Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him. But he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. Genesis 37:34-35 (NIV)
I have always thought that the most terrible thing that could happen is to have your child die. Somebody once told me that when you dream a horrible dream, it is to prepare you for the heartache and despair in case it was to happen in real life. I always stop those dreams.
From what I understand, Genesis is about family relationships. Joseph was a son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and led Jacob to believe that Joseph had been killed by a ferocious animal. It is easy to have compassion for Jacob’s loss since most of us have not been spared the death of a loved one. It is difficult to read about such treachery in the Bible. I wonder about the reaction of Jacob when he discovers what has happened to Joseph and who is responsible for his disappearance. I wonder about my reaction if my adult children were to behave in a similar manner, apparently as a result of a perceived favoritism. I don’t wonder about the Son of God. I know he was given up by God for me. Although I am sure I would sacrifice my life for a child, I would not be able to give up my child for another. God’s love for me must be intense.
Dear Lord, guide us in a life that demonstrates Your love and sacrifice. Amen.