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. 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.
Favoritism to Love
When I see my kids act out, it feels like I’m looking into a mirror. Not only do my kids look like me, but they sin like me too. I wish I had just passed on my physical traits to the next generation. Unfortunately, I passed on my sinful, spiritual traits as well.
The same thing happened to a man named Abraham. God told Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. Abraham passed this special promise on to his descendants. But that is not the only thing that he gave to the next generation. He passed on the sin of favoritism as well.
You see, Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Abraham favored Isaac over Ishmael, and it led to hostility. Isaac repeated the same sin. He also had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Isaac favored Esau over Jacob, and it led to hostility. By now, you would think that this family would have learned its lesson, but Jacob followed the same pattern. Jacob favored his son Joseph who was born from his favorite wife Rachel. And he wasn’t subtle about his preference. He made Joseph an ornate robe. And guess what? it led to hostility in the family.
Unfortunately, favoritism didn’t stop with Joseph. Favoritism continues to affect our families whenever we love one of our family members more than another.
Thankfully, we have a heavenly Father who does not show favoritism. He loves the people of this world equally—so much so that he sacrificed his son, Jesus, in order to save all of them from their sins, including their sins of favoritism. This means he has saved you, too. You are forgiven for every time you played favorites and hurt someone by doing so. Take comfort in that forgiveness today. And, thank your heavenly Father by refusing to play favorites.
Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for repeating the sins of the past generations. And lead me to follow your ways. Amen.