Part 3 of the Present day Patriarchs series.
Genesis 33:3 – And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
The Jacob that we read about in Genesis 33 isn’t the same man that we are introduced to in Genesis 25. He has come a long way. This Jacob is leading his family into their future with courage. That Jacob was a coward.
That Jacob had a prophecy over his life. The prophecy proclaimed he the younger son would receive the birthright from his father (this broke the familial tradition of the 1st born receiving the birthright). However, when it came time for the birthright to be given, his father Isaac, called for Esau (the older son). Jacob never warred for his prophecy. Instead, he chose to use deception to collect what was already his by divine declaration.
When Esau heard Jacob had deceived him, Esau determined to destroy the deceiver. When Jacob caught wind of this, that Jacob, ran away.
A little while later, that Jacob made a deal to work for Laban 7 years in order to obtain Rachel, his dream girl. When the appointed time came for the marriage, Laban gave Jacob Leah instead of Rachel. Put yourself in that situation. If that were me, I would have never accepted that dirty deal. Even if it meant using a baseball bat, Laban would have given me Rachel. But that Jacob – just accepted it, with a bouquet of pansies in his hand. (pansy is a Hebrew word that means pansy).
Then Laban announced that Jacob had to work 7 more years for Rachel. That is slave labor: and again, that Jacob took it.
Jacob ended up working 20 years for Laban. During which his wages were changed 10 times. And that Jacob took it.
When he finally decided to leave Laban, he ran. He didn’t confront Laban face to face; he chose to sneak out under the cover of darkness. That Jacob was a coward.
However, this Jacob, the changed Jacob; is anything but a coward. That doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid: courage isn’t the absence of fear, rather it is taking offensive action in spite of your fears. Jacob is now leading with courage. His backbone has finally straightened and strengthened, and this Jacob is taking a stand.
Jacob crossed over Jabbok before any of his family. It takes courage for a man to step against the current of our times and lead his family. This river means ‘pouring out’, and to me it signifies the loosening of the social standards that have made America such a great country. Can you ford this flow for your family?
Jacob also kept his family behind him, and met Esau head on. Obstacles in your family’s path must be met head on with courage. To get to my family, you have to come through me. Now, this is a Jacob I can admire.
Jacob is facing intimidating odds – 401 to 1. Nobody is going to bet on Jacob’s survival. But the odds don’t matter if there is a threat against your family. You may be afraid, but you go anyway. I imagine there is a father out there with a deck stacked against him. Finances are falling apart. Daughter is pregnant at 15. House is in foreclosure. Kids never want to be at home.
When the odds are against you, that’s when you must lead with courage. In the face of my worst nightmare, I will stand up with the mentality – we can get through this.
Lead with courage:
- It takes courage to tell your child they can’t wear that particular piece of (revealing) clothing. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to take a stand and tell your wife, (with love); this is the direction that we are going with our family. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to tell a certain family that your children aren’t going to stay the night with them, because they have different values then you. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to fight off the demonic darkness that would love to hold your family in fear. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to lead your family by example in worship. Purposefully allowing them to see you expressively worship Jesus. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to admit you were wrong, apologize, and make the proper adjustments. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to ask your boss for a raise. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to monitor your children’s social media intake. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to not allow anything to keep you and your family from scheduled services. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to filter our future boyfriends and girlfriends. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to set and keep boundaries, curfews, dos and don’ts. Do you have that kind of courage?
- It takes courage to hold to your values and beliefs. Both biblical and social. Do you have that kind of courage?