Genesis 42:36 “Their father Jacob said to them, ‘You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!’”
When we look at the end of Jacob’s life, we see how he thought that everything was against him, that this was not only for his good, but for the good of the world. The one thing that we see with Jacob is that he was a complainer.
It is said in Jewish wisdom that God gave the Patriarchs a life span of 180 years. However, we see that Abraham fell short of that time by five years, maybe to spare him the agony of seeing his grandson Esau leave the faith. Abraham’s son, Isaac, lived out his 180 years, but Jacob died at a relatively young age of 147. What happened?
The Hebrew word for complaining is ‘mitlonen.’ Verbs convey meaning in God’s language and some verbs are reflexive which is something that we do to ourselves. These verbs most usually start with the prefix MIT, which brings out that you do something to yourself. In others words, complaining is not something you do to other people, but you do to yourself. People who have a habit of complaining are really causing harm to themselves.
The book “Switch on Your Brain” by Caroline Leaf, basically brings out the same thought that we should be thinking or making choices for life, and not for death, or like Paul says: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
Dr. Caroline Leaf says in her book that your brain controls your body, but your mind controls your brain. Are our thoughts filled with hatred and complaining, or are they filled with the thoughts Paul is bringing out in Philippians 4:8? Either way our thoughts will affect our body and one place where it will begin to show is on our face.
It is said that a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln brought to him a possible member for the cabinet and after being interviewed by the president he was rejected. When the friend asked why Abraham Lincoln said: “I did not like his face.” The friend replied: “What does the face have to do with it in filling the job, he is not responsible for his face.” Lincoln replied: “Yes, for the first forty years of his life he isn’t, but after forty his face is him.”
When Jacob found out that Joseph was alive and both Simeon and Benjamin were safe, Jacob was glad and decided to go to Egypt. When he arrived, Joseph introduced him to Pharaoh and Pharaoh said: “How old are you.” (Genesis 47:8) What an interesting question. He did not ask about his journey or seeing his son after he thought he was dead, but how old are you. What is the thinking in back of that question? Could it be that Jacob looked far older than his years and his faced showed it?
We all can remember seeing elderly people whose faces radiated life and happiness. Elderly people that saw life has a great adventure and when circumstances came their way that they had no control over, they did not complain, but made the choice to make the most of it
What does your face show?