Select Wisdom Brand
(Genesis 42:29 - 43:34) The Jacob Temperament

(Genesis 42:29 - 43:34) The Jacob Temperament

by Stephen Davey Ref: Genesis 42:29–38; 43

It is interesting how much we are like Jacob when the Spirit of God does not control us. We so often jump to wrong conclusions based on circumstances. Do we really believe God is in control? More importantly, are we willing to give Him control? Find out now.



(Genesis 42:29 - 43:34)

Please turn to Genesis, chapter 42.  Genesis, chapter 42, where the spotlight of this story swings away from Joseph and now focuses primarily on Jacob and his ten sons.  We studied the life of Jacob in a five-part series and this would be the sixth.  And Jacob has so much to teach us and here again he is going to teach us so many valuable lessons or God through him.

Genesis, chapter 42.  Let’s pick up where we left off this morning.  Verse 29, “When they came to their father”.  That is, when Joseph let the nine brothers go and kept Simeon.  “When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, ‘The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us, and took us for spies of the country.  But we said to him, ‘ We are honest men; we are not spies.  We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’  And the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go.  But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but honest men.  I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’’  Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed.  And their father Jacob said to them”.  And the first thing that I want to relate to you, what I am calling tonight, “The Jacob Temperament,” is his fourfold, wrong conclusion.  He says, first of all, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is” dead.  That’s the first wrong conclusion: “Joseph is” dead.  The second wrong conclusion: “Simeon is” dead.  No he’s not.  He’s just jumping to the conclusion that the Pharaoh has put him to death.  “And you would take Benjamin”.  That is, Benjamin will die.  And his last one, we could re-phrase, “Everything’s going wrong.”  That is, “All these things are against me.”

As I studied this passage of scripture and re-read this chapter, it was interesting how much we are seeing in the response of Jacob.  How much we are like this man, in the flesh, whenever the Spirit of God does not control us.  And we so often, like Jacob, jump to wrong conclusions based on circumstances.  Based on the facts that we think we have, we come to some conclusions and so often they’re wrong.  He says, “Joseph is dead.”  He doesn’t know it, of course, he doesn’t read, with us, chapter 43.  But he is also stating that Simeon is dead and he isn’t.  “Benjamin will die if you take him back there.”  And then he sum totals it up, “All these things are against me.”  “Poor me.”  “Woe is me.”  You must understand that by now, Jacob is an old and, I think, bitter man.  He has had flashes of faith.  He has had elements of true trust in Elohim.  But we see him here, in this chapter, finally exercising, in his flesh, the statement that could characterize his entire life: God has dealt me a bad hand.  He’s fed me sour grapes.

This kind of attitude crops up, perhaps in your life or in mine, when we make statements like, “Why does God always bless that other person?   Why is it that other family, it just seems that their kids, you know, they just obey better than mine.  Why is it that they make better grades?  Why is it that he’s promoted and I’m not?”  And we go on and on and on.  Ultimately, we are saying, “God has really messed my life up.”  F. B. Meyer, whom I often quote from the pulpit, a tremendous expositor of scripture, wrote, “Why is it that God’s hand is always on the other man?”  You know, I’ve read and it’s true, it’s clinically proven, not that clinics are that impressive, but I think the interesting thing is that secularist now agree that one of the chief causes of depression is self-pity.  It is the attitude that Jacob expresses here, “Life is terrible.  And look at all these things that are happening to me.  Woe is me.”  And they put a banner out that reads, “Pity party here.  Anybody want to join me?”  And you will find people.  They’ll collect.  That only helps our misery.  Ladies and gentlemen, I really believe that  one of the most often repeated mistakes we see in Jacob, we see in our own lives, and that is, misinterpreting the events in our life apart from the grace of God.        

