Today’s reading: Genesis 36-50, Psalm 7
Young Joseph sure knew how to rile up his brothers. Spurred on by his father’s favoritism, Joseph flaunted his esteemed position among Jacob’s boys, taunting the other eleven with his dreams. His arrogance is finally more than they can handle, and they find a way to get rid of him–or so they thought.
For the second day in a row, our reading reveals a core characteristic in someone’s life that, while misused at an early age, becomes a great asset later on. Sold into slavery, cut off from his family for what he probably thought was forever, Joseph is nevertheless given a chance to begin a new life in Egypt. His uncanny ability to understand dreams, and speak honestly in interpreting them, ends up putting him in a position of great power–and this time he uses his position for good, saving not only his family, but an entire nation.
Which raises a question worth considering: what characteristic in a child you know well, while exasperating now, may be worth nurturing so that as they grow up it might become a great asset both to them and to others?
Side note: For the second day in a row, we read a story that involves the abuse of a young female. It is significant that the Bible does not try to hide the stories of Dinah and Tamar, but brings them both to light as the narrative unfolds. It is also important to note that the name of God is not invoked as ordaining these events. In fact, in both cases, the storyline casts a judgment on the perpetrators for their behavior.