Jacob's Grief

Jacob's Grief

15 January 2011

Today’s Reading: Genesis 37-38; Psalm 7; Luke 15


34 Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. 35 His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep. (Genesis 37:34-35 NLT)

Jacob was a deceiver. He had deceived his father, taking the blessing Isaac intended for Esau. His selfish deception had caused his brother Esau to hate Jacob and threaten to kill him. Now his deception repeats itself in the next generation as his sons deceive him into believing that his favorite son Joseph has been killed by wild animals. Joseph was alive and on his way to Egypt, but Jacob was living with real grief over his death.

Isaac and Rebekah had each shown partiality to their sons – Isaac to Esau and Rebekah to Jacob. Now Jacob is partial to Joseph over his other sons. Isaac and Rebekah’s partiality had led to conflict and hatred in the family. Jacob’s partiality had led to conflict and hatred in his family. Isaac and Rebekah had lost Jacob’s presence for the rest of their lives as Jacob fled to Haran where he lived for twenty years. Jacob lost the joy of Joseph’s presence as he was taken to Egypt where he lived for twenty-two years before Jacob saw him again.

God blessed Jacob as he had promised he would. God fulfilled his plan for Jacob to carry on the covenant he had made with Abraham, but Jacob the cheater was cheated, Jacob the deceiver was deceived, and Jacob the heartbreaker lived with grief.

Choices lead to action and actions have consequences. Actions also establish patterns that may be repeated in the next generation. Good patterns of healthy relationships will be repeated and bad patterns of wrong relationships will be repeated. We need God’s wisdom to establish good patterns and God’s mercy to break wrong patterns.


Father, Thank you for the power of positive consequences and thanks for your mercy that helps us survive the consequences of our errors. Help my friends and me to effectively use the wisdom of your Word and the lessons we learn through positive and negative experiences. We want to help our children and others we influence make wise choices and establish right life-patterns. Amen.

Back to Articles...