God's Spirit has always been calling mankind to himself, to holiness, purity of heart, a separated life; and some in every generation answer this call. Joseph responded at an early age; his ten older brothers received the same call, but they chose to remain in the world.
On at least two occasions, all of Jacob's sons clearly heard the Spirit's call. The first was when Jacob built an altar to the God of Israel (see Genesis 33:18-20). Jacob called his sons to the altar to worship with him, but Joseph’s brothers turned to revenge and bloodshed instead.
The second time was at Bethel. Jacob knew his sons were idolatrous so he warned them, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments…I will make an altar there to God” (Genesis 35:2-3, NKJV).
This is one of the clearest calls in all of God's Word. The phrase ‘change your garments’ in Hebrew means a moral and spiritual purification of the mind and heart.
Outwardly, Jacob's sons surrendered — “So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears” (Genesis 35:4) — but their repentance was only on the surface. They went right back to their rebellion. Joseph was different; his repentance had been from the heart. In the middle of a wicked, evil environment, Joseph maintained clean hands and a pure spirit.
One day, Joseph was sent out to the fields to help his brothers care for the family’s flocks, but he was grieved when he heard his brothers speak and act with such malice. His heart was crushed by the wickedness in his own family, and he went to his father (see Genesis 37:1-4).
A mark of the Joseph Company is that they grieve over sin. They have left their idols behind and are in love with Jesus and his holiness. They are grieved most of all by the sin in the church. They cry out, “Lord, look at what is happening among your children!” If you are like Joseph, you can't overlook sin. You will say, “I can't stand what they're doing to your name!” You will pray, not against people but against the inroads of Satan into the church. You will pray for righteousness to prevail.