the “generations” around which the book of Genesis is structured. Our chapter begins with the “generations of Jacob” (37:2), which is primarily concerned with the account of his youngest son, Joseph.
Now, let’s review the family history that shapes Joseph’s family. Abraham (Joseph’s great grandfather) had two sons, the one (Ishmael) by his wife’s bondwoman (Hagar) and the other (Isaac) by his wife (Sarah). The day came when, in order to maintain harmony in the family, Abraham had to make a choice between the two wives and two sons. On God’s instruction, he chose Isaac and sent Ishmael and Hagar away. Perhaps that’s where the problem of favoritism began. Or, perhaps it began with Isaac (Joseph’s grandfather) and his wife Rebekah, who had two twin boys – Esau, whom Isaac favored and Jacob, whom Rebekah favored (25:28).
As we consider this background, we realize that this family history isn’t a pretty picture. Jacob’s family cycle of dysfunctional behavior began at an early age: “Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Gen. 25:27-28). Evidently, the favoritism expressed by Isaac and Rebekah to their two sons was established very early on when the boys manifested their own unique dispositions. Jacob was a mother’s boy, who stayed indoors and loved cooking. Esau was an outdoorsman, a hunter, a meat-and-potatoes kind of man. From there on it was all down hill. Jacob, the cook, cheated Esau, the hunter, out of his birthright with a bowl of stew for a hungry, working man (25:29-34). Rebekah deceived her husband, Isaac, into giving Jacob, her favorite son, the family blessing when it was really due to Esau, the oldest brother. That made Esau angry. Then, Rebekah deceived Isaac again into sending Jacob to his Uncle Laban under the pretense of finding a wife, but really it was to escape Esau’s threat to kill Jacob (27:1-28:5).
During his time with Laban, Jacob obtained two wives, Leah and Rachel (Laban’s daughters). Jacob loved Rachel but despised Leah. You may remember that Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah; Rachel was his first love. So, you can understand how marriage problems arose. The two women shared one husband – this caused rivalry. And Leah could produce children but Rachel was barren – this caused jealousy. The result was a marriage filled with tension and animosity.
Leah produced four sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah) while Rachel just couldn’t get pregnant. Following in Sarah’s footsteps, Rachel devised a scheme for Jacob to produce children through her maidservant, Bilhah. Does this scheme sound familiar? Jacob’s relationship with Bilhah produced two sons, Dan and Naphtali.
Later, when she became unable to bear more children, Leah adopted Rachel’s scheme for Jacob to produce more children through her maidservant, Zilpah. From this relationship two more boys were born, Gad and Asher. Then, lo and behold, Leah became fertile once again and produced two more boys and a girl, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah. Then the unthinkable happened – a once-in-a-lifetime chance - Rachel got pregnant and gave birth to her first child, Joseph (30:22-24). Jacob’s household now consisted of one husband, 2 wives, 2 concubines, 4 mothers, 10 sons, and 1 daughter – in all, 11 men and 5 women. That’s a recipe for jealousy, argument, lust, deceit, competition, scheming, and secrecy.
At this point, Jacob had had enough of working for Laban, so he collected his family, his livestock and his possessions and left to go back to Canaan, where he had come from 20 years before (31:1-18). On the way home, they came to the city of Shechem where Dinah, his daughter, was raped (34:1-2). Though Jacob did nothing about it, his sons did. They concocted a scheme and killed all the men of that place and pillaged their goods (34:29). Jacob didn’t seem concerned about the rape of his daughter. He was only concerned about what his sons’ act of revenge would look like to others (34:30-31). Just as they moved on, Rachel died in giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, some 16 years after Joseph was born (35:16f).
Moving on again, another tragedy struck – Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son, committed incest with Bilhah, one of his father’s concubines (35:22). Again, Jacob did nothing – he just acted as though it was business as usual. To end this section of Jacob’s family history, just as he arrived back home in Canaan, Isaac, his father, died (35:27-29).
With this background in mind, we come to chapter 37, where our story of Joseph begins. Of all his sons, Jacob (Israel) favored Joseph over the other eleven. “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age (37:3a).” Rachel was the wife he loved and Joseph was the child born of that love relationship (unlike the children born to a merely physical relationship with Leah). Joseph was Rachel’s firstborn son, the answer to Rachel’s years of barrenness and sorrow. Joseph represented the blessing of God on Rachel, such that when Joseph was born she said, “God has taken away my reproach” (30:23).
