Thursday, January 12, 2006

Life with the Jacobsons

I heard someone recently say that people are the greatest stressor on the face of the earth . . . and the greatest blessing. This is the flavor of the next set of chapters, Genesis 33-35.

As if a line were drawn in the sand, we are introduced to the Jacobsons and they are a wild bunch. Their father is just getting family matters setteled (32-33) and he builds an altar to the Lord (33:20). In stark contrast, his daughter goes off and is raped to which two brothers respond with large-scale vengeance and murder (34). Chapter 35 opens with God telling Jacob to pull up stakes and go build an altar to God.

I wonder what Jacob was feeling? What was he thinking?

As my family dynamics go through their cycles, I am learning how important it is to raise my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but I am also learning the deeper pain of parenthood when I see my kids hold onto bad decisions. They don't just make them--they hold them. Salting the wound--I remember what I did to my parents and I know exactly what they feel though I apologized already years ago.

My wife and I keep remembering that we must keep worshipping God. We must keep taking our children to worship God. We must keep teaching and nurturing with admonition. We must fast and pray (as some only come out with fasting and prayer). We must keep going to God.

Spurgeon says this on 35:18, "Sad hearts have peculiar skill in discovering the most disadvantageous point of view from which to gaze upon a trial; if there were only one slough in the world, they would soon be up to their necks in it, and if there were only one lion in the desert they would hear it roar. About us all there is a tinge of this wretched folly, and we are apt, at times, like Jacob, to cry, “All these things are against me.” Faith’s way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to anticipate good results from the worst calamities."

Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, March 8 PM. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

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