Comparing the fathering style of Isaac and Jacob.
The book of Genesis tells of two drastically different men: one who had to work hard to get anything he wanted; the other seemed to have things fall into his lap. It is interesting that the former was father of the latter. More interestingly, how do we become like the latter?
These two men were Jacob and Joseph. Jacob is well known as being a striver. He connives his brother out of his birthright and cons hims out of his blessing. He runs away for fear of him and then gets conned into working 14 years for Rachel. The tragedy of Jacob’s life is more than the difficulties that arise, you get the impression from Jacob that he feels alone in the world. Even when he left working for his father-in-law, he leaves under deception.
Joseph, on the other hand, had much greater difficulties arise against him. The tragedy that befalls Joseph may make some balk at my earlier statement of having things fall into his lap. However, no matter what hardships arose, Joseph met each of them with success.
The effects of the father on the child.
What I noticed about these two men that was significantly different was the way that each of them was raised. Jacob was raised by Isaac who favored Esau over him. Joseph was raised by Jacob who favored him above each of his 11 brothers. Joseph knew the love of his father, which brought special attention, favors, and gifts. Jacob felt overlooked by his father and had to trick him to get attention, favors, and gifts.
It is amazing what the role of the father can play on a child. As grown men, both Jacob and Joseph lived out of the way they where taught to view themselves by their fathers. Jacob continued his belief that nothing good would just happen to him unless he went out and grabbed it. Joseph had no problem succeeding in the jail or in the palace because he believed good things would happen to him.
Which father do you relate to?
Do you believe you are more like Jacob or Joseph? If you say Jacob, there is hope for you. Even though you cannot change how you were raised, you have a Heavenly Father who wants to show you how amazing you are to Him. You don’t have to fight for His attention. You don’t have to beg Him for his favors. He adores you and desires to lavish you with good gifts.
Let go of your mindset that you are alone in this world and let God father you. Spend time with Him just to let Him love on you. Shorten your petitions for Him and just sit in His presence. He created you to be with Him. Allow Him to be with you.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below on how you have gotten God to father you or why this is hard for you. Blessings.
- Additional Resource: 5 Reasons Why We Need a Father
original image courtesy of Adam Jones
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.