When Rachel died about one year earlier while giving birth to Benjamin, Joseph was about 16 years old, an age when Jacob, his father, would naturally have turned to him for comfort and transfer to him his love for his mother, Rachel. All of this is conjured up in the sentence, “Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons because he was the son of his old age” (37:3a).
Often parents favor a significantly younger child but it can create awful relationships between the siblings. Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph was a repeat of what he had learned from his mother. Just as Rebekah had favored Jacob over Esau so Jacob now favors Joseph over his 11 other sons. Doting on Joseph may have made Jacob feel good, but it did no good for Joseph.
One of the evidences of favoritism to the youngest child is to lavish them with gifts that the others did not get as they grew up. Jacob demonstrated his favoritism to Joseph with “a robe of many colors” (37:3b). This was evidently a beautiful, luxurious long-sleeved tunic. It stood out. When you saw it, you would have noticed the extravagance of it. It was perhaps the kind of coat worn by royalty or nobility. We read that Tamar, King David’s daughter wore “a robe of many colors,” a coat suited to “the virgin daughter of the king” (2 Sam. 13:18).
Evidently this regal kind of coat was a symbol of purity. Tamar’s richly ornamented coat was evidence of her virginity. That’s why after she was raped by her brother Amnon, she “tore her robe of many colors that was on her” (2 Sam. 13:19). She no longer considered herself pure, because she was no longer a virgin. Even though she was raped, she blamed herself. It would seem, then, that Joseph’s multi-colored coat identified Joseph as a man who was morally pure and that his other brothers were not. This certainly is born out in the rest of the story as Joseph stands for moral purity even when tempted to act otherwise. So, Joseph’s coat was a symbol of purity.
And this kind of coat was a symbol of position. Just as it was the kind of coat worn by royalty so it was definitely not the kind of coat worn by shepherds. Shepherds wore clothes suited to their dirty work, whereas this was a coat you would wear on Sundays to church. So, this coat gave evidence to Joseph’s favored position. In his father’s eyes, he was not like his other brothers. The special coat flaunted this unequal treatment, threw it in his brothers’ faces.
This kind of coat was also a symbol of authority. Jacob was treating Joseph as the firstborn, which he was to Rachel (perhaps that was Jacob’s logic). The coat probably indicated that Joseph would receive all the rights and privileges of the firstborn, including a double portion of the inheritance and becoming the future head of the family. That’s authority.
So, you can see why his brothers hated Joseph. “They saw that their father loved Joseph more than all his brothers” (37:4). Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to take their feelings out on their father. But, it’s easy to understand why they would have despised Joseph and ultimately schemed to get rid of him.
Jacob is passing on to his sons a dysfunctional family model. He is showing how not to be a good, wise, responsible parent. Jacob is perpetuating the cycle of internal family squabbles that he had experienced in his own life, including favoritism, deception, anger, and guilt. He is passing on to Joseph and the 11 other sons a model of immature, unwise, deceptive, manipulative parenthood – hardly the kind of legacy that any rational, loving parent would want.
Let’s just pause here for a moment. What kind of legacy have you passed on to your children? How will they remember you? What will they say at your funeral? It’s always great to hear testimonies of children at their parent’s funeral, when they can say: “My Dad was my best friend.” Or, “My Dad taught me how to live for God.” Or, “My mom was a woman of faith.” Or, “My mom showed me how to love.” I sometimes wonder what my children will say about me when I’m gone.
At my mom’s memorial I said that my mom’s primary characteristics were her cheerfulness, contentedness, and her love for others. My mom had a lot of sadness in her life. She had every reason to be discontented with her lot in life. She could have turned into a bitter old woman. But she didn’t! And I was able to say at her memorial that if I can emulate her in some small way, I will be forever grateful for what she taught me.
I wonder what Jacob’s sons would say about their father and their mothers? What do you think? What kind of legacy will you leave, not only to your family but to everyone that you influence?
What’s of utmost interest in our story is that dysfunctional family cycles can stop by the power of God. In our story it stops eventually with Joseph. Though Joseph displays gross naivete, inexperience, and lack of wisdom in his early years, yet nonetheless, he breaks the cycle - he overcame the lying, cheating, immorality, and manipulation that had been so prevalent in his family previously.