I want you to notice what happens in chapter 43 and you’ll see his response.  “Now the famine was severe in the land.”  Between verse 38, at the end, you ought to just put in parenthesis, “A period of time.”  Just write in the words, “A period of time.”  Because between that time and verse 1 of chapter 43, their food runs out.  “Now the famine was severe in the land.  So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, ‘Go back, buy us a little food.’”  Now the first element here is: initial denial.  If you’re taking notes, that would be the first in that outline.  Initial denial.  Jacob has been told, “Dad, we cannot go back to Egypt unless we bring Benjamin with us.”  Jacob refuses to respond.  He clams up.  He goes into hiding.  And finally they get hungry.  The food is gone.  He comes back and he, denying what he knows to be true, says, “Go back,” - to Egypt - “buy us” - more - “food.”  His sons, now, will council him.  “Judah spoke,” - verse 3 - “saying, ‘The man solemnly warned us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’  If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.  But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’’”  Now, isn’t this interesting, how the son is counseling Dad.  The son is pulling the patriarch aside and saying, “Dad, did you forget, that we can’t go back until we have Benjamin with us?  Open your ears.  Listen to me.”

The second phase of his response, we could call: suggestive deceit.  Look at verse 6, “Then Israel said,” - here’s his response - “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?”  In other words, here’s the great man of God, the patriarch, the man of faith, saying to his boy, “It would have been better to have lied.  Why didn’t you lie?  Why’d you tell him you had a brother?”  And he said, in answering that question, verse 7, “The man questioned particularly” - or literally, specifically about us and our relatives - “saying, ‘Is your father still alive?  Have you another brother?’  So we answered” - truthfully - “Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’  And Judah said to his father Israel, ‘Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones.  I myself will be surety for”  Benjamin.  In other words, “If Joseph does something to Benjamin, it’ll be guilt on my life.  I’ll take the responsibility.”  We’re really not going to focus too much on this but don’t overlook, as we go through this chapter, the development in the lives of the brothers.  They have already admitted guilt and that’s most of the cure, is confession.  Now, you see Judah taking the responsibility, where earlier, 25 years ago, they would have thrown their brother away.  But now, it’s a different story.  Verse 10, “For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”  Jacob, still, is not broken.

Notice the next phrase, we could call this: attempted manipulation.  And this is classic Jacob stuff here.  “Then their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, then” - here’s the plan - “take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a present”.  “You know, just like I did to Egypt.  Let’s butter him up.  Let’s manipulate him.  Let’s get on his good side.”  Bring with him things that they don’t have much in Egypt, such as: “balm, . . . honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.”  “And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake.”  In other words, “Let’s not trust God yet.  Let’s come up with our own plan.  I’ve got a good one because, as far as I can remember a half a century ago, I think it worked on my brother Esau.”  Because, you remember if you studied with us, he took the ewes and the rams and the camels and he sent them ahead to meet Esau before Esau would come to him.  Hoping to butter him up and get him all, you know, melted down.  Here’s old Jacob, old, manipulating, deceptive Jacob, greasing the skids.  Taking the place of God.

Imagine his sons right now and what they see in him.  Still not much of a change but I think there is, in fact, I really believe that in the process of these verses, there is really time involved because of the great change.  And I think the change occurs in verse 14, which we could call: finally or final trust.  Note verse 14, “and may God Almighty” - El Shaddai, the Great Provider - “may God Almighty grant you compassion” - in other words, it is, ultimately, up to God - “compassion in the sight of the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin.  And as for me,” - note this phrase - “if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”  Trust.  In other words, when all of the smoke settled, and I think Jacob perhaps was reminded of the sovereign God that had, in fact, been part of his life.  He finally came to the conclusion where he said, “If my children die, then they die.”  In other words, “El Shaddai is one I will trust.”  We really can’t understand his heart because we’ve probably never been there.  But some of you, perhaps, have faced great trial.  Perhaps some of you have lost loved ones in death.  You can understand better than we the anguish of his heart.  Thinking that when he said, “Goodbye,” to his sons, he was saying, “Goodbye,” forever.  What a difficult place to trust God in.

