Rejecting Favoritism. F260- Week 4- Day 5

Today’s Scripture Reading- Genesis 37

This week’s Memory Verse:

(18) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18


(3) 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.
(4) 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.

Genesis 37:3-4


There is so much in the story of Joseph that could be discussed. What struck me today about the story is the family dynamics creating all kinds of problems. If you recall Israel’s history (Jacob), you’ll remember the problems caused between Isaac and Rebecca, and between Jacob and Easau because of the favoritism shown by each parent. Daddy loved Esau, and Momma loved Jacob. As a result there was deceitfulness, betrayal, and ultimately distance put between the members of the family.
Now we see the same thing happening again in Israel’s family. Verse 3 tells us explicitly that Israel loved Joseph more. There was favoritism. Polygamy was certainly a contributing factor. Joseph was Rachel’s son, and that was Jacob’s first choice when he was wanting to get married. Remember that Laban, Rachel’s father, deceived Jacob and had him marry Leah instead. Jacob took Leah and Rachel, two sisters, as wives. This certainly must have had favoritism and preferrential treatment as a result that not only effected the marriage relationship, but also the parental relationships as well.
It didn’t stop there. Verse 4 tells us that the favoritism from father to son bled over into hostility between brothers. Jacob’s favoritism to Joseph was characterized by the “coat of many colours”, an item that would have been very costly and rare. The hostility that created is described in the verse. “…they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” Later in the chapter they contemplate killing him, and settle for selling him into slavery and convincing their father that he was dead. Talk about drama!


Just a couple of points of application that strike me:

  1. Some sins that we commit can become generational. Over and over again in these stories we see fathers, sons and grandsons making the same mistakes and suffering the consequences.
  2. Favoritism is unwise and sinful. It creates havock if it is unleashed on a family.
  3. God’s plan for marriage and family has always been one man and one woman being together for a lifetime. Some people point to the patriarchs in the Bible and say something like, “See the Bible has polygamy.” The narrative portions of scripture are not always prescriptive. They are descriptive. They are telling us what happened, not necessarily what should happen. Stories like this help us to understand the dangers and difficulty that come to a family that doesn’t follow God’s design.


God, please give me wisdom when it comes to dealing with my children and my wife. Help me not to live in unwise favoritism and thereby provoke my children to wrath. Help me to help them love You and love each other. Amen.

Like Father, Like Son- F260- Week 3- Day 5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34, 26

This week’s memory verse:
(20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

(20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Romans 4:20


(9) And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
(10) And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
(11) And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.

Genesis 26:9-11

There is an obedience in this passage in that God told Isaac where to travel and where not to travel, and reaffirmed his promise to Isaac and his desire for obedience from Isaac. He pointed to Abraham’s obedience as an example.

Their is also deceit in this passage. The context here is that Isaac had gone to dwell in a place called Gerar (v.6). He was asked about his wife, Rebekah. His answer is that she is his sister because he feared for his life. (v.7). The king of the Philistines figures out that they are really married (v.9), and Isaac gives his reasons for it. Abimiliech sees it as dangerous for him to pursue intimacy with another man’s wife and suffer the consequences (v.10). The pagan man then properly warns his people about bringing about any problems with Isaac and Rebeckah.

This passage is very similar to previous passages describing Abraham’s interaction with the pagan people around him. You can find these passages in Genesis_12:10-14 and Genesis_20:1-4.

We can learn a couple of lessons from this passage:

  1. Sexual Intimacy is to be confined to marriage, and there are consequences when it is not confined to that relationship.
  2. Our sins have consequences for us, but they also can be repeated in subsequent generations. We must be careful because our kids are watching.
  3. God desires obedience.

Lord God, please help me to be careful to obey you, and to encourage obedience and faith in my children. Amen

Discipline and Blessing- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 3

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Proverbs 29:15

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Proverbs 29:17 

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18

The passage we are considering this week, Proverbs 29:1-3 and 12-20, has a theme of discipline. The first pattern we pointed out in the passage was the theme of leadership and discipline. Good leaders are self-disciplined and they bring discipline to those in their stewardship.

This leads us to a second pattern that we will see in this passage. There is a pattern of discipline and blessing seen here. The right kind of discipline brings freedom and not bondage. Let’s look at discipline and blessing in these three verses.

