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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)

TITLE: In the Eyes of the Beholder
By Karen B. White


All my life my grandmother jokingly called her brother “the black sheep of the family”. I never knew why. Was it because he was so much younger, because he left his wife or was it because his lifestyle deviated from the standards upheld by the rest of the siblings? I guess I will never know but regardless of the reason in her eyes he was the “black sheep”.
When one spends time in God’s word they realize that many of the people told about in the bible had lifestyles and made choices that were not in keeping with their other family members. The first one that comes to mind was Joseph. Although the majority of people wouldn’t consider him the “black sheep” his brothers probably did since he appeared to be the family member that was regarded as undesirable.
Joseph was the eleventh and favorite son of his father, Jacob. At seventeen years of age his job was to feed the sheep with his brothers. His older brothers all resented him because of the favoritism shown to him by their father. The bible says they “hated him and could not speak peacefully to him”. The strained relationship between the older brothers and Joseph became worse when Joseph had a dream and shared it with his brothers. The dream was about binding sheaves in the field and Joseph’s sheaf rose and his brother’s sheaves bowed down to his. This did not go well with his brothers and the hatred grew.
Joseph had a second dream and again he related the events of the dream to his brothers. He told them how in the dream, the sun, moon and eleven stars bowed down to him. His brothers were outraged and even his father rebuked him for speaking of his dream.
The older siblings’ feeling of jealousy and hatred continued to build against Joseph until the day he was sent to check on his brothers who were away tending to the flocks. It was then that the older brothers decided to rid themselves of the one they considered to be an outsider. They made plans to kill Joseph.
One of the brothers however, must have had some feelings for Joseph for he talked the others into sparing Joseph’s life and throwing him into a pit. The bible tells us that the brother that spared
Joseph’s life had planned on returning to the pit at a later time to retrieve Joseph and deliver him back to their father. God however had another plan.
The brothers ended up selling Joseph to an Ishmaelite, who in turn sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard in Egypt. The brothers return to their father and tricked him into believing that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.
But as always, God had a plan for one of His own. Joseph became successful in Egypt, he had a family, and the years past. Then one day while he is going about his life his past was before him. Joseph recognized the ten men that had come to buy grain from him, they were his brothers, the ones that had so hated him they wanted to take his life, the ones that had sold him as a slave, the ones that were now bowing before him just as in his dream all those years ago. The brothers had treated Joseph as the “black sheep” but were now in dire need of Joseph’s mercy. Joseph’s story had a happy ending. He graciously forgave his brothers and was reunited with his father.
What about you, can you identify with the brothers? Or have you been like Joseph and been the one on the outside? The bible tells us that we have all sinned. And just like Joseph’s brothers we all need to receive God’s mercy. And He and He alone is able to take a sinner (black sheep) and wash him as white as snow.
Sometimes as in Joseph’s case the black sheep is really the white one, so to speak, so it is all in the eyes of the beholder. But the only beholder whose opinion really matters is God and how he sees us. In God’s eyes are you “as white as snow”?

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This article has been read 81 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 10/10/13
Loved your story. Your words are inspiring and the message important.

It was a really good comment about sometimes the black sheep of the family is white.

Nicely done. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/11/13
You did a lovely job of the retelling of this familiar Bible story. I think you were concise and made some great points.

There have been quite a few Jacob stories this week, but you did a nice job of filling in the little details. Be careful about little things like Bible vs bible and using commas and other punctuation. A good proofreader or a challenge buddy might help you with this. Don't hesitate to reach out to a writer and ask if they would like a challenge buddy.

You nailed the topic. Your message is one I think we can all relate to in one way or another. You did a nice job of bringing the story to life and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Amelia Brown 10/11/13
You've presented a nice "food for thoughts" perspective here, very interesting. It would have been nice if you had given the story of Joseph a little twist or an unfamiliar presentation instead of retelling it from the Bible. Also spacing the paragraphs makes for a easier read. You left us with a lot to think about though, you asked a lot of deep questions.
amparo esco10/13/13
this beautiful delve into scripture shows you really think about scripture and that will add so much to your future work, which I will look for. When we are ostracized and/or judged for being different, we learn how to open our eyes wider to our oppressors, and use our power in a better manner!!1
Larry Whittington10/13/13
Yes, whether we are a black sheep or a white sheep, we all need to have our sins forgiven before God. I am glad Acts 2:38 tell us how it ca take place.

A very good thought provoking article.