If there was one person who had everything going against him, it was Joseph – his family background and genetics, the favoritism of his father (and mother), the bitterness and rejection by his siblings. All that could have led him to blame his father and mother and grandfather and grandmother, and great-grandfather and great-grandmother and turn out just like them, thus perpetuating the cycle. But he didn’t.
The truth is that God is able to change us and conform us into his own image by the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter who our parents and grandparents were or what they were like. You don’t have to be like them. It’s not legitimate to blame your parents for your behavior and thinking and attitudes and values. You’re responsible for who you are and how you behave. Self-pity isn’t acceptable and self-justification isn’t an excuse for perpetuating certain attitudes and actions and habits.
I’m not saying that our upbringing and environment don’t make an indelible impression on us – they do. If you’ve been sexually abused or physically beaten or constantly criticized and demeaned as a child that leaves emotional and psychological and perhaps physical scars. But you don’t have to be bound by them in the quagmire of despondency, wallowing in self-pity, spending your whole life searching for answers to: “Why me?”
Dysfunctional family cycles can stop, and they can stop with you! We can and should live in the joy and affirmation of God, that we are fully justified in Christ, that since God is for us no one can be against, that no one can condemn us (it is Christ who died), that no one can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:31-39).
That, then, in our story is the first principle we learn, that the root of dysfunctional behavior in the family can go back generations. Notice also that ...
II. The Result Of Dysfunctional Behaviour In The Family Can Be VIctimization (Gen. 37:4)
“When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (37:4). One irresponsible, unwise decision and act by Jacob produced a cycle of egregious sibling rivalry and victimization, all the result of family favoritism. By doing this, Jacob, perhaps unwittingly, produced dreadful family relationships – resentment, hatred, even attempted murder. Jacob, in one fell swoop, divided his family so that all the other brothers became united in their hate of Joseph – hardly a good cause to unite over!
Perhaps their attitude toward Joseph was not only initiated by their father’s unequal treatment of them but compounded by Joseph’s “bad report” (37:2b) of them. Perhaps this had led to their father’s chastisement of them – you know, “I hear from Joseph that you ...” A bad report to daddy plus the royal robes from daddy and Joseph was toast, he was going down, such is the power of revenge.
You can hardly blame Joseph. He was only seventeen! He had a long way to go to become the wise, mature leader that he ultimately became. He had a lot of experience yet to gain in life. There is no evidence whatsoever that Joseph held ill feelings towards his brothers or that he meant them any wrong. In fact, he probably brought a true report to his father. But he didn’t expect his father to turn around and say, “Joseph tells me that you boys are doing a bad job out there with the sheep.”
Joseph was the victim of his father’s poor judgement. On the one hand, Jacob loved Joseph more than all the others. And yet on the other hand, he does Joseph such harm. That’s often the product of dysfunctional parenting. Misplaced affection brings to the child undeserved hatred. He wanted to favor Joseph, but ultimately hurt him.
You can certainly see how this might develop. Perhaps all your children have been rebellious and hard to handle, except your youngest. He was born some years after the others and turns out to be sensitive, kind, co-operative, easy to handle. He does his homework on time and gets good grades. By now you have a bit more money and this youngest son has just got his driver’s license. He’s graduating from high school this year and going on to university (unlike the others who were always in trouble with the principal and only scraped through high school). So, at the graduation party, your graduation gift to your model son is his very own car. How would the other siblings react to that? Probably just like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son. “You never gave me a party! You never cooked a fat goat for me! You never invited my friends to come and celebrate!” You know: “What about us? We grew up in this family during the hard times when penny’s were pinched. We couldn’t even take money to buy lunch at school – we had to take a sandwich from home. You wouldn’t even let us borrow your car on Saturday night let alone have one of our own. You said that gas was too expensive. ‘What do you think,’ you used to say, ‘money doesn’t grows on trees.’”
And these feelings of resentment and unfair treatment escalate into bitter relationships toward the very son whom you want to honour. You have, in fact, set up your youngest son for a life of unhappiness. The exact opposite of what you intended. You are the problem, not your son.
We move on, then, from the root of dysfunctional behavior and the result of dysfunctional behavior to...
