His brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn't say a kind word to him. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.
The acts of Joseph's ten older brothers portray them as callous brutes--not heroes. They connived, murdered and disrespected their father, Jacob, in various ways. They despised Joseph's favored position, so they trapped him and sold him as a slave to evil traders headed to Egypt.
They told their dad an animal killed him and went about their lives as usual... until a famine hit decades later. By then, Joseph was Egypt's governor, following thirteen years of slavery and seven years of storing great harvests. But in those twenty years, his brothers changed.
Undoubtedly, the Lord softened their hearts. Perhaps their father's overwhelming grief convicted them--knowing they had caused it. Perhaps their guilt was a thorn in their side prompting necessary introspection. Perhaps they suffered from other losses while God transformed them from the inside out.
So when they went to Egypt to buy food and saw Joseph decked out in foreign clothes, they didn't know him, but Joseph knew them. He tested them to see if they had changed. They proved themselves humble, sacrificing, solicitous of their father, Jacob, and protective of their youngest brother.
Contrition, repentance and forgiveness brought about the happiest of endings. The brothers became imperfect heroes and the great patriarchs of Israel.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.