“Overseer” – A United Church of Christ StillSpeaking Daily Devotional by The Rev. Kaji Douŝa

March 30th,2022 Categories: Latest News

Joseph said to his brothers, “Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words. – Genesis 37:7-8 (NRSV)

Jacob has a favorite son, Joseph. In this story, Joseph is 17. That’s 17 years of showing that favor. Seventeen years of his brothers building up resentment.

Why? His brothers hated him so much that they began to plot his murder. Obviously, they perceived Joseph to be an existential threat, enough to evince that kind of bloodlust.

So let’s be clear: In this story, the sons who were “mismanaging” the flock were the children of the enslaved women Zilphah and Bilhah. Clearly they weren’t bought into this whole enterprise.

Joseph cared more about following Daddy’s rules than the others. And then? He had a dream that they all bowed down to him. Which, presumably, they’d been expected to do all their lives. What, then, are we to learn from Jacob and his family?

A leader cares for the flock. Every body, every soul.

Favor that harms another is poisonous on every level. Jacob was poisoned. Joseph was, too. When Joseph dreamt his dream, he envisioned the same ol’ same ol’. Overseer to enslaved. Brother over brother.

God provided the dreams, the vision, and the prophecy. And Joseph had to hold on to it. He couldn’t understand it from his high horse. But humbled? Aware of perspectives beyond his own? Joseph understood anew.

You may be in a ditch, too.

You may be in the ditch, parched as hell. And in the ditch, it very well could be that all you can hold on to is: Your dreams. They may stick you in a ditch to dry up “like a raisin in the sun.”

But God has other plans.

Receive the vision.


Let God’s will be done. Amen.


The “StillSpeaking Daily Devotional” series is produced by The United Church of Christ.