Fixing the Failures in The Family

How Jacob Fixed His Home

Genesis 27 – 35

DATE: 18 June, 2006   AM                                                                                                                                                   PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.         Introduction (Romans 15:4)


A.      Home? Family? Fatherhood? Godly Order? True Love?
All ideals that do not exist? Fairy-tales?

B.       They do indeed exist – but never without God’s intervention!

C.       There is not one home that does not have a serious defect in it – full of sinners!

D.      Every home needs this message – needs some good hope!

E.       We are going to be studying briefly the life of Jacob, his failures, and his efforts to fix those flaws in his home –

F.       Jacob is going to show us…


1.        The Failures in our Homes – and his are probably the worst you will find

2.        How to Fight Back for our homes – God is able to do the impossible – even in YOUR home!


G.       Hopefully you will be encouraged to make the effort too!


II.       Message - Fixing the Failures in The Family


A.      Failures in Our Homes - The Failures of a Human Father


1.        Our Failures are a Carry-Over from Our Past (Gen 27)


a.        None of us came from perfect families

b.       God chose to show us some pretty bad situations so we could relate to them and learn from them – like Jacob’s home

c.        Jacob’s home life was bad


1)       Mom and Dad didn’t talk

2)       Mom constantly against Dad

3)       Schemed to get her favourite son ahead – all in the name of doing God’s will


d.       Jacob ends up stealing the right to the family inheritance (birthright) by deceiving his father, cheating his brother, and only caring about himself

e.        It splits up the family for the next 21 years


2.        Our Failures are Because of a Wrong Kind of Relationship with God – did not take God seriously


a.        Jacob up to this point had no Real Prayer Life

b.       God was always kept distant and uninvolved in his day to life

c.        He was only bargaining and negotiating with the Lord



3.        It All Resulted in Serious Failures in Jacob’s own home


a.        Desperate Dissatisfaction – Failed to keep his vows (Gen 29:16-31)


1)       Jacob fell in love with Rachael

2)       Didn’t get what he thought he was getting – his wife was NOT what he expected – truly, a DIFFERENT woman that he expected

3)       God expected Jacob to love her anyway – PERIOD!

4)       For the next 7 years, works hard at trying to fix things, and ends up FOUR TIMES worse off!


b.       Envy and fighting within – failed to listen and learn and fix things by the end of each day (Gen 33:1-4; Eph 4:26)


1)       Can you imagine what this home was like?

2)       First, two sisters fighting, then later two more women, and very rapidly, 13 children around the breakfast table

3)       Bitterness and envying from the first waking moment

4)       Hatred between everybody in the family – each out for themselves – not a home where people think of each other!!!


c.        Too Busy to teach his children (34:1-5)


1)       His children sort of just learn as they went – no boundaries

2)       So now, “life” was going to teach them, and not him! Left it to the school, the church, the TV, the friends – they don’t have a very good success rate!

3)       Jacob failed to rigorously protect his home from sin


a)       Like a plague, sin is out there - Stalking, creeping, sneaking into our homes – comes in like a bad smell from outside

b)       Sin took hold of Jacob’s only daughter and hurt her bad


4)       This is happening today to 12, 13 year old girls

5)       It is a failure of the home!!!


d.       Unforgiveness (34:13-31)


1)       The brothers only sought revenge – maybe a kind of righteous indignation

2)       But they were not qualified to exact punishment

3)       Went after Shechem

4)       But then went after every man in the village – killed them all

5)       Ultimately, remember that this is the same group of brothers who will turn against Joseph and want to kill him, but then decide to sell him into slavery

6)       A great kind of home wouldn’t you say?