In verse 15 there is a connection between discipline and the blessing of wisdom. Here there are two “tools” of discipline- the rod and reproof. The rod was an implement of corporal punishment. It was a “paddle.” The Bible nowhere advocates child abuse. A small amount of pain, judiciously administered by a loving parent with the right heart attitude and the appropriate teaching (reproof), will bring about wisdom in the child over time. If you only use words and not action, the child will ignore you. Remember, “a servant will not be corrected by words” (v.19). If you use only the rod and not words, the child will begin to resent you because there is no love expressed. There will be confusion. But action-oriented discipline is powerful and effective when it is administered with the right reproof. The result is a wise child. Discipline brings blessing.

Verse 17 is similar. When a child is corrected through loving discipline it certainly takes effort. The result over time is a child that is self-disciplined and focused on others. This kind of child begins to honor and bless their parents. Again, discipline brings blessing.

Verse 18 has two contrasting sections. We will look at the first part later. Pay attention to that second part. The person that keeps the law revealed by God and meeted out by the leader experiences happiness. There is a freedom in self-discipline. There is an avoidance of pain and heartache when we do right. Discipline brings blessing.

We didn’t abandon the first pattern for this second pattern. These verses have leaders that administer discipline, but notice that second pattern. Discipline brings about blessing. Proverbs makes it clear that the parent that does not correct or discipline their child hates that child. Even if they have an affection for the child, the lack of discipline brings about the same result as the child whose parents have no affection for them. The pattern is clear. Loving leaders are self-disciplined and implement discipline because it brings about blessing.

Even if you are not a parent the principle applies. When we are disciplined it brings blessing.

• Parents, are you action oriented in the way you parent your child? Do you correct your kids? Are you loving in your approach to discipline?
• Where have you experienced blessing that was the result of discipline in your life?
• Is there an area of your life that you are finding difficulty because of a lack of discipline?

Your Eyes and Your Heart. Proverbs- Week 4- Day 4

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  (21)  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  (22)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 


Let’s remember the context of these verses.  The father continues to speak to the son, pleading with him to stay on the right paths and to avoid the evil paths of evil men. 

In these verses I want to point out three categories of terms that will help us make a right interpretation and application.

1.  Ownership words- “my” and “thine”The father uses the term “my” two times. These are possessive nouns talking about the fathers words and the fathers sayings.  He also uses the word “thine” two different times.  This term he uses in regards to his sons eyes and his sons heart.  The matter at hand is the complete ownership of the way of wisdom by the son.  The father states his ownership of the way of wisdom.  He calls them “my words” and “my sayings”.  Ownership means hearing and attending to these words. In other words, the wisdom is to be heard and to be obeyed.

2. Body Words- “eyes” and “heart”.  He points to the eyes and the heart of his son.  For the son to own his father’s words he has to take responsibility for his own eyes and his own heart.  Our eyes will see something.  Something will be in the midst of our hearts.  The father is pleading for his words and his sayings to be the object of that kind of visual, intellectual and emotional ownership.

3. Result Words- “life” and “health”.    The ownership of the way of wisdom is passed on from the Father to the son by the words and sayings kept before the son and valued internally.  When this happens the probability is “life” and “health”. Notice that the words are “life to those that find them”.  I love the idea of the picture of finding here.  The imagery is that these wise words are like treasure that has been found.  It is like the father has found a treasure that he is trying to give to his son.  He is pleading with his son to steward this treasure well because of the life and the health that the treasure can give.


To pass along the way of wisdom it takes three proactive values:

1.  It takes ownership.  If we want our kids and those we influence to follow us, we must own the direction we are taking them ourselves.  From a development perspective, you cannot truly take someone to a place that you have never been.  We must treasure the Word and the wisdom of God if we want the next generation to treasure and steward it well.

2.  It takes effort.  The hymnwriter wrote, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.  Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it.  Seal it for thy courts above.”  The father says similarly to the son “keep them in the midst of thy heart.”  We’ll read tomorrow that the out of the heart flow  the issues of life.  So many things demand attention of our eyes and affection from our hearts.  We must guard it diligently.

3.  It takes vision.  We must keep before ourselves and those we influence a vision of the results (life and health) of the way of wisdom.  We must also envision and avoid the potential consequences of the way of evil.  We get distracted and we forget.  So much is at stake.


What can you do to keep wisdom in front of your eyes and in the middle of your heart today?