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Garment of Favoritism

Genesis 37:31-34 

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"So they took Joseph's tunic, and slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood; [32] and they sent the varicolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, 'We found this; please examine it to see whether it is your son's tunic or not.' [33] Then he examined it and said, 'It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!' [34] So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days."

At the time, Jacob did not know that his sons were deceiving him with Joseph's coat dipped in the goat's blood. After the initial shock and disbelief gave way to the apparent reality, Jacob wept over the loss of his favorite son. As far as Jacob knew, Joseph was dead.

Jacob knew what it was like to have a favorite son, but he did not know what it was like to be the favorite son. Esau, not Jacob was his father's favorite son. I don't know if Jacob ever felt his father's love or not, but I do know he knew the pain of knowing that Isaac loved Esau more. Jacob's jealousy and longing for approval culminated in a deception of his own. 

Isaac knew that he was about to die, so he told Esau, his favorite son, that he wanted to give him his blessing, but first he asked Esau to kill some wild game and make him a savory stew. Rebekah, the boy's mother overheard the conversation and told Jacob to deceive his father and take the blessing Isaac intended for Esau. Rebekah cooked a stew from some young goats that Jacob slaughtered and told Jacob to put Esau's best clothes on and to put goat's skins on his arms. When Jacob gave his father the stew, Isaac thought something was wrong, but when he felt Jacob's arms, he believed he was Esau and gave Jacob his blessings.

Holding Joseph's bloody garment in his hands, I'm sure the last thing that was running through Jacob's mind was that his sons were deceiving him just as he'd deceived his father. How could he know? But that was exactly what was happening. The player was being played. 
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