TD Jakes - A Second Change at a Blessing
Jacob, really, to me, this is just my opinion, was not a great leader, okay? He didn't balance his love, and he was very overt in letting the other brothers know that, "That's my favorite one right there". Well, what am I, swiss cheese? Yeah, I'm gonna feel some kind of way about that, yeah, I'm going to feel some kind of way. And they got so besides themselves that they started hating him and decided to kill him. And then they threw him in a pit in lieu of killing him, and then dipped his coat of many colors into blood, an animal's blood, and brought it up. And when Jacob starts talking about, "You digged it up by the root," you messed with the root of the family, you messed with the root, the promise, the future, the legacy.
The reason Jacob loved... see, there was a reason why Jacob loved Joseph so much, because Jacob loved his mother, Rachel. She was the love of his life and he had worked 14 years to get this woman, and Joseph was the love child of their connection. And every time he looked at Joseph, he saw his mama. And there they have dug up a wall, they have dug up a wall, they have uprooted him, they have destabilized him, they've broken him down, they put him in a situation. And Jacob felt disrespected as a father, he felt betrayed, he felt deceived, because, "All of this time, you told me he was dead, you lied to me for years".
Now, there are people listening at me right now who can relate to this, because you were lied to for years, for years you didn't know. You didn't know who your daddy was for years, for years you didn't know what happened, for years you didn't know what happened between Grandma and Grandpa. For years you didn't know the real story, sometimes they died and didn't tell you, and it's a hard thing when you've been lied to for years; and it affects your heart and your self-esteem and your identity. And these decisions have consequences.
I want you to write that down, "Decisions have consequences," decisions have consequences. It's not just about prayer and anointing yourself with oil, decisions have consequences. Decisions have consequences, elections have consequences, marriage has consequences. You get married to prove to your parents, "I'm grown and I can do what I want to do". That's good on the short side; on the long side, that decision's gonna have consequences. You showed the parents a thing or two, but now you gotta live with that thing or two. Come on, talk to me, somebody. Decisions have consequences, just because you're saved doesn't mean that decisions don't have consequences. You can be saved and filled up with the Holy Ghost, but if you go out here and get on 30 and you start going 180 miles an hour, decisions have consequences.
So, when you get arrested, don't blame it on the devil, because a lot of times we spiritualize things as being demonic that aren't demonic at all. They are the consequences of decisions. And you can dance all over the church, but if you don't change your decisions, you can't change your consequences. You can fall out and be slain in the Spirit, But if you go home and keep doing what you were doing before, your life is still going to be where it was. We can decree and declare a blessing all we want to, but if you don't learn how to budget your checkbook and balance your savings account and handle your finances, then all the "The blessing of Abraham is coming upon me" isn't gonna do you any good, because whatever comes upon you is gonna go to the ball. I'm gonna kill your joy preaching like that.
Yeah, decisions have consequences, that's why it's good to be slow to make decisions. It's good to be slow to make decisions, don't let nobody rush you into making a decision that you have to live with for the rest of your life. Jacob was disrespected as a father, his consequential patriarchal curse is a result of the pain he has, and you have to understand that about him. But I wonder, I wonder, could some of Jacob's dying wrath be fueled by his own guilt? Okay? First of all, and we're going to look at this, we're going to go to the Scripture and we're gonna look at this a little deeper in a minute, in the Torah, it clearly says that when those two boys, Simeon and Levi, went out and decided to bargain with the men at Shechem and tell them they needed to be circumcised, what they did is told the men of Shechem, "You can have our sister and marry her if all the men in your country get circumcised". And they did it.
Now, listen brothers, it probably ain't gonna happen, you know what I'm saying? If all of us have to get circumcised so that one of us, that just don't seem like no good deal. Excuse us, sisters, we'll be back in a minute, but this is a brother's conversation, just like y'all talk about having babies and stuff. Brothers, talk back to me, I ain't about to do it, okay? You gonna live a lonely life, man, if I have to. Yeah, so all of the men got circumcised, and while they were healing and hurting, they came in and killed them. God, now, I don't have time to get into this part too deep, but God always hates people who take advantage of other people's weaknesses. This is free, it's not gonna cost you nothing, but I'm just gonna throw it out here at you.
