Gen 35 to 37 It all began with Abraham, who fathered Ishmael and begged God to make him his legacy, but God said no. Isaac fathered Jacob and Esau, heard the prophecy that the younger would serve the elder but because he favored Esau, the eldest, he conveniently chose to forget God’s words. Jacob, favored by Rebekah, ignored his inner ear and deceived Isaac. Jacob, like his grandfather and father, played favorites. “Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become disheartened.” [Col 3:21] Jacob’s behavior caused three heart behaviors to erupt amongst his sons: jealousy, envy, and hatred for Joseph.
The Proverbs author lists 7 character qualities God hates:
“haughty eyes, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift to run to evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who spreads discord among family members.”[Prov 6]
If we walk down that list, we see all 7 of these qualities in Jacob’s sons. Later Joseph would note: “you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose so that he could preserve the lives of many people.” Amazingly, God can and will use our wickedness to accomplish his purposes because He can see the end from the beginning.
Fathers have a unique responsibility to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Today take time to pray for the fathers ( and the mothers) of our children.