III. The Repetition Of Dysfunctional Behaviour In The Family Can Simply Be Due To Indiscretion (Gen. 37:5-11)
To add insult to injury, Joseph tells his brothers about his two prophetic dreams and the family starts to swirl into a vortex of sibling rivalry. Probably due to youthful indiscretion on Joseph’s part, the repeated dysfunctionality of the family continues – things just go from bad to worse.
Dream #1: The sheaves of grain. In Joseph’s dream his sheaf of grain stood upright and all the other sheaves of grain, standing around, bowed down to his sheaf. The picture is clear – he will rule over the rest of his family; they will be subservient to him and bow down to him. Rehearsing this dream to his brothers only served to heighten their feelings of animosity so that “they hated him even more” (37:5b).
You can just imagine the picture. Joseph, the spoiled child, resplendent in his fancy coat, standing in front of his hard working brothers, seemingly bragging about a dream where they bowed down to him (37:5-7). They needed no one to interpret the dream. Their immediate response is, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” (37:8). You can hear the irony in their voices, “Shall you indeed! We’ll see to that!” It’s like they’re saying, “Who do you think you are? Give your head a shake? We won’t bow down to you in a million years.”
The irony is that we know the rest of the story. They did in fact ultimately bow down to him (42:6). That’s why we know this is a prophetic dream from God. But the other irony is that the dream fits reality. The dream confirms what is happening in the family. He has been elevated above the others by virtue of his dress and his favorable treatment by his father. So, this dream brings together “the supernatural and natural factors in a way that only God can orchestrate” (Gene Getz, “Joseph, Overcoming Obstacles through Faithfulness,” 27).
The problem wasn’t the truthfulness or accuracy of the dream. The problem was with Joseph’s serious lack of judgement in sharing it with his brothers. He had already incurred their wrath because of his father’s special love for him, and the “bad report” hadn’t helped. Add that to the regal costume and you have the recipe for an explosion.
Perhaps Joseph told them the dream because, in his reasoning, that would prove to them that God was behind all this, not just his father. In other words, perhaps he thought that they would submit to God’s favor towards him where they would not submit to their father’s favor towards him. But it had the opposite effect.
It usually doesn’t help to preach at people this way. First, it usually doesn’t help to moralize to people who are thoroughly fleshly. Second, words of instruction and superiority from a younger sibling usually aren’t well received by the older ones, especially when he is trying to tell them that what is happening to him is predicted and ordered by God! “So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words” (37:8b).
Dream #2: The Sun, Moon, And Eleven Stars. In This Dream, The “Sun, Moon, And Eleven Stars Bowed Down To Me (Joseph)” (37:9). It Seems Almost Beyond The Realm Of Credibility That Joseph Would Actually Tell His Brothers This Second Dream After Their Adverse Reaction To The First Dream. This Time He Told His Brothers And His Father. The Symbolism Was Intuitively Obvious To Them All; No One Had To Interpret It. No Wonder That “His Father Rebuked Him” (37:10a). It’s Not Clear Whether His Father Rebuked Him For Being So Naive In Telling Them This Dream Or Whether He Was Somewhat Indignant At The Pompous Audacity Of His Son To Think That He Was Superior Even To His Father And Mother – “Shall Your Mother And I And Your Brothers Indeed Come To Bow Down To The Earth Before You?” (37:10).
But Jacob “Kept The Matter In Mind” (37:11a). So It Seems That He Took This Seriously. Something Told Him That This Dream Was A True VIsion Into The Future. No Wonder That The Resentment Of Joseph’s Brothers Was Raised To A Whole New Level – They “Envied Him” (37:11). Their Hearts Were Inflamed With Resentment That He Would Have The Gall To Claim Superiority Over Them. They Could Not Contemplate His Having This Kind Of Favor Rather Than Them.
In summary, it seems thus far in the narrative that Joseph lacked discernment, but the real culprit is Jacob. It would have been wiser for Joseph to have shared this dream with his father alone and not his brothers. But how much better it would have been if Jacob had not acted rashly, irresponsibly, and unwisely towards Joseph in the first place. He brought down the wrath of his brothers on Joseph in the first place.