The reason God hated the Amalekites is that the Amalekites were known for coming in and taking advantage of other people's disadvantage. That's why, later in the Bible when David comes back and the Amalekites have taken all the women and children, they captured the weakest part, the people who couldn't fight back. They took them captive and God hated it, the Bible said God remembered Amalek, and God hated Amalek. Anytime you take advantage of somebody's weakness, God is always on the side of the oppressed.
So, while these men are sore and trying to recover, they came in and killed all of them. And Jacob had made a deal with Dinah's boyfriend. He had made a deal, and these sons came along and deceived them and caused them to be killed. Jacob never got over it. But the thing that stands out to me when I studied it closely: In the Torah it says, explicitly it comes out and says that, while they were doing it, Jacob said nothing. And though he didn't do it, is he not complicit? Is his silence part of the reason of his pain? Has he transferred his guilt into their hatred? Oh, y'all ain't talking to me now. Sometimes, when you know you are complicit, you won't deal with your own complicity in the issue because you'd rather blame the other person than confront the fact that you didn't stand up like a man and speak up when you could have.
And by the way, if Joseph was dead, why didn't you go down there and look for him? So, while you're blaming them for killing Joseph, I don't read where you went to look for him. As a man, you just accepted that he was dead? You didn't go see, you didn't ask for his body, you didn't have a burial, you didn't have a funeral, you didn't have a service. How in the world can you sit up there and blame Simeon and Levi for something that you weren't man enough to investigate? See, and then, while we're dealing with Jacob's reaction and the guilt of it, let us not forget that Jacob was deceitful first, and what he is cursing in Simeon and Levi he was guilty of himself. He tricked Esau out of his birthright, he put on Esau's garment and deceived Isaac into getting his blessing. And he was always deceitful, his mama Rebecca was deceitful, her uncle Laman was also deceitful. This is a generational, so what we're looking at tonight is, how do you cancel a culture?
Now, I know what it means in contemporary times, but I mean it this way: How do you cancel a culture that's running through your family? How do you break free of something that you can see that has been modeled in front of you, it's been demonstrated in front of you? Your mama had too much mouth, your grandmama cusses everybody out, your Aunt Lucy barked away everybody and died by herself. And here you come, 17 years old, acting just like your family. There are certain things that have to be broken in your life, and if you don't break them off of your life, you will find yourself a victim of a culture that exists in your family. There's a culture in your family, there's a culture in your company, there's a culture in your workplace, there's a way things get done, there's a culture in a church. And every now and then, there's a toxic culture, and if you're not careful, what was modeled in front of you, you become. Now, you become it, but you want mercy; but when I become it, you're ready to stone me. Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, y'all see what I'm saying? So there are a lot of dynamics playing out here. I'm not excusing Simeon and Levi, but I'm saying they didn't get there by themselves.
And it is into this environment, "That the two sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword," there's the sword that Jacob is talking about on his deathbed, "and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males". Only one man raped her; they killed, y'all don't get it, they killed all the men in the country. "And they slew Hamor," who did it, "And Shechem, his son, with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, their oxen, their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field".
They robbed them, they took, "All their wealth, and all their children, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house". They wrecked the place. "And Jacob said to Simon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house". Jacob was scared, Jacob was scared that they had gotten into something that they can't get out of, and that all the surrounding nations would rise up against him and kill him, but they didn't. So, why is he still angry on his deathbed? He's still angry. "And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot"? And the scandal stops there. I want you to see the backstory behind Jacob, now being old, laying in the bed, and he's still angry. Are you still angry?
Jacob, who found the house of God, and saw a ladder descend from heaven, and saw angels ascend and descend, is still angry. Jacob, who wrestled with an angel to the breaking of day, is still angry. Jacob, who found out his name was Israel, and he was a prince, and had prevailed with God; he prevailed with God, but he didn't prevail with his own temper. Are you dancing and angry, talking in tongues but still angry, laying hands on people but still angry? Jacob, you don't understand, Jacob got a blessing, he got a blessing from an angel, actually a theophonic manifestation of Christ in the Old Testament. He got the blessing, but he couldn't get rid of the burden of his own anger. And I'm teaching tonight not just so that you will understand another Bible story, I'm teaching tonight so that you will see what unmanaged rage will do to your destiny.