One of the men that I respect highly, who used to pastor a hundred or so years ago, is George Matheson.  His hymns are rather antiquated and we don’t sing them much anymore.  But George Matheson was a blind man and he lived with his two sisters.  His two sisters learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and they would study for him.  And they would give him the results, they would look up words and they would read the text.  And George Matheson would, in his blind state, formulate all of the facts and he would come up with the sermon and he would preach.  He was known as the beloved pastor and pastored, interestingly enough, in that day a rather large church of 2,000 people.  One by one, his two sisters eventually married.  And with their marriage came great loss because when they married, they moved away and George Matheson was finally alone, completely alone.  Able to care for himself but yet now struggling with all that he had learned.  He was older, in fact, his sisters married at an older age.  And there in the struggle of trusting a God, who seemingly no longer would provide, George Matheson wrote this, it’s not even in our hymnal, I had to go back to find it.  He wrote these words, “Oh love that will not let me go.”  He writes this after his second sister left.  “I rest my weary soul in Thee.  I give Thee back the life I owe that in thine ocean depths it’s flow may richer, fuller be.”  Now, he’ll refer to his eyesight in reference to light.  He says, “Oh light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to Thee.  My heart restores it’s borrowed ray, that in Thy sunshine’s blaze, it’s day may brighter, fairer be.  Oh joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee.  I traced the rainbow through the rain and feel the promise is not vain.  That morning shall tearless be.”  Tremendous.  I can’t understand what he went through but I stand in awe.  And I stand in awe of you for what God is doing in your life through difficulty.  He is making you and through this, He is making Jacob.

“So” - verse 15 - “the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.”  Now, it’s swings back to Egypt and Joseph will now bring his brothers, I think finally, to the end of their test.  And I think he gives them a three-fold test.  If you have your notes, you’ll notice that the first one is a test of honor.  And that was really studied this morning, where he is wondering, in his mind, “Do my brothers really care about one another?  Will they let Simeon rot in this prison and never come back?”  And I imagine he had his doubts.  And I wonder, if they had not gotten hungry, if they would have come back.  But they did.  I imagine Joseph is watching.  How do they treat one another?  How do they speak?  He’s constantly asking about their father, “How is your father?”  Wondering if they would respond, “Oh, that old man?  Why, we leave him alone.  He’s so wrapped up in Benjamin.  We never see him.”  You see, that would have been their response 25 years ago.  But now, every time they respond, they respond with politeness and respect.  I think that was the test of honor and they passed it.  It was a test of family identity.

The second test, you should jot in, is the test of honesty.  And I think this had to do with the money.  Because these men were very dishonest, at least, when Joseph remembered living with them.  So, the man did, as Joseph said.  Back to verse 16, “When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, ‘Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon.’”  Now, Hebrew people didn’t dine with Egyptians.  Later on, it even makes that almost comical statement, and you’ll note that it’s never changed, still Egyptians don’t eat meals of peace with the Jews.  And even back then it was a loathsome thing.  And so this steward probably scratched his head and he said, “Uh, wonder why the prime minister is having dinner with ten Jews?”  But he obeyed.  And so the men, verse 18, when they got the invitation, were not overjoyed, they, “were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, ‘It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys.’  So they came near to Joseph’s house steward” - and this is hilarious.  They’re not talking to Joseph here, they are talking to his servant, who doesn’t know a whole lot, he knows a little bit.  But here they are talking to the slave, verse 20, “Oh, my lord,” - note, “Oh, my lord” - “we indeed came down the first time to buy food, and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full.  So we brought it back”.  Now note, they are walking to Joseph’s house and they’re giving it to this poor slave.  They said, “We, indeed, intended to buy food.”  Let’s look at the last part of verse 21, “So we have brought it back in our hand.  We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.”  They are really nervous.  They’re thinking, Joseph has called them into the house to call them into account.  And they’re explaining to the steward, who has nothing to do with the solution or the problem.  But he, evidently, had been instructed by Joseph.  And I love his response.  Here’s an unbelieving Egyptian, who has been trained how to respond.  Joseph said, “By the way, if they say this, you say this.”  “He said, ‘Be at ease, do not be afraid.’”  In other words, he says, in modern day vernacular, probably something like, “Take it easy, guys.  And get off my arm.  It’s okay.  I know what happened and it wasn’t your money, it was our money.”  But do you notice what he says, verse 23, “Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks”.  In other words, “I’ve been told that your God is Elohim.” - that’s the word used here - “Elohim’s done this for you.”

