This is part 5 of the Present day Patriarchs series.
Genesis 33:2 – And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
Genesis 33:4 – And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
The important thing to notice in this passage of scripture is that Jacob is both courageous and cautious. He is confronting his past, while keeping his family protected behind him. No doubt the hugging and weeping is a God thing; however, Jacob isn’t oblivious to the other 400 men that may not share Esau’s sentiments.
If all goes badly, the family is in order behind Jacob, and perhaps a few of them would be able to escape. I don’t think that Jacob ordered his family according to his favorites, rather they’re ordered for proper operation. It’s a good plan.
Order in the family does bring covering and protection. It’s important that each individual in your family understands their individual role and place. Submission and structure are protective in nature. This order that Jacob established is important for every father to establish. Without elaborating on this point in detail: Ephesians 5:21-6:4 lays out a clear pattern for proper familial order. Love, submission, and honor, place promise on your children’s heads. This is something that each father should clearly communicate, and then say it again.
So weep with your brother, but keep your eyes wide open. Keep pursuing your spiritual sensitivity, but don’t lose your common sense. Watch and pray. Above all else, make sure your family is protected.
Nehemiah ordered his men to build the wall of Jerusalem with both a trowel and sword in their hands. The trowel was for building and the sword was for defending their families. The men were also called to guard the gates. It’s important for father’s to guard the gates that access their families.
Everybody shouldn’t have the same access to your children. Have a wide-open gate for winning people to Jesus. Let the gate be smaller when it comes to your friends. The gate should be even smaller when it comes to those that have access to your house. The gate should be very small when you start talking about who has close contact with your children. The gate should only include a few vetted people when you consider who you would leave your children with for a date night, etc. Guard that gate.
Weep and Watch:
- Are you careful with whom you let your children play?
- Do your children know their place in the family?
- Do you pray over your children, and ask God daily for discernment?
- Are there people that you’ve been allowing into the wrong gates?
- Have you and your wife vetted everyone that is close with your children?
- Have you taught your children what proper and un-proper touching is?
- Do you trust too easily?