Thus, Joseph was caught in a no-win situation. He was caught between two competing loyalties. On the one hand, he felt the approval of his father and wanted to nourish it, but, on the other hand, he felt the rejection of his brothers and he wanted to disarm that. Undoubtedly he probably thought that his dreams would justify to his brothers his father’s favoritism. Undoubtedly he wanted his brothers to understand the truth and change their attitude towards him, but it had the opposite effect. He probably thought that the second dream would clear things up for it included his father and mother along with his brothers. It’s as though Joseph is saying, “Don’t take this personally boys. Everyone is going to bow down to me, not just you – even my father and mother.” Of course, that comes off as pompous and arrogant and turns his brothers further against him.
As we have progressed through the narrative in this study so far, we have noticed many personal and relevant applications to our own lives…
1. When we are wrongly maligned, we need to leave it with God. It’s not unusual to keep trying to prove ourselves, to prove that we are right so that others change their attitude towards us. Especially when we are caught between two loyalties, and especially when we feel vulnerable and insecure. So, Joseph’s second attempt at self-justification through telling the second dream is not unusual.
But we need to leave that to God. That’s what’s missing in this passage, isn’t it? God isn’t there. It’s all about self and self-justification. Self-justification usually never works – it smacks of being self-serving, which it usually is, and the reaction to that is envy, hatred, distance, division. God alone is the one who justifies us. He alone can vindicate us. We just find it so hard to turn it over to God while others think poorly of us or criticize us or misunderstand us. So, we plough back in with more and more attempts at explaining ourselves, trying to convincing others to think well of us.
But if we have acted uprightly and forthrightly before God any resulting justification of what we did or said needs to be left to God. In due time he will set things right if we have been unjustly accused.
2. When we recognize dysfunctional behavior in ourselves, we need to stop it, whatever that may be – favoritism, or unduly harsh discipline, or personal criticism that demeans your child. Remember our thesis: “Dysfunctional family patterns can be broken by the power of God in a person’s life.” Dysfunctional behaviors affect not only the family but all our relationships – our church, our workplace etc. As to family, all our children are different (even when they get older) and we need to treat them all as gifts from God, people made in the image of God, people who are precious to God.
Some of our children are easier to raise than others but we need to be sure not to favor them over others. Don’t forget that your children reflect who you are! They are often carbon copies of you, so if you don’t like what they are doing, look at yourself. They have your genes, they are raised under your roof, they learn from your habits, behavior, speech, attitudes etc.
I constantly look myself in the mirror. Sometimes I don’t like what I see. Sometimes I see inherited attitudes or behaviors that aren’t a proper reflection of who I am in Christ and how I should behave. That’s when I decide to change it – and that’s not easy. You constantly have to fight with yourself, but with God’s help and through prayer, you can do it.
One of the best ways to counteract negative behaviors and attitudes is to positively copy Christ, to be more like him, to act and react as he would, to love the things he loves, to hate the things he hates, to pursue the goals that he pursues etc.
3. Don’t ever underestimate the value of experience and maturity. There is no substitute for experience. That’s what Joseph lacked. You may have the very best and highest education in the world. You may be the smartest person on the block. You may have wonderful parents who taught you well. You may have a good job. But there is still no substitute for experience. Remember that you can’t get experience in a hurry. The very nature of experience is that is takes time. That’s why “elders” are called “elders”. They are men with experience and understanding, both of which come with time. The very title conveys age because as you grow older you gain wisdom and discernment. As you grow older you begin to realize how much you don’t know, while when you’re younger you think you know it all. I think we see this in Joseph.
But there is one caveat. Age doesn’t guarantee maturity. We see that in Jacob. Nor is age the only prerequisite for being an “elder”. I know men who are somewhat immature despite being 60 or 70, even 80 years old.
4. We need to be aware of our own insecurities and anxieties and we need to deal with them. Insecurity and anxiety often leads us to increased efforts to prove ourselves, leading to compulsive behaviors, focus on perfectionism, never admitting that we’re wrong etc. But insecurity really stems from a false understanding of who we are in Christ. Because if we understand who we are in Christ, it changes the way we view ourselves. And when we see ourselves as “servants” of Christ, as Paul did, we don’t look for any special recognition from others.
I trust that this introductory study of the fascinating life of Joseph has been a blessing to you. As we continue these studies, Lord willing, my prayer is that you will “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pet. 3:18).