Feb 6, 2009, 5:01 AM
As parents we want our kids to succeed at all cost without having to pay the real price. So we put together all our savings to secure a place for them overseas in search of the Golden Fleece. As the conditions are not always favourable, they cave in under intense pressure and our dream for a readymade future collapses before our very eyes. The child cannot cope because s/he did not go through the phases. Just as we run through the red lights, we equally run aground the careers of our children. It is not that we do not mean well, we certainly do. The problem has to do with the timing.
In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Isaac, Abraham’s son, was blessed with two sons, Esau and Jacob. As was the practice then, Isaac in his old age decided to bless his eldest son Esau before he died. So he invited him and asked him to prepare him a meal so he could eat it and thereafter bless him. By this time, Isaac had practically lost his sight.
Somehow Rebecca had overheard the conversation and was bent on upsetting the cart. Actually, she was privy to God’s plan before she had even given birth to her twins: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23) Interpreted in Rebecca’s mind, her husband was going to revert what the Lord had revealed would happen. Nothing of the kind! Before Esau returned from hunting the animal, Rebecca had fixed something and asked Jacob to disguise as Esau. When he brought the meal before his father, the latter expressed concern: “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” (Genesis 27:22) However he ate the meal and blessed Jacob. By the time Esau came with his prepared meal Isaac realised he had been duped and could not reverse his blessings. “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him – and indeed he will be blessed.” (verse 33)
In her bid to ensure that the ‘older will serve the younger’ Rebecca stopped at nothing to make God’s plan come true. God does not require our help. The revelation Rebecca had received from God was to put her in the picture not to solicit her help. Because Rebecca had put her plan into motion, the family became disintegrated. Esau swore to kill Jacob who was later given a safe passage to his uncle Laban in Haran. Rebecca never saw her ‘preferred’ son Jacob again until she died. Isaac was broken-hearted because he had only one blessing and that had mistakenly been given to the wrong person.
It isn’t any different in modern times, we still have the types like Rebecca to put up with. The intention to see our children succeed in life is noble but let us take it in stride. Some will go all out to marry their children to well-to-do families as a means of security forgetting that there is no security in riches. “…for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” (Proverbs 27:24)
In the world of politics, we seek positions so that we can be served rather than serve. We have our eyes on the multiple favours and benefits lined up and are ready to jumpstart the process. For many it has ended in ‘if only I had known’. Nothing is more secure than when God calls you. Joseph rose to a high office in a foreign land not because of any intelligence or prowess, but because God was with him. Despite the discouraging phases Joseph went through – sold by his brothers as slave, put in prison wrongfully, he never relented; never dropped his guard. He was steadfast to the end, and persevered.
In the end, Joseph was elevated from prison straight to the position of prime minister. God was with him and regardless of the difficulties he went through he believed, as he had dreamt, that he would rise above his brothers. “Listen to this dream I had; we were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stoodupright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”(Genesis 37:6) “Listen I had another dream, and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” (verse 9)Joseph’s dream became a reality because he was patient; he did not fast-forward it. He believed that what his God had promised he was able to fulfil. After interpreting Pharaoh’s dream - which no one else could; Pharaoh asked his entourage; “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38)
Have you been in the shadows too long? Take heart, God will work his purpose out in your life for his glory.Have you consulted God lately? The prospects may look good and promising yes, but what has God said about it to you? Stop working in your own strength, there are physical limitations that can block your way. Trust in the Lord always. When the time was ripe, God fulfilled his promise in the life of Jacob. His children became the twelve tribes of Israel and he himself had a name change.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit. Out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalm 40:1)
God knows his own and he will never allow their feet to be dashed against a stone.