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Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.


This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

I think you would all agree with me that there are many suffering families today in this nation and in the world at large. Certainly the circumstances for the problems within each home are different, but some might be similar. People usually devote a great deal of time to considering WHY these problems are present, but truthfully, that question always leads to the same answer - it's because men and women are sinners! When it comes to problems between family members, the real question we need to ask ourselves is WHAT, for what leads to right solutions. What must be done? What can be done? What have you been doing? What does God say must be done?

You see ladies, we must learn to view both people and problems through God's eyes and not our own. We would then understand that the Lord belongs at the center of all that goes on in our lives and not us. Then GOD can be the hero He should be in bringing success to our home life and all relationships! Far too many humans are striving to be the success story of a messy situation, thereby stealing God's glory for themselves. Beware of your motives for fixing things!

John 12:32
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

We have before us in the pages of the Word of God the perfect opportunity to apply this method of dealing with difficult people and problems, for today we are going to begin an in depth study of Joseph and his family life and the problems they all went through. This story plainly displays the workings of the human mind. As a member of that troubled home, you'll find that Joseph didn't focus on WHY - he focused on WHAT, and in the end, the proper behavior and solution was found to every problem! The real triumph was that the Lord was at the center of it all. God's way isn't always easy - but it is always right! Let's start out with a look at the first few verses of Genesis chapter 37 and the opening scene of the description of their problems…

Verses 1-4:
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

We learn here of two difficult situations Joseph was faced with in his home. First of all, his brothers were doing wrong and he knew it. Secondly, his father favored him, and that he knew as well. Both of these situations Joseph had absolutely no control over, for they were the result of the improper choices of those around him. He could not control his father's affections nor could he control the behavior or attitude of his brothers. But what he could control was his reaction to it all. As is the duty of every responsible and faithful brother, Joseph knew that he was to inform his father of any evil that his siblings performed. I'm sure Joseph must have faced the temptation to try and fix things in his own power and with his own logic. Perhaps he thought he should keep his mouth shut and overlook his brother's faults because he knew he was the object of their hatred and maybe try to win their affections that way? Possibly Joseph was tempted to overlook their sin because he knew his father didn't favor them as much and he pitied them. No, he had to do right; he had to alert his father of their behavior!

You see ladies; even in the midst of emotional turmoil this young man was focused on and guided by WHAT must be done rather than sentiment. Joseph could have even considered taking the opportunity to join his brothers in doing wrong simply to alter his father's unhealthy affections for him to try and balance out his Dad's poorly divided heart. But here again, WHAT does God say Joseph should do? This question always makes the path we must take very clear… He couldn't do wrong! The Bible says God expects us to be our brother's keeper and He also expects us to honor our father and mother. Yes, Joseph was certainly in the midst of a very sticky family situation, but nevertheless he remained steadfast in performing that which was right rather than being strung along by his emotions and his desire to fix people and their problems promptly and painlessly. Joseph was going to have to learn to trust God with the hearts of each of his family members in order for success to come about in their life together.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Now let's look at the other members of the family for a moment… Not because his other children were faulty, but because Joseph was the son of his old age, the Bible says that Jacob showed partiality toward Joseph above all his other children. He was the baby of the whole family and Jacob clung to him. Sounds like Jacob was guilty of clinging more to Joseph than he was to the Lord as he should have been doing in his old age!! Are any of you aging women guilty of the same thing today? Have you set any of your children up as idols in your life? Beware of clinging too tightly to your children, for it will cause your whole family a multitude of problems…

Exodus 20:3
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

As a parent, Jacob made known his special love for Joseph; he singled him out by dressing him finer than the rest of his children. Scripture says that Jacob had himself made that special coat of many colors for the lad. Ladies, it is clear by this story that it is wrong for parents to make such a difference between one child and another, unless there is reason for it, by either the child's behavior or misbehavior. You see, when parents make a difference, children soon notice it as did Joseph's brothers, and it leads to bitter quarrels in families and continual grief for everyone involved!

Luke 11:17
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

No doubt the hatred Joseph's brothers had for him began long before Joseph ever wore the coat. Daily they witnessed their father put something into their younger brother's life he never put into theirs. As Jacob adoringly sewed that coat for Joseph one stitch at a time, he did not notice that he was also sewing discord in his very own home between his children! Let's be careful that as mothers we are not becoming seamstresses of discord in our children's lives, amen? Are you guilty of favoritism, of sewing any family trouble at your house, dear lady? Are you showing more love to one child than to another? Remember, we aren't to focus on why; we are to focus on what. WHAT have you been doing as a parent?? Jealousy is a very powerful emotion, amen? We ought to do everything we can as parents not to fuel jealousy between our children…

Ephesians 6:4
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

An interesting point that the Bible brought out about Joseph's brothers in our main text today is that they "could not speak peaceably to him." It doesn't say that the brothers didn't want to speak peaceably to Joseph; it says they couldn't! Their hearts had been discouraged; they were provoked to anger. A stumbling block had been laid at their feet and it was a hindrance to family love. However, they did not know the secret to gaining success over their jealousy - they did not consider WHAT must be done! Therefore with God's ways absent from their thinking, these brothers were led away from doing what was right and ended up choosing hatred as their personal reaction to their father's sinful partiality.

Romans 2:11
For there is no respect of persons with God.

As we wrap up today's lesson, WHAT can you do this week to show all of your family members that you love them? With what problem or person in your family do you need to trust the Lord with in order to react properly and see success come about in your home? Is there some area of your life where you are letting your emotions dictate your behavior rather than what is right in God's eyes? Let's stop trying to be the champion in every messy situation and seek after what would please God and conform ourselves to it. No matter what the circumstances we are faced with in our homes today, we need not fear the outcome with the Lord as our helper and guide. Like Joseph, we must always react righteously whenever we are confronted with various degrees of unrighteousness.

Ephes. 5:10
Proving WHAT is acceptable unto the Lord.

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003  Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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164-eXist's avatar
I've read this and 'Sweet Dreams!' just to let you know xD
God-willing will read the rest ^^

God Bless you ^^