"But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him." Genesis 37:4
It doesn't matter how many times I read about the life of Joseph, there's always something different that comes across. There are a lot of modern-day Josephs around. Individuals who have suffered at the hands of their own family members, or church family. These situations are always sad and unfortunate.
In Joseph's case, his brothers were jealous and envious of him and that led to their hatred and ultimate ill treatment of him. They proved how much they didn't want him around by their actions. Hatred and resentment can be dangerous, but it should never characterize anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian.
Hatred is usually a problem within the hater. This type of emotion comes from a deep place within the person. It springs from a painful issue they've been living with and for whatever reasons has not sought to get the help and healing they need to break free of it.
Jealousy, envy and resentment eat away at the individual. It grows legs and arms and soon defiles everyone around them. It sows discord among the Lord's people, it separates friends, and it causes strife.
Joseph's brothers thought that once they got rid of him their problems would be over, but it was just beginning. It is never a good thing or a wise thing to do acts of evil. For what a man sows he will surely reap, says the Bible (Galatians 6:7). The consequence for doing an evil act is far greater than you could ever imagine. It's been said that when you dig a pit for someone, dig another one for yourself because you will certainly be the recipient of the same misfortune. In other words, you will suffer too. "Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them" (Proverbs 26:27).
Ten of Joseph's brothers learned that lesson the hard way. It is such a sad story but with a glorious end. Evil never wins in God's economy. It's interesting how God allowed the evil against Joseph. It resulted in other harmful things, but God had a place and plan for it all. Thank God for His great wisdom in planning things out for us. All we can see is the painful evil act done against us, but God sees the blessed end He has in mind.
If those brothers knew how the story would end, they would have never done what they did. They didn't even consider their father, Jacob, or the devastation they were bringing on him and the entire family. They were selfish and cruel. God always makes sure that those who execute evil get what they deserve, even if they are a child of God. God has no favorites and His judgement for such things will fall.
It's unfortunate that sometimes within the family of God His children haven't learned how to appreciate and value one another. It is written in His Word that we are to esteem others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3).
The incredible success and blessing that was bestowed upon Joseph despite his sufferings says it all. God looked out for him and protected him through it all. Though his brothers meant it for evil, Joseph could say in the end that God planned it for Good. This he told them to their faces (Genesis 50:20). Little did they know that Joseph would save the lives of their entire family of 70 persons. We must be careful how we handle the Lord's people and people in general for we do not know if we'll need them in the end. We have no idea why God placed them within the family and the divine purpose they are to serve.