Fathers are LEADERS
Jacob/Israel had many triumphs and heartaches in his lifetime (Gen. 47:9). Some of the pain he brought on himself and some were brought upon him by others. Despite everything that happened, Jacob kept his faith in God to the very end of his life. Though a stranger in a foreign land, Jacob doesn’t question God’s plan but repeats God’s promise to Joseph emphasizing it was ‘God Almighty’ (Heb. El Shaddai) who made it and has the power to complete it. The ‘detour’ into Egypt from Canaan was prophesied by God to Abraham hundreds of years earlier (Gen. 15:13). No matter where your house is physically remember where your home is spiritually. Faith believes when it cannot see and doesn’t falter in times of testing. Faith shines in the darkness of depression. Faith walks on the rock below the turbulent waters. Faith is deep rooted during winds of adversity. Faith cannot be killed, maimed, dissolved, destroyed or defeated—only let go of. Faith is not wishful thinking; it is knowledge of a guaranteed result (Heb. 11:1).
Fathers are BLESSERS
Joseph brings his sons to Israel and he hugs and kisses them. Masculine affection solidifies family health and security. Before the fatherly blessing and out of respect, Joseph bows down and brings his sons by the hand so Joseph’s firstborn, Manasseh, was on Israel’s right hand. But Israel crosses his hands and gives the superior blessing to Ephraim. Thinking his blindness has fooled him, Joseph attempts to correct him but Israel blesses appropriately as Ephraim would become one of the dominant Israelite tribes. Amazingly, Israel claims and blesses half-Egyptian boys as his own and gives them a blessing equal to his firstborn son, Reuben. No family line is beyond the blessing of God! Joseph’s sons were to be ‘head-based’ in Egypt but ‘heart-based’ in Canaan, as Israel even wanted his bones carried to the Promised Land knowing the blessing resided there (Gen. 47:30). As the father goes, so goes the family. Fathers are to be the concerned captains of their ship, the loving leaders of their troop and the protective patriarchs of their family. Fathers change history as they influence future generations (Prov. 17:6; 20:7; 22:6). Though not perfect, godly men are worthy of the highest respect (1 Thess. 5:12, 13; 1 Tim. 5:17)!