All tagged Jacob

Genesis - The End: It is All About Family

We started this journey awhile back: April 16, some 165 days ago. When you spend over 5 months working at something, it pays to reflect. When we began, I wrote: “And sometimes it's messy. But we need to learn our story. Not facts, but rather our family story. Because at the heart of that story is our God. Reading Genesis, we will come face to face with evil and good; hatred and love; and law and grace. What we will find is not just the story of humanity, but of how our God loves us.” As I reflect a few things stand out. They have to do with God’s family, God’s purpose, God’s method, and more…

Genesis Day 68: Transition Points: Legacy, Those Final Words

Some of us have been at the death bed of a loved one who was well enough to utter their last wishes. Sometimes, we must wait until the reading of the Last Will and Testament to find out what the recently departed desired and felt. Regardless of whether or not you know what is coming, it is hard and emotional for those who remain.

I am trying to picture this scene in Genesis chapter 49. Jacob communicates, in person, parting words to his sons. His words are more than a blessing. His words communicate how he sees each of them.

Genesis Day 65: Family Reunion

What is the longest you have ever been apart, isolated from, your family? For me it was when I sailed as a midshipman in the Merchant Marines. That period of my life was so long enough ago, that it predates our current internet, global cell phones, etc. You wrote letters—and you received letters—but only when you hit port. Everyone back home is getting on with their lives while you are off in another world. Then it happens—you are reunited with your family and friends. Yesterday I pointed back to the theme that we launched this journey upon: family—God’s family. Today we read about one of God’s big family reunions.

Genesis Day 55: God finishes what He starts…in each of us

Sometimes we feel alone. We have hopes, dreams, goals…and they are just not falling into place. We make progress, but then, despite our best efforts, we seem stalled. Maybe someone has come along and seemingly blown up what we have been working towards. Or maybe we just seem to be stuck in neutral. Our long-sought and promised life—The Promised Land—seems far off. We feel alone. It might be more than loneliness. It might feel like defeat. We’ve all been there. Maybe you are there right now. Maybe you want to throw in the proverbial towel.

We are coming to a place in Genesis where Jacob’s presence in the story will be diminished. While it may seem like two of his sons have blown up his dream, God is not done.

Genesis Day 54: Just when you think you’ve arrived…

You work hard. You struggle through. You make the hard choices. Finally, you arrive at your long-awaited destination. That place in your life that you have been hoping for and working towards. Now it is time to simply sit back and relax. Then the phone rings.

I wonder what Jacob was thinking and feeling with the news of Dinah. He certainly had a flood of emotions. He no doubt was thinking, “what should I do?”

Genesis Day 53: Hope for the Best… Plan for the Worst… Lead from the Front

“If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”—so goes the saying. Not sure if you ascribe to that axiom. There is another saying: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Life does seem to require we make a conscious decision about whether we will press on towards the goal. Pressing on requires the opposite of foolishness—it requires wisdom. Yet if you are in the middle of a journey, it may be that pressing on is what God is calling you to do. This is the position we find Jacob in, as we read Genesis 33.

Genesis Day 52: Removing Your Outer Shell - The Layers of Our Lives

“I used to think you were arrogant.” Ouch! That is how a conversation began, the end-result of which was the peeling-away of a layer of protection I had wrapped myself in. We often use layers. Some layers are good, but not always—sometimes we need to have a layer ripped off, so that we can grow and change.  For three successive posts, I have reflected on change, both systematic, and personal. Today I want to focus on the personal. I don’t want to rush out of chapter 32 without intentionally staring at Jacob wrestling with God.

Genesis Day 51: Creating a New Culture…Don’t Stop Short (Part 3 of 3)

“Look, we’ve come a really long way. We have achieved what we wanted to achieve.  We don’t need to jeopardize all we’ve accomplished.” That is a phrase you will hear when you are driving for change. Why? Because to arrive at your destination you most likely will need to “cement” your changes. And that normally means facing some final, large obstacles.

Chapter 31 of Genesis ends with Laban departing Jacob. You and I, if we were in his shoes, might say, “I’ve done it. I’m free!” Jacob might rationalize, “Why bother to go back to my brother? All it will do is open up old wounds.” Yet stopping now is stopping short of the Vision—God’s Vision.

Genesis Day 50: Creating a New Culture…The Middle (Part 2 of 3)

“It’s a mess.” That is what I thought. We were in the middle of trying to transform ourselves, and our company. When you are halfway there, you still have “large chunks” of your life, your work, your company—that when you look at them—it appears as if nothing has changed. You know you cannot go back to the way things were. What do you do?

I have been suggesting that as we read chapters 30-32 of Genesis, we are witnessing the transformation of a man and a family. This is not just any family. It is the family God will use to launch the nation of Israel…

Genesis Day 49: Creating a New Culture…Amid Stress (Part 1 of 3)

It is one thing to live into a new culture in a season when everything is going well. It is quite another to live your culture amid envy, affliction, and even hatred. Many companies and many people seek to create a new chapter in their lives—be it a new corporate culture or a new and improved individual personality. Trying to turn the corner is hard. Doing it in a swamp of jealously and loathing is more than difficult. You try to hold onto your newfound principles and stay above it. Yet even the most motivated, newly-minted saint will falter. What does this have to do with Genesis 30?

Genesis Day 48: God’s Best-laid Plans…and Us

Some days I think I am doing okay following Jesus. It is not that I have erased my history (I know where I have disappointed God), but in the “here and now” I feel like I am doing okay. I am reading my Bible, saying my prayers, I haven’t lost my patience, and in general, I have kept my emotions in check. Then it happens. Things don’t go my way, or a difficult event takes place, or an important relationship falls apart. I find myself asking God, “Why did You let this happen?” I wonder, is that what Jacob is asking here in Genesis 29?

Genesis Day 47: Defining Moments

Most days, most of us go through the regular motions of life. We wake up, follow our routines, and press on. It is also true that most of us have had major defining moments. I have a bunch of these moments. We all do. Some are huge, life-altering events. Some of those events are full of joy and some are full of pain. Regardless, we have them. And we have been reading about them in Genesis.