Genesis 41-42:Playing Favorites

Sigh.  I just don’t understand Jacob.

Did parents back then really play favorites with their children?  Perhaps I can’t relate because I only have one child, but I am a sister.  My parents did not honor one of us over the other.  Maybe that’s just another example of why polygamy is a bad idea.

So Jacob sent all his remaining sons except Benjamin, the son of his union with Rachel, to Egypt to go buy grain during the famine.  Joseph had by that time gained Pharaoh’s trust and, for the last several years, was in charge of Egypt’s food supplies.  Joseph recognized his brothers and toyed with them for awhile before telling them to bring back their youngest brother…Benjamin, while he held Simeon in prison.

Did Jacob send Benjamin right away to get his son out of prison?  Nope.

I just don’t get it.

But there are many aspects of life I just don’t understand. My failure to understand does not make the story untrue.  In fact, if the Bible painted portraits of perfect people who never did anything wrong, then it would smack of falsehood, wouldn’t it?

From this story I can examine my relationship with my nieces and nephews, since I only have one of my own children.  Would I value one of their lives over another?  Do I play favorites?

Lord, if I do so, would you please bring it to the surface so together we can fix it?  Every child is precious in your sight.  I ask you to give me love in my heart for all the people you created, both in my family and without.  I want to have YOUR heart…to see those around me the way you see them.

2 thoughts on “Genesis 41-42:Playing Favorites

  1. The whole family dynamic just throws me. Like, when Reuben offered his two sons as hostages and gave permission for them to be put to death if he didn’t bring Benjamin back. Umm…really?! I can NOT imagine a situation where I would dream of doing that! Nope. Don’t get this whole family.

  2. I guess that would have been pretty precious collateral! I think the Old Testament is so troubling to us because we are so far removed from that culture. If we understood, if we walked in their shoes and their way of life, perhaps we’d understand better.

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