Monday Devotion: “Annoying and Being Annoyed – the Story of Joseph” (Genesis 37)
Read Genesis 37. Joseph was the second youngest of the patriarch Jacob’s 12 sons. But Joseph was the eldest biological son to Rachel, making him Jacob’s favorite…and a bit spoiled if you asked his brothers. Jacob only made Joseph a coat of many colors. Then Joseph had dreams that his brothers and even parents would bow down to him. These dreams were fulfilled in Genesis 42:6 after Joseph’s brothers come to get grain during the famine and Joseph had been made second in command by Pharaoh.
But when Joseph tells his family about these dreams, it seems that Joseph is either oblivious to how this angers his brothers or he is just being arrogant. Even his own father – who spoils him – gets irritated by his dreams (Genesis 37:10). Eventually his brothers have an opportunity to sell him to Ishmaelites heading to Egypt. So they make a little money, and Joseph is out of sight and out of mind (at least for now). Then they made it appear to Jacob that a wild beast killed Joseph.
Connecting annoying Joseph and his angry brothers to our family quarantined together is far from the main point of this story. However, we do see human nature on full display. We can glean from this story how easily we can annoy people and how easily we can be annoyed by people while we are in such tight quarters for an extended periods of time.
- As we are all quarantined together, a way to grow in God’s family is to acknowledge how we may annoy people in our families (or in general), and to show God’s love by not doing those things. So what are those annoying things you do that you can be extra careful not to do?
- Another way to grow in God’s family is to be aware of how mean we can be toward people who annoy us, as demonstrated by Joseph’s brothers. Especially under these circumstances, our ability to cope with those annoying us will not be easy. Discuss as a family, how are we going to prevent meanness when others get under our skin?
- Pray for the ability to be loving and flexible with each other during this Coronavirus season.