Peter Barnes: Genesis 37:3-4, 31-35; 42:38; 45:25-28
SERMON NOTES: JACOB AS A PARENT (Genesis 37:3-4, 31-35; 42:38; 45:25-28)
Roger Ellsworth: ‘With the sole exception of Job, no one in the Old Testament experienced more sorrow than Jacob.’ Jeremiah might argue against that. Unlike Job and Jeremiah, Jacob brings so many miseries on himself.
- The sin of favouritism.
– 37:3-4. How often we learn nothing from experience! – recall 25:27-28. George Santayana said that the only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
– parenting is hard, and we can fail in many ways – showing favouritism is one of them.
- Distorted grief makes Jacob unreasonable and unloving.
– 37:31-33. Naturally, Jacob was shattered – 37:34. The children of Jacob held their nerve – 37:35 (recall 27:18-23). James 3:16.
– Jacob grieves for Joseph – 37:35. He does not get over this at all – 42:38. There is something wrong here – 1 Thess.4:13. Compare him to David – 2 Sam. 12:23, 16, 18.
– grief is godly; tears are godly; but we must always recognise the hand of God and the need to live for the living.
- Convinced by the evidence.
– the brothers finally have to tell Jacob that Joseph is still alive – 45:25-28. It is hearing the eyewitness accounts of his sons who had seen and heard Joseph, and the sight of the wagons. Where did they get those from? Jacob has to believe. Just like the disciples – there is the eyewitness testimony of the women, and finally their own eyewitness testimony, and the evidence of the empty tomb.
– we have a sovereign God who raises the dead.