Joseph is 17 and the youngest of all his brothers except for his full brother Benjamin. He’s a shepherd out in the field with four of his half-brothers, the sons of the maids, not of Leah.
He comes back home from the field and tells on his brothers. We don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Did his father ask him to report on certain things? Was it something that really should have been reported? Or was he being obnoxious and telling on them for things he should have kept secret?
Chances are Joseph had some growing up to do. And it doesn’t sound like Jacob was any help in the struggling relationships, since he gives Joseph a special gift. All the brothers know that they are not the favorite. All the brothers know that Joseph is loved more than them. They all know that their father loved Joseph’s mom and not theirs. The struggle and competition between the mothers didn’t end with them. It’s been passed down.
The brothers don’t help things. They let thoughts of Joseph fume inside of them until they hate him and can’t say anything nice to him. They couldn’t act civil towards him. There was no peace between the brothers because there was no peace within each brother.
Peace comes from God. It’s a gift from Him we receive through Christ. Jesus reconciled us to God, meaning made peace with Him. We are accepted, welcomed into the family, adopted. We are free to love others because we know we are loved. We accept others because we know we are accepted.
We don’t need love and acceptance from others because we have it from God. Others can hate or reject us, but we don’t have to return it. We can return goodness because we have good in us when we have God in us by the Holy Spirit.
We should always be at peace with another believer who is at peace with God. We will never be at peace with a world that is not at peace with God. Those who are warring against God because they love themselves will never find peace with God and so will always be at odds with you. You will not find peace and acceptance in this world, but you will always have peace and acceptance from God if you are His.