7)       Principles of forgiveness in the home


a)       Force yourself to overlook hurt against you

b)       Take the hurt to Jesus

c)       Remind yourself Satan is the one behind the hurt, not that person – he seeks to destroy you and your home – and he WILL do one way or another

d)       Extend the love of God – not pandering to them or just catering to people’s wicked habits, but loving them, and helping them change

e)       Give the benefit of the doubt – these brothers just went after absolutely everyone in that village – judged them all as the same as Shechem


4.        Headed for certain ruin – Esau was coming against Jacob

5.        There are at least a dozen more problems in Jacob’s home-life, but suffice it to say, Jacob needed to start fighting for his family

6.        It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was going to make the difference


B.       Fighting Back for Our Homes


1.        Humble yourself (Gen 32:24-31) – That’s God’s priority in every person’s life


a.        Pride is what keeps God from working in anybody’s life

b.       Your own abilities are a curse – they make you think you don’t desperately need God

c.        Jacob HAD to break, crumble, admit defeat before God could intervene and give him a real victory – you don’t have to be an alcoholic in order to admit you are a mess, and can do nothing without Jesus Christ!!!

d.       Up to this point Jacob has lived by his own wit, and thought he could do well, only to experience defeats and disasters, and now certain ruin by Esau!!!

e.        To too many today, Jesus is not manly – not masculine, not GOD, so they set themselves up on the throne of their lives, making their own decisions, running their owns lives – into destruction!

f.         It was time to wrestle with God alone until JACOB finally steps off the throne and is forced to LIMP through life, so that GOD leads and directs and gives the victory from now on!

g.       Have YOU wrestled with God about your sinfulness, and your destiny and surrendered to His grace, and to His way of saving – by faith in His Son?


2.        Believe God for your home (Gen 33:1-4)


a.        What was Jacob/Israel doing now?

b.       Facing the day… but this time with God

c.        He lead his family right into the biggest fight he could have ever faced so far

d.       But this time, he was not the same man

e.        Every father, needs to have spent enough time with God so that they can believe God for good things for their home and family


1)       Not because THEY can deliver

2)       But because God will just take care of them

3)       Save the kids

4)       Change the hearts


f.         Things won’t be perfect, but they will be blessed by God

g.       Men, you and I need to be men of faith – men who will believe the promises in this Book, and trust not in ourselves, or our wives, or our good luck, but in God alone!


3.        Do what’s right to do – no matter what (Gen 33:5-17)


a.        The hardest thing for a Dad is changing

b.       Usually, when we try and change, people are sceptical

c.        Jacob needed to do things God’s way, the right way from now on


1)       First was try and pay back what he had stolen from his brother

2)       Then, to look out for his family’s welfare – needed to keep separate from Esau

3)       Then, they needed to do some “spring cleaning” (Gen 35:1-4) and get rid of Madonna, and Britney Spears, and MTV and Paddy’s Irish Whisky, and the cigarettes, and the internet porn

4)       Then, to get back to Bethel – back to church and worship and living in obedience to God’s word


d.       His wives, his kids might not believe that he was doing things right, or that any good will come out of his efforts

e.        But he has to make up his mind to do right, no matter what

f.         Even if there are not any instant results

g.       Faith has a long view of time, and an absolute trust in God


4.        Fight on your knees – always broken and absolutely dependant upon God


a.        Jacob learned that long night, that prayer had been missing for a very long time out of his own life, and out of his home

b.       Today, the need is for men to pray (Lk 18:1) MEN!!!

c.        The anger and frustration level of men is at the boiling level

d.       The first place we might fight, is on our knees

e.        You will NEVER fight well against sin, your flesh, or the devil, unless you have first spent time in active, passionate, engaging prayer


5.        Be a Family – not a bunch of individuals that just live in the same house


a.        Dad – you are in charge – hold that family together – do what it takes

b.       Mom – let him lead, and fail, but let him lead with you helping him, discussing with him, praying for him, loving him

c.        Kids – your parents are attempting to do the impossible – steer your home through rough and deadly waters – you better follow them

d.       Your home is NOT a college dorm with a bunch of individuals just come and go, and don’t care about each other. Your home is a dream that 95% of this world would DIE to be able to be a part of


III.     Conclusion


A.      Jacob was first known as a selfish, self-centred, proud, conniving, scheming, weasel of a man – nobody trusted him, and his entire life and home was doomed!

B.       Then he broke, and God changed Jacob into an Israel – a prince with God

C.       Became known as a great man, a great father, and someone who had a great family – even with all its warts and scars

D.      God spent so much time showing us all these things to give us hope

E.       But believing in yourself is the stupidest thing to do – that’s JACOB

F.       Time to see the truth about what’s ahead, and crumble at the foot of the cross!



Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland