Read Genesis 37
Consider Jacob’s role in this part of the narrative. What did Joseph’s brothers experience, having been put aside for this son of Jacob’s favorite wife? How would they have felt, knowing all their lives that they could never live up to their father’s expectations because of who their mothers were? Was Jacob at least partially responsible for the way his sons treated Joseph?
To at least some extent, Jacob’s sons were a reflection of his own pragmatic lifestyle. Choosing Joseph may have had something to do with the behavior of his other sons. Ruben, his oldest son, had been sleeping with one of his father’s wives. Judah had impregnated his son’s widow. Simeon and Levi had massacred an entire city. Four of his other sons were clearly on the path to similar ends (Genesis 37:2).
There probably was no easy answer to the situation that Jacob found himself in. Every option had potential for problems.
God, give me the strength to choose – to make the best choice even when other factors will cause problems. Help me to weigh choices carefully and do what needs to be done.