A TALE OF TWO FATHERS

“Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.” Gen 37:3

Nowhere in this story does it tell us that Jacob did not love his other sons. His other sons were brought up by a loving father who taught them about God and nurtured them to fulfill God’s word in Gen 35:11  and kings shall come out of thy loins;

Jacob had spent his lifetime working with his sons. When Jacob’s life was slowing down he suddenly had a son, Joseph, whom he loved. Joseph was born when his brothers were older and had taken on many of their father’s responsibility and perhaps Jacob had more time to spend with his youngest son and this was witness by his older sons.  Suddenly Joseph’s brothers all came to a conclusion that their father did not love them. They became bitter, jealous, hard hearted and fell into rebellion and sin.

In the story of the prodigal son we see the love of another father in action. But, again we also see a son who questions his father’s love. When he saw that his father welcomed back his rebellious brother in Luke 15:28, 31 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “My son,’ ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’

However, I don’t believe those words turn this son around. He would not believe that his father loved him. This belief is a sin shared by believers today. David Wilkerson once said “This sin is committed every day not by heathens or the lost but by the church. It is one of the things that makes God weep. It is the sin of doubting God’s love for His children.”

When Christ disciples where in the boat with Jesus (Mark 4:38-40) a storm arose. Jesus slept and the disciples were afraid. Nothing exposes your heart quicker than fear. They woke Jesus up and accused him. Master, don’t you care that we are going to die! Jesus rose up and quieted the storm. He asked them do you still have so little faith in me. He was asking how could you think I would let any harm come to you? Don’t you know I am with you, always? Don’t you know I have your best interest at heart? Don’t you know how much I love you? Obviously they did not.

For many people in society today, some may not have had examples of good fathers. This may be a reason so many struggle with doubt and fear. We think nothing of going about our lives filled with doubts about God’s loving-kindness towards us. We doubt He is hearing our cry. We doubt Him at every turn – and never once do we see the sinfulness of our unbelief.

Our past is not a good enough excuse or reason to not know how good God is. Why do we hold on to broken concepts and ideas? God can heal our hearts. He can be trusted. He does love you. He proved it on the cross that he hung on for your sins. Yours! He picked us up out of the miry clay of our past hurts, experiences, and complexes. We must choose truth!

Jacob’s sons were men of God who doubted their father’s love and hardened their hearts. When you harden your heart and doubt God’s love you are in danger. When we doubt God’s love for us we begin to accuse God of neglect. We feel rejected by him and run from him. We grow weary of serving him and backslide even if we are still in church our hearts are far from him.

Jacobs’s sons became hard, callused men filled with accusation and sought to bring forth self-righteous judgment.  There was no repentance. No sorrow for their own brother or for the grief they inflicted on their father. Doubting their father’s love caused them to fall deep into sin. They committed sins that they justified and hid for more than 20 years.

When we doubt the father’s love we take matters into our own hands. We begin to fend for ourselves. Fight our own battles. What a mess we become. We look at people who God loves and plot to bring them down. (Just as Joseph became his brothers target because he was loved.) We feel justified to accuse God’s people. Daring to touch God’s anointed!  We open our hearts to Satan and to destruction. We are self-deceived, self-righteous, and self-destructive.

The good news is that a hard heart is not an incurable disease. It is a choice. Hebrew 4:7 “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”

We know the story of how Joseph loved his brothers, forgave and saved them. But, the brothers had to come to repentance. We do not have to forever forfeit knowing God’s wonderful love. Take a step toward God and he will meet you. Joseph’s brothers received a revelation of God’s love when they came with a broken and contrite heart. (Psalms 51:17).

We have to throw off the realities of our past and the lies of the enemy that we are not loved. God is not like our earthly father. God is good. Period. Satan lies to us, saying that God is mad at us. That we are not worthy or good enough for God’s love. We have to decide to STOP believing the lies and seek to know the truth. Ask God to reveal his love to you. Stop talking the trash that fills our mind and speak God’s word. What does God say about you? You are the apple of God’s eye! You are beloved of God!

God wants to reveal His love to you. To allow you to know that in everything you go through he is with you. In every storm, He is in your boat. He wants you to feel his tender love and affection. He wants you to run to Him and know and expect His arms to be open wide to receive you. You are loved. Believe it. Sometimes you just have to receive it and sometimes you have to fight to believe it. Whatever, you have to do, do it. Fast, pray, read, speak. Repeat.  It is worth it.

“When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke.18:8). Will he find people who believe in God and in the fact that he loves them?

Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so. Believe it?

Joann Lee

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