Part 10 of the Present day Patriarchs series.
Genesis 33:12 – And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
Genesis 33:13- And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if the men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
Genesis 33:14 – Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Jacob and Esau made their peace. Then they decided it was time to go on. Esau and his four hundred men offered Jacob three things: to lead, protect, and choose the destination. Seems like a good offer. But patriarch Jacob turned it down. This decision made all the difference in the world for his family.
Jacob decided to lead his own family. Never put your family in the hands of somebody else; especially somebody like Esau and his four hundred men.
First, Jacob realizes he is a family man now. Running with the boys would no doubt be fun, but it would have damaged his family. There comes a time in every father’s life when he must realize he isn’t one of the guys anymore. You are a family man now. Your spare time, hobbies, and calendar; should reflect this mindset.
Second, Jacob and Esau have different values. Esau is very progressive, successful, and godless. He values fleshly things while Jacob is plodding down a spiritual path. Christian fathers should never let the values of their society lead their families. We are a counter-culture people. Through our families, we are teaching our society what a real family looks like. Get you values from the bible, your prayer life, and personal convictions.
Third, Esau has no idea what Jacob’s destiny entails. He is living in another land with his own guidance system. To follow Esau is to keep up with the Joneses. The leading of the Spirit, not the leading of social status, must determine our destiny. Where God is taking you may be far and away from where Esau is living. Jacob had already experienced living twenty years out of the will of God. Twenty years of directionless living taught this patriarch to reach for the destiny determined by his Master.
Fathers must passionately guard those leading their children. Each and every adult they spend time with is rubbing off on them. Do these individuals reflect the values you are trying to impart to your children? Guard that gate. It’s much easier to deal with an adult with hurt feelings than to see your children headed in the wrong direction.
Note that Jacob put the cattle out in front of the children. These cattle were hard working mature servants that understood how to submit to a higher power. They could handle a heavy load and didn’t have to be driven or prodded because they knew how to follow their master. Its people like this you want your children to learn from.
It’s amazing to me how Moses was ready to lead a nation but not his own boys. I would rather have tremendous influence over my two girls’ lives than I would a city. The greatest calling any man can accept is the calling to pastor his own family.
Ultimately, we are all called to be like Joshua. Joshua had the great task of leading millions of people into their personal and corporate destinies. But most importantly, Joshua led his own family. The famous statement “as for me and my house” echoed the true heartbeat of this great man. He had a great calling, but his highest concern was for his family. You can’t control what others are doing with their families, but you can surely decide what the story will be for you and your house.
Lead your own family:
- Who or what is influencing how you direct your family’s destiny?
- Do you realize you are a family man now? Is it time to quit being a buddy, and start being a daddy?
- Does your desire for a higher social status affect your decisions?
- Are there some people you should no longer let your children spend time with because they are negatively influencing them?
- How much time are you spending in the bible to develop your value system?
- What movies are your children watching which they shouldn’t because of the negative influence?
- Do you discuss, with your family, the destiny you feel that God has for you and them?
- What schools are they going to? What career should they be pursuing?
- Are you open to your children pursuing a calling instead of a career?
- Does your family reflect a counter-culture lifestyle? In what ways is your family different than the family across the street?