And I can’t help but put myself in the place of those brothers.  Have you ever been taken into account by an unbeliever?  Have you ever been pulled in on the carpet?   And somebody says something about trusting God, “Well, we’ll just have to trust God.”  And you’ve been biting your nails.  You know, you’re on an airplane and the thing is going down and you’re hanging on and the guy next to you, “It’s no problem here.  You know, I trust God.”  Well here he doesn’t even know God.  But he says, but you’ve got a God don’t you, “Elohim.  He’s doing this all for you.”  I don’t want to belabor the point but it brought to my own mind an illustration, in my own life, when an unbeliever made an impact on me.  I was working between college years, I think it was freshman and sophomore year.  And I worked on a construction sight.  We were in a group and our little group was called gophers.  If you’ve worked in a construction sight, you know what a gopher is.  A gopher just does anything somebody tells you to do.  Going and getting windows.  Cleaning out a house.  Helping the carpenters.  Whatever.  We were four of us gophers and we had a dump truck that we’d drive around this huge sight and pick up trash and do all kinds of interesting work.  I had great, great motivation to continue college because I knew what would happen if I ever quit.  These three guys that I worked with worked hard at not working.  They really were clever.  They had been doing this, one guy for at least two years.  And I came in, you know,  I was going to be there three months, and they knew it, and came in just ready to work, you know.  And noticed how many times I’d be loading that dump truck all by myself.  And determined, if this was a testimony to them, it would be a testimony to them, and so continued working.  Well, one morning, I can still remember, this refreshment van would pull up, you’ve seen them, and they open the sides and they sell all kinds of stuff, and it was 10-o-clock.  We have a lunch hour and, for us, that was all we got.  These three guys made a bee-line for that thing, we were on a cul-de-sac cleaning out some homes, and they got all these refreshments and I’m left out there picking up cinder blocks.  It was hot and so I decided, “Hey, why not,”  I’d go get one to.  And I went and I got a drink and I found them.  They were in this house that had been finished waiting for the carpet.  And I came in with my coke, and they kind of looked at me and I ignored it, and sat down and popped the lid and started to have a refreshment.  And I probably saw our boss two times all summer.  And no sooner had I sat down, the boss walked in the back through the kitchen,  walked right in and he saw us four.  He had no idea that I didn’t do this every day like those guys.  And I’ll never forget the look in his eye as he swept the room and he said, “Hey guys, I pay you for eight hours.  Get out and go.”  Oh!  I was in that group!  And the thing that hurt was, I knew God!  I knew better.  Have you ever had an unbeliever just confront you?  And before those three guys, man, testimony?  Forget it!  Down the tubes!

Well, here’s what’s happening.  They come before a slave, who doesn’t care about their God, and they’re frantic.  And they’re explaining, “Look, we’re not dishonest and here’s the plan, this is what we did.”  And the steward says, “Relax, you’ve got a God.  He must be in control.”  So what happens next?  Verse 24, “Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys” - food or - “fodder.  So they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming” - they got the pistachio nuts all ready to go - “for Joseph’s coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.  When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him.  Then he asked them - again - about their welfare”.  Which is really interesting because here they think he’s the prime minister but he says, “How was your trip, men?  How are you feeling?”  And they probably wondered, “Is he setting us up for the ax?”  He asked them how are they doing.  And they said, “Well, we’re fine.”  And he “said, ‘Is your old father well, of whom you spoke?’”  And they said, “Yea, he is.  We’d love to see him again.”  “Is he still alive?”  And they are probably so confused at what he’s doing.  “And they said, ‘Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.’  And they bowed down in homage.”  These guys just keep bowing down.  Bowing down to the carpet.  “He lifted his eyes - Joseph did - and saw his brother Benjamin”.  Man, what a sight.  This is his kid brother.  This is his little brother.  He hadn’t seen him for 25 years.  “He said,” - because he’s got to act ignorant - “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?”  They probably said, “Yea.”  And I just imagine Joseph going over to him and saying what’s written, “May” - Elohim - “be gracious to you, my son.”

