Jacob is the grandson of Abraham. For this week, we will be reading about Jacob’s son, Joseph. In Jacob’s time, it was acceptable for a man to have multiple wives, and Jacob had four of them. This was not God’s desire, but, as in all times, people don’t always do what God wants. Of the four wives, Rachel was the favorite. For many years, she had been unable to have children but finally gave birth to Joseph. This caused Joseph to be the favorite among Jacob’s twelve sons. In today’s chapter, Jacob makes his favoritism obvious and Joseph shows some lack of wisdom in how he treats his brothers. His actions lead to some extreme sibling rivalry. Joseph ends up being separated from everyone he has ever known and sold into slavery.
Joseph has experienced a serious setback; he has gone from being the favorite son in a wealthy household to being a slave. We all experience setbacks. Most are not this big, but some are. Can God be at work in times like these? It takes faith to believe that the best is yet to come.