Garry continued his series on Joseph this morning, looking at Genesis 41:56-42:1-5. This period shows us how Jacob and his sons had to come to terms with the famine – and the need to get food from Egypt. Jacob was wiling to send ten of his sons there to buy grain, but he was not willing to let Benjamin go. Benjamin was his youngest son, another son of Rachel, Jacob’s favourite wife. Once more, Jacob showed preferential treatment to one of his sons (as he had done previously with Joseph, giving him a multi-coloured coat.) He still valued one son above the others; he had not changed at all.
Showing favouritism is never a good thing (see James 2:1-4). God does not show favouritism (Rom 2:11).There is no room for favouritism in His kingdom; we must not follow the way of the world in preferring some people to others or giving preferential treatment based on personal feelings, race, gender or wealth. Instead, we must be aware of our sinful tendencies and not be infuenced by the world’s values or way of doing things.
Jacob’s intransigence to change signalled a fundamental refusal to change. All of us need to be open and willing to change. God will speak to us through His word, through His Holy Spirit and through other Christians to highlight areas that need change. This can be very subjective and therefore difficult at times to discern, but the truth is that we must be changed to become more like Jesus. We should not change for change’s sake or to be more in tune with the crowd, with popular opinion. Instead, we must change to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, so that we become more like Jesus in how we live, what we say and what we do. That kind of change is essential to all Christians.