About that time, I think I would have “lost it” if I’d been a bug on the wall watching this whole thing.  And Joseph did exactly that.  The next phrase, “And Joseph hurried out”.  He literally ran out of the room.  He said, “Oh, God bless you, my son.  Elohim bless you.”  And his brothers are really looking now and he takes off and runs out.  What’s he looking for?  Verse 30, he’s looking for a place “to weep; and he entered his” - bed - “chamber”.  He threw himself across the bed and he wept.  I think a great point just to bring home, how this man, who was a great leader, could share and show emotion.  We get the idea that if you’re prime minister, you’ve just got it together all the time and you never have emotion.  And yet he had to grab a towel and go and lay across his bed and just weep.  Why was he weeping?  It doesn’t tell us why but I would assume that when he saw his brother, he was overwhelmed with 25 years of loss.  He hadn’t chosen Egypt.  He’d stayed there because somewhere between the prison cell and the office of prime minister, God had made it very clear, “Joseph, I brought you here.  Eventually, you will bring this little nomadic tribe into the land of Goshen and you will help them become a great nation.”  Joseph didn’t choose it.  As soon as he was promoted, he could have asked leave and gone back but no, he had stayed, God had wanted him to.  Here’s 25 years and it overwhelmed him.  This is his little brother, his real brother, who he had not seen for so many years and now he’s a grown man and he just had to weep.

Verse 31, “Then he washed his face, and came out; and he controlled himself and said, ‘Serve the meal.’  So they served him by himself” - and this is kind of funny too - “and them by themselves”.  In other words, they’ve got a little table over here and he’s got a little table over here.  “And the Egyptians, who ate with him, by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is loathsome to the Egyptians.  Now” - note this - “they were seated before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth”.  In other words, they didn’t say anything, but Joseph comes along and he says, “Okay, you sit right here.  And Simeon, you sit right here.  And Judah, you sit right here.”  And he seats them all according to their age.  “And Benjamin, you’re right here, at the head.”  And these brothers, now, have “lost it.”  I’m sure they’re nudging each other thinking, “How’d he figure this out?”  He’s not finished.  “They were seated before him, . . . the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.”  And I think this is the third test, if you are taking notes.  It’s the test of humility.  “And he took portions to them from his own table; but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs.”  Now if you come to my house, if  you came last night, you would have literally gotten, if you were Benjamin, five portions.  You want to know what I had for supper?  Sure you do.  My wife is a great cook.  You would have had five plates of tuna casserole.  You would have had five rolls.  You would have had five glasses of sweetened iced tea.  If you come to our house, it’s sweet.  We don’t put sweetener in it, it’s already sweetened.  You would have gotten, literally, five.  It wouldn’t be for you to eat.  This is what they would give the Pharaoh.  Every time he sat to eat.  It was a symbol of honor.  It was a symbol of great respect.  Now catch this, before Joseph was the favored son.  He was the one who wore the tunic to his wrists and to his ankles.  And what did the brothers do?  They hated him.  And now he puts before Benjamin, his only, his real-blooded brother, and he puts before him five portions.  And then he probably watches.  How do they respond?  “Hey, did you see what Benjamin got?  I knew it!  He’s not only favored back home but he’s going to get the best deal here.”  I think that there wasn’t even a sliver of jealousy.  Because it says, “They feasted and drank freely with him.”

Let me try to tie this up here for you by application, by giving you a couple of thoughts because we are really dealing with two different people.  So if you’re taking notes, get your pen ready, and let me give you a couple things.  The first thing deals with Jacob and that is what we’re calling, tonight, “The Jacob Temperament.”  Let me characterize that for you with two thoughts.  And I want us to look in the mirror of scripture tonight, all right?  First of all, the Jacob temperament is seen is a person who constantly reiterates life’s disappointments.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t wrong to share with your brothers and sisters in Christ pain and trial.  That’s what we’re here for.  But I’m talking about an individual who’s like a broken record and you bump them and they spill it all.  And they constantly do it.  They’re not looking for a solution. They’re not asking for prayer.  They’re not even seeking encouragement.  They just want to dump.  I think we all do that from time to time, don’t we?  Next time your wife or husband or child does that this week, call them Jacob, okay?  Little exercise.  It’ll be convicting.

