People reject other people for different reasons. We are rejected at times because of something we have done or something someone else has done. At other times, the rejection is not based on what we have done but merely on who we are and, therefore, on something or someone we represent. In Joseph’s case, he felt the boiling rejection of his brothers for all three reasons.
- What He Did – The brothers knew Joseph had tattled on them to their father (Genesis 37:2). That certainly did not win Joseph any favour in their eyes! He really added fuel to the fire when he told them about his two dreams of how he would one day be in a position of authority over them (Genesis 37:5–7, 9).
- What His Father Did – They envied Joseph because of the coat his father made for him (Genesis 37:3).
- Who He Was – They resented Joseph because of who he was. He was the son of Rachel, their father’s favourite wife – their father’s beloved wife – and thus Joseph was his father’s favorite child.
In reality, Joseph was more of a prophet than a politician or he certainly would not have spoken of those dreams with his brothers, who already despised him. Although Jacob rebuked Joseph for the way he spoke, Jacob also kept what Joseph said in mind. “When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” (Genesis 37:10–11)