Fathers Day, June 20, 2010
Genesis 48:3-4, 8-22; 49:33- 50:1
These chapters are the culmination of four generations of men blessed by God who were a part of a dysfunctional family.
God called Abraham and told him he would have a son by his wife Sarah. As time passed, he has a son named Ishmael with his wife’s maid Hagar who God blesses although this is not God’s ideal. But God said he would have a son with his wife Sarah, which he did – Isaac. But conflict between the brothers and their descendants continue to this day. Isaac though not the firstborn was the one chosen by God for blessing because...
God fulfills His word even when we mess up.
Isaac had twins Esau and Jacob with his wife Rebecca. Esau was his father’s favorite and Jacob his mother’s. God let Rebecca know that Jacob was the chosen leader but Isaac planned to bless Esau as the firstborn. Through deception Jacob received the blessing but he had to leave home because his brother wanted to kill him. So he went to Laban his uncle who manipulates him into marrying his two daughters. How Jacob came to have two wives is a fascinating story. Laban deceived him and Jacob found himself married to Leah when he loved Rachel and believed he was marrying her. This set up a rivalry between the two sisters that only ended with Rachel’s death.
Jacob had 12 sons and 1 daughter by four women – Leah, Rachel and their maids Zilpah nd Bilhah. Leah and her maid (Zilpah) had 8 of the 12 boys and Rachel and her maid (Bilhah) had 4. The last two sons born to Jacob were the two Rachel bore him – Joseph and Benjamin. The Bible tells us Jacob loved Joseph the 1st born son of Rachel but his 10 brothers hated him. Jacob showed his love by making Joseph a coat of many colors. He clearly was Jacobs’s favorite child and enjoyed the privilege of that position. He spent time with his dad, tattled on his brothers to his dad, and learned about God from his dad. Joseph ended up in Egypt because his brothers sold him into slavery. But God blessed him throughout his time as a slave, his stint in prison and as the second in command to Pharaoh. Joseph’s faith in God is seen by how he lived his life and the choices he made inspite of adversity.
Joseph had two sons with his wife Asenath – Manasseh and Ephraim. Scripture records that when Jacob was about to die he called his sons. He gave Joseph a special blessing and blessed Joseph’s sons as well – once again the younger over the older. Joseph understood that God directs the blessing and so he did not argue with his father when Jacob blessed Ephraim his younger son by placing his right hand on his head. Joseph got it right. God blesses according to his Word.
Today as fathers there are two things we must do in order to get it right. First: we must develop a heart of obedience to God. Second: We must realize our children are watching us and what we do speaks volumes over what we say.