Secondly, the Jacob temperament is seen in a person who stubbornly refuses divine perspective.  Chuck Swindoll preaches a message from this text and he basically preaches it around that thought.  And I like that thought.  He talks about an individual who refuses until the last moment to finally look up.  And that’s where Jacob was because he tried everything possible but he never caught on until the very end.  Like you and me struggling, we don’t think that God’s involved, that God’s putting this together.  Jacob says, “All these things are against me.”  And if only he had chapter 43, he’d know that God was manipulating, God was designing.  It had to be this way to get them all back to Egypt.  Just hang on!

I think of the brothers and how God worked in their life.  And I want to give you two ways to recognize the hand of God upon you.  First, repentance is often brought about by God’s goodness.  The goodness of God leads to repentance.  We have the idea, the only way he’ll ever get us to repent is to hit us over the head.  Send Gabriel or somebody and just whack us good.  That isn’t necessarily the case all of the time.  There are times when he just overloads us with goodness.  In fact, chapter 43, the last part, these brothers have been brought to repentance, as we’ll discover even more specifically in the next chapter, not by Joseph throwing them in prison, not for three days but for the rest of their lives and then sending them a note, they get it in prison, that says, “By the way, I happen to be Joseph, your brother.  As soon as you repent, I’ll let you out.”  Like Christ, he sets a table.  He offers fellowship.  God does the same in our lives.

Second, behind the harshness of discipline is God’s heart of love.  They didn’t know that Joseph was running to his bedroom to weep.  They didn’t know, in the earlier chapter, that he couldn’t control himself, that he had to turn away and weep.  Because everything that he was doing was literally tearing him up.  He wanted to say, and I believe as one man suggested, that he was on the verge of breaking down the moment he saw them.  It was the wisdom of God through him that kept him from breaking until they had repented.  But in his heart, he was weeping.  I think he wanted to embrace them.  That is the way that God so often deals with us.  In fact, I think, obviously, we could say, he always does.  Even though discipline may be harsh, behind it is a heart of incredible love.  The question is, “Will we throw in the towel?”  Will we say, “I’m starving in Canaan and I’ll starve and die?”  Or, do we persist and ultimately trust?

I heard a great story of an older couple that for decades had run a little store.  And it was in the inner city on the East coast.  And finally urban renewal came in and they began tearing down all these old, dilapidated buildings and building up these beautiful things to revitalize the city.  And somehow this older couple’s general store was overlooked.  And so after awhile, after all the building had stopped, to their left with the wall just touching their little  store was a two-story department store.  And to their right was a humongous grocery store.  Just huge, covering half a block and another half a block for parking.  So now, this little general store was surrounded, was literally in the shadows of two huge stores that were selling what they had sold for years.  What would you and I have done?  Well, needless to say, this couple had some spitfire because they took all the money they had, determined not to quit, and they went down to the sign painter.  And they put every penny they could and they got the biggest sign they could and the sign stretched from one end of that little store to the other, on the roof.  Three words, “Main Entrance Here.”  (laughter)  “Main Entrance Here.”

When I look at Jacob, I see him and he is in the shadow of tremendous difficulty.  But what I learn from him is that, ultimately, he writes a sign in his life that basically says, “God, you can still work here.  I am still available.”  George Matheson, who I referred to earlier, wrote these words, and with these I close, “My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorns.  I have thanked Thee a thousand time for my roses but not once for my thorns.  I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross but I’ve never thought of my cross as, itself, a present glory.  Teach me the glory of my cross.  Teach me the value of my thorn.  Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain.  Show me that my tears have made a rainbow.                                          

Add a Comment

We hope this resource blessed you. Our ministry is EMPOWERED by your prayer and ENABLED by your financial support.
CLICK HERE to make a difference.