The Robe

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The Robe
Text: Genesis 37:1-36
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Parenting, Favoritism, Jealousy
Author: Seud O'Nimmy


Jealousy can destroy a family. As parents we are to share our love uniquely to each child.

How to Get There

  • When Jacob gave Joseph that robe it was an expression of his love, and was prized because it showed the father's favor.
    • We do that, like the new child in the family receiving the most attention for a time.
    • When it is given to only one child it destroys.
  • Like now, clothes back then indicate status. And the robe said Joseph's status was favorite. And favoritism can cause jealousy, and hatred.
  • Jealousy is one of the most difficult sins to admit to, and when left unchecked it destroys relationships and hearts. Much of Genesis is about how jealousy continually is ruining God's first plans.
    • We have probably experienced this in our own lives. Look back at your own life.
    • We are not responsible for the negative things that happen in our lives, but we are responsible for how we react and respond to them.
    • When we don't deal with our own past, patterns of sin get passed down from generation to generation, like Jacob passing on favoritism that he experienced himself.

We need to keep engaged with our kids or a lot of damage can happen.

  • Children don't have to be treated exactly equally, but they do need to be treated uniquely.
    • Each child bears the image of God, but when envy enters in, we don't see others as people, image bearers of God. We only see them as what we're jealous of (here comes the dreamer).
  • Everything in this story centers around the father's love.
    • The brother's jealousy built up and up. It turned to resentment and hatred and then exploded.
    • They took Joseph's robe first, then made him a slave to keep him from ruling them.
  • This all could have been avoided if the father had acted differently, and shown unique expressions of love with each child.
  • God doesn't work only in perfect families. He mainly uses disasters, even this one. But we can do our part in making sure our family is not a disaster.

Things to Watch For

All families are imperfect and all of them have hurts and pains. This will happen and do not kick yourself for minor miss-steps. Just make sure to let each of your kids wear the robe from time to time.

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