Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Dysfunctional Patriarchy

Can Jacob have been too surprised at the way his family turned out? Here is a man who has been brought up in the most dysfunctional of circumstances. He and his mother had connived to rob his brother of his father's blessing. He had run away to live with an uncle, who both cheated him and was cheated by him. He returned home to a tenuous peace with his brother. And now . . . it's time for the chickens to come to roost.

Rachel nearly gets him killed by her father. His daughter is raped. Two of his sons massacre the local populace. His oldest son sleeps with one of his concubines. His favorite wife dies in childbirth. Intense sibling rivalry emerges in his family. His son dreams of the day his brothers and Jacob will bow down to him.

Certainly, Jacob had a rough start. But it was a series of bad decisions that would lead him down the road. What an awesome responsibility a father has. God, help me to make good decisions, decisions that will protect me from such awful consequences.

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