ID-100161471The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 (NLT), There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. But what if your friend is your brother?

You know how siblings are these days. They fight and they reconcile…then they fight again. Yes, a friend may stick closer than a brother, but if your relationship to your brother is like Joseph’s to Benjamin, then a brother sticks closer than a friend.

After Joseph has been gone a very long time from his family due to the act of his 10 other half-brothers, he has come face-to-face again with his only full brother Benjamin.

Genesis 43:29-30, Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May God be gracious to you, my son.” Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept.

Joseph nearly broke down at the sight of Benjamin which shows how he loved and missed him. Their family was composed of four mothers and Joseph’s and Benjamin’ mother, Rachel, was the one Jacob really loved.

The fact that no other friend was mentioned anywhere in the passages telling the life of Joseph may be one reason for this very close relationship. But the fact remains that even if a friend does stick closer than a brother he is still THE brother. See how Joseph favored Benjamin in Genesis 43:34, “And Joseph filled their (his 10 half brothers) plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.”

I relate to this story at how I see my two sons. They really love each other but they can sometimes be the worst of enemies. But they remain brothers and continue to love each other. Nothing can break that bond.

Proverbs 18:19 also shows the bad side of friendships: “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.”

That’s why stick closer to your brother. Blood is thicker than water anyway.