31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. Genesis 37:31-35
On the way back home to Jacob, Joseph’s brothers had to be dwelling on the story they would tell their father. As far as we know, only Reuben didn’t know about the Midianite merchants, but he knew they all threw down that cistern.
These are really bad people. Everything about their story is a lie.
Recall, however, how Jacob started out and all through his growing up years. He was a deceiver from Day One. Jacob was now on the receiving end of a series of deceptions and outright lies. Even as he mourns for his son, they are continuing the deception, except Jacob didn’t know he was being deceived. He was mourning in good faith.
It took a couple of decades for Jacob’s sins to catch up with him, but eventually they did. Some people go to their graves with their sins not catching up with them. But it doesn’t mean they are faultless or guiltless. One day they will have to pay for their sins and answer to God for them, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant.