Pastor Mike Signorelli speaks to this issue on The V1 Church podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. He shares the biblical story from Genesis 35:16-18 of Jacob's wife Rachel, who, with her dying breath, names her second son "Ben-Oni" (Gen. 35:18a) or "son of my pain" because of her difficult delivery.
"Now watch," says Signorelli. "There's a comma, a coordinating conjunction, the word 'but." Whenever you see a comma and a coordinating conjunction, it means that we're connecting to opposite ideas: 'but his father called him Benjamin'" (Gen. 35:18b).
"Now, when you read that, if you don't understand the Hebrew context, you missed the profound revelation that God wants for your life today," Signorelli says. "Let me give you an analogy. Imagine you jump into a swimming pool. And your entire life, the way that you survived was that you inhale and you exhale; you inhale and you exhale. You do it involuntarily, right? ... Imagine you jump into a pool, you dive down into that pool, and then all of a sudden you begin to do the very thing that's necessary for you to live. What happens instead? You die. Because when you're breathing in and breathing out, you're doing the right thing in the wrong environment. And you're inhaling water and you die.
"Let me just tell you, we are living in a society without fathers," Signorelli says. "And the world is doing all the right things in the wrong environment. Inhale, exhale, and we're drowning. We're drowning. And as we're drowning, we're realizing ... fatherhood is the oxygen of identity. Fatherhood is the oxygen of identity, and the world is breathing underwater."
Signorelli explains that "You can miss if it you don't know what 'Benjamin' means." What Jacob did when he changed Benjamin's name, he says, was to change his son's identity. "All of a sudden he flips it and says, 'This is not son of my struggle. This is son of my strength. This is son of my strength And out of Benjamin's lineage came kings; out of Benjamin's limited lineage came royalty; and we're learning the Jesus way. You want to know the Jesus way? Dads give destiny."
To hear more from Pastor Mike Signorelli on the power of biblical fatherhood to speak identity and destiny (and what He does if you don't have a father who is able to do this), listen to the entire podcast here.
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