The Weakness of the Flesh

' But [Jacob] said, "My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol."
GENESIS 42:38
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The Weakness of the Flesh
Why does Jacob, who also has the promises and yet forgets them, still mourn? He is wholly carnal; sin not only fights in his members (Romans 7:23) but makes war on him and takes him captive. Or is it not unbecoming for us to be plagued and weakened in this way by our flesh? On top of this, the devil approaches, takes the opportunity offered by the flesh, and increases disbelief, mistrust, and forgetfulness of God. This, then, has been written for our consolation, that Jacob sinned so grievously against the promise he had. He should have said: "What do I care, whether my son dies or lives? It costs only a son. I have God, who promises, consoles, and defends; who is kind and gives bountifully; who can heap many more and even greater blessings upon me. Why, then, do I mourn? Why am I sad?" . . . Accordingly, this doctrine of the Holy Spirit is set forth in this example . . . namely, that the natural affections, which produce this grief and sorrow, remain in the saints, and that God is the author not of the destruction of nature but of its healing. . . . Although this weakness of Jacob is a sin, nevertheless it is beneficial to him for humility, for fear, faith, and prayer, as well as for greater joy of heart.
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