Whose to Blame

Today’s Readings
Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10:21-42

who-is-to-blame

37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father was an immigrant. This is the account of Jacob’s descendants. Joseph was 17 years old and tended the flock with his brothers. While he was helping the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, Joseph told their father unflattering things about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was born when Jacob was old. Jacob had made for him a long[a] robe. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him and couldn’t even talk nicely to him.

Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had. When we were binding stalks of grain in the field, my stalk got up and stood upright, while your stalks gathered around it and bowed down to my stalk.”

His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them.

Then Joseph had another dream and described it to his brothers: “I’ve just dreamed again, and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he described it to his father and brothers, his father scolded him and said to him, “What kind of dreams have you dreamed? Am I and your mother and your brothers supposed to come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father took careful note of the matter.

Call it a lack of maturity on his brother’s part. Call it a problem of a spoiled child for Jacob and Rachel. Call it arrogance on Joseph’s part. When I read the story of Joseph which will unfold over the next several chapters, my mind goes to all these things and more. I know when many read the story of Joseph they see someone who loves God. And, while that is true, I see a spoiled rotten, arrogant, immature brat who in the end finds redemption. That is grace.

I think we have all known a Joseph in our lives. Hey, we might even be a Joseph. We might have even a Joseph and never known it. Such things often are easier to see in the lives of others than they are in our own.

That being said, there is blame that surely can go to Jacob and Rachel, particularly Jacob. Though in today’s story, it is more difficult to see, if we read the Joseph story in its entirety, we can easily see the blame. A special coat, tailor-made, just for him, getting to stay home while the remaining brothers were tending the sheep in the fields, the list could go on and on. Jacob gave special privilege to Joseph the rest of his boys never would get.

Then there are the brothers. Scripture says they hated Joseph. Nothing good comes from hate, ever. Scripture says they were jealous of home. Not much good is going to come from that either.

Make no mistake, the brothers are the ones holding the responsibility for what would happen to Joseph. At the same time, the others also held some measure of responsibility fell down on their responsibility too.

Today might be a good day for some soul-searching. Are we like Joseph? Are we with one of our children much the same as Jacob was with Joseph? Are we like the brothers, instead of trying to work things out, we attempt to throw away a human life out of pride and jealousy.

Yes, the blame that day rests on the shoulder of Joseph’s brothers, but there is room there for some blame to go all around.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

One thought on “Whose to Blame

  1. Very good and so true of us today. 🙏

    On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:12 PM Pastor’s Ponderings wrote:

    > revbroyles posted: “Today’s Readings Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10:21-42 > 37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father was an > immigrant. 2 This is the account of Jacob’s descendants. Joseph was 17 > years old and tended the flock with his brothers. While he was helping t” >

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