His [Joseph’s] brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. Genesis 37:12
These brothers were living in quiet rebellion against their father’s choice of Joseph as his favorite son, and they had resisted and rejected the Word of God regarding Joseph. Yet here they are doing the father’s work and tending the father’s flocks.
If you had asked these brothers what they were doing, they would have said, “We are serving our father. We are engaged in his work.” Yes, they were doing their father’s work, but they did not share their father’s heart.
You also see this in the story of the prodigal son. The elder brother was at home doing the father’s work, but he did not share the father’s heart. Doing the father’s work is a poor substitute for sharing the father’s heart.
Don’t miss the love of the father for these rebel sons. Jacob’s sons have made his name stink in the land, but Jacob has not cut them off. He loves them. He cares about them. He seeks their good even when they rebel against him.
This is supremely true of God the Father. We are His rebel sons and daughters who have tarnished His reputation in the land, but He has not cut us off. He loves and cares about us. He seeks our good, even when we rebel against Him.
Are you engaged in the work of God the Father? If so, are you doing this work as a substitute for sharing the Father’s heart?