Now, Levi and Simeon are cursed in front of their brethren, and they live with this curse. Now, the reason this is important is because each one of Jacob's sons represents a tribe. And now they can't inherit like they should inherit, because they are living up under a curse and denied a blessing. You see how problems produce problems produce problems produce problems, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger? And now they're still up under the curse, until Exodus 32, verse 23 through 30. Go right there, Exodus 32, verse 23 through 30. Hundreds of years have passed, hundreds of years have passed, no massive victory, no conquering, no massive success. In fact, the tribe of Simeon ultimately converged with other people and became part of the lost tribes, disappeared, untraceable, can't find them, not sustained. Simeon never got it back, not his descendants, not his children's children's children, not his children's children's children.
Wait a minute, we're not in Genesis anymore, we're in Exodus. If we're in Exodus, exit us, exit us, Exodus is where us exits. If this is where us exits, we have been slaves for 400 years, and we have been in Egypt for 30 years, so we know at least 430 years have gone by. 430 years, am I boring y'all? 430 years is over 10 generations, and now they're coming out from captivity with Moses. Oh, let me see how I'm doing with time. Yeah, I'm good, okay, yeah, okay. Now, and now they're coming out of captivity with Moses, and we're about to see the breaking of a curse. And the reason I want you to see it is because it is possible. Touch your neighbor and say, "It is possible". I want you to understand it is possible to get a second chance at a blessing. Yeah, yeah, type it on the line, "It is possible to get a second chance at a blessing".
Now, this is the situation: Moses has been in his own mess, he's been in his own mess. Isn't it amazing how God uses messed up people? Y'all ought to be shouting right now, y'all ought to be shouting right now, you know why? Because you messed up, and isn't it amazing how God uses messed up people? What I love about Old Testament theology is that it shows us how messed up they were, and then, in the New Testament, it comes along and says, "We are men of like passions," that God can use people that are all messed up, and their stories are all messed up, and there are contradictions in their life, and yet, some kind of way, God's purpose prevails over my pain. I'm gonna say that again, God's purpose prevails over my pain. And if you're sitting there tonight and you've been in pain and you've been wounded and you've been ostracized and you've been raped and you've been overlooked and you've been cursed when you was expected to be blessed, that's not gonna be how your story ends, your latter day shall be greater than your former day.
I speak to you right now in the name of Jesus, that you have a God that is able to give you a second chance at a blessing, and if you would just take 10 seconds and praise him for a second chance. Okay, sit down, we got to go back to work. Now, whew. Now, this is what has happened. Moses has been raised with the Pharaoh in the palace for 40 years. Moses is just some dude who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, and he has no roots with them. And any time you're trying to lead somebody that you are not rooted in...it becomes difficult for trust to be sustained where there are no roots. "And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me", this is Aaron, "then I cast it into the fire," he lying, "and there came out a calf". That's like a seven-year-old lie. I don't know, I just walked past the kitchen and the kitchen door came open and the ice cream just jumped out the freezer, Mama. That's the stupidest lie. They gave me the earrings, I threw it in the fire, and a calf came out? Come on, dude.
"And when Moses saw that the people were naked; for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies: Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me". And Levi said, "Oh my God, this is my chance". All the 12 tribes of Israel were gathered around and Moses just left it open and said, "Who is on the Lord's side"? And Levi said, "I'm going to jump in right here". And I came to tell somebody tonight, you can jump in right here. You don't hear what I'm saying to you. You've been cursed all your life, let me stop; you've been cursed all your life, you always had to take a backseat to everybody else, but God said this is your chance, who is on the Lord's side? Somebody holler, "I am".
Go back to my "who is on the Lord's side" Scripture. And he said, "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi," come on, that's right, "All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him". They said, "We're on the Lord's side". And they said unto him, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor". And, wait a minute, they reversed the curse with the same thing that brought the curse in the first place. Y'all don't wanna talk to me, y'all don't want to talk to me, y'all don't want to talk to me, y'all don't want to talk to me. God's going to take what was working against you and turn it around and let it work for you.
Who am I talking to tonight? "And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses has said, Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a (blessing this day)". Y'all don't hear this word, y'all don't hear this word. God bestowed on them a blessing that they couldn't get from their father, that they couldn't get from their mother, that they couldn't get from their brethren, that they couldn't get in captivity, that they couldn't get from Pharaoh, but God has decided to bless you. Type on the line, "God has decided to bless me," say it to your neighbor, "God has decided to bless me," tell your other neighbor, "God has decided to bless me," tell your haters, "God has decided to bless me".