JEALOUSY AND RIVALRY
I would like to thank my heavenly Father for making this ministry possible, and giving me the grace to follow Him.
Our Scripture reading is found in Genesis Chapter 37, and Ephesians 5:28-33.
When we think of jealousy and rivalry, our minds go back to times in our lives when we have seen this in action. Could be, our actions, or the actions of others around us, or it could be what we hear from the media; but wherever we hear it, or experience it, we know it is rampant on this globe.
It is very important we know what the Bible has to say about it, so we can avoid it.
Jealousy means: Possessiveness, resentfulness, morbid suspicion, mistrust, and flaming anger.
Rivalry means: Competition, opposing, striving to win, struggle to surpass, contest, battle of wills.
You might say, “I read in the Bible where it says, God is a jealous God.”
You’re right. We are going there first.
Exodus 20:5,6 —-Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (referring to idols),nor serve them: For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the Fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;
and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.
God said it. I am a jealous God.
God will not give His glory to another.
He will not tolerate a rival near His throne.
He is not jealous as the Greeks thought; of mere success, or greatness; but He is very jealous of His own honor, and will not have the respect and reverence which is due to Him, given to other beings or objects.
What about family ?
There has always been jealousy and rivalry in the family:
Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law
and so on —-
There has always been jealousy and rivalry in the Church family
And jealousy and rivalry in the work place.
But God wants us to get above that and come out to freedom from this torment, because …jealousy has torment… attached to it.
Let’s look at a family situation in Genesis 37:4,11,18,28,31-32,35, where jealousy between brothers causes much pain to the family.
Our story begins when Joseph was only seventeen years old.
He was shepherding the flock with his brothers, and brought his father a bad report on them. (verse 2)
Jacob loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age and made him a coat of many colors. (verse 3)
4- And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaecably to him.
5- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren (brothers): and they hated him yet the more.
He had dreamed they had bowed down in respect to him. (verse 7)
This caused them to hate him more. (verse 8)
In verse 9 and 10, he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers and his father. But his father rebuked him and said to him, What is the meaning of this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down ourselves to the earth and do homage to you?
Verse 11 —- Joseph’s brothers envied him ; but his father observed the saying (his father took notice of the saying and pondered over it)
Although Joseph was seemingly trying to do the right thing, and his brothers were doing evil things, it seems to me these kinds of dreams should have been kept in his heart, and not shared with his brothers.
We see here to, his father did correct him when he needed it.
In our day and time we would call this a dysfunctional family, because the other brothers were the sons of two other wives. (verse 2)
Joseph was their half brother.
One day, when the brothers were feeding and shepherding their father’s flock; Israel told Joseph, “Go see whether or not everything is all right with your brothers and with the flock, and report back to me”. (14)
18 – And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
And they said to each other, “Here comes this dreamer, and master of dreams. Let us kill him and throw his body in some pit ; then we will say to our father, some wild beast has devoured him; and we will see what will become of his dreams!” (verses 19,20)
Reuben heard it and said, let’s not kill him, for Rueben’s plan was to rescue him, and take him back to his father. Reuben said, “Shed no blood.” So they took him and stripped him of his coat of many colors and cast him in a well-like pit with no water; and sat down to lunch. (verses 21-25)
25- When they looked up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, going on their way down to Egypt.
26- And Judah said to his brothers, What do we gain if we slay our brother and conceal his blood?”
27- Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites. And they sold him for twenty pieces of silver, which is a sermon of it’s own, because Jesus was betrayed and sold-out for twenty pieces of silver: —- but let’s go on.
28- And They took Joseph into Egypt.
29- Then Reuben , who had not been there when the brothers plotted to sell the lad, returned ; and behold, Joseph was not in the pit.
31,32- They killed an animal, dipped it in the blood and sent it to their father.
34- And Jacob tore his clothes, would not eat, and went into mourning.
35- His sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said “I will go to my grave to mourning for my son.”
And his father wept for him.
36- And the Midianites, and Ishmaelites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.
39:2- But the Lord was with Joseph.
As the story goes on we see Joseph being put down and then being lifted up to the number one place next to Pharaoh.
God had given to him the gift of interpreting dreams, and used this gift to lift him up to this great position to eventually help his family in a time of famine, to keep them alive, and because his family had to come to Egypt where they could buy food, they in due time, did bow before Joseph, because reigned next to Pharaoh.
In this story, we see sibling rivalry in the worst degree. Jealousy and rivalry which led to hate and anger and a conspiracy to do harm followed by lies to cover-up. After which, grief filled the family.
Many do not actually carry-out what they think to do to their siblings, but to hate them shows what is in their heart.
Christians struggle with jealousy at times, which brings on curses and severe problems to come upon them, if not dealt with.
I can think of other accounts of jealousy that arises in families, such as one family member is more prosperous than the other.
A Mother-in-law may be jealous of her Daughter-in-law, or the other way around. Sometimes they may see each other as rivals for his attention.
I tell you, this should not be going on in the life of a Christian.. It is walking in the flesh. This brings so much trouble into the family that does not need to be there. Get over it! It grieves your relationship with God.
Woman of God, understand this: the love the son has for his mother, is different from the love he has for his wife. To try to cause division between either of these two relationships will backfire on you.
Listen to this Scripture in Ephesians 5:28-33 —-So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: (or just like the Lord does the Church).
For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
For this cause (or this reason) shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.
Nevertheless let everyone of you in particular (or personally) so love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence (or honor) her husband.
Mother-in-laws sometimes think their son or daughter could have done much better in choosing their spouse: but many times they are looking at the faults of the in-law, and they fail to see their child’s imperfections.
There should be a love bond between in-laws because of the marriage bond of their child to the one they choose.
God If that child of yours is so perfect and intelligent and such a magnificent Christian, why do you think they made such a bad choice?
Think about it!
I tell you, if more time was spent trying to understand, and praying for that child’s spouse, there would be more peace and harmony in their lives, as well as your relationship with your child; not to mention the relationship between you and God.
If there is no harmony in the family, the children pick-up on it and become like you.
I am sorry to say, jealousy and rivalry are rampant in the Body of Christ as well as in family life.
This shouldn’t be. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict you and change you into that person that overlooks the faults of others.
Pray this prayer with me: Father, I want to be like Jesus. Help me to deal with any jealousy or rivalry in my life. I repent of it. I know it hurts my relationship with You. Please forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Bring harmony in every area of my life. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.