Summary: We run into many problems not only in Church but also in life in general when we never become comfortable with whom we are, and the great value we have to offer. We each have a treasure hidden in our lives that we take for granted and if we aren’t carefu
TITLE: BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN
I want to spend a few minutes this morning building this message about the importance of being you. As we continue to grow this ministry and define various leadership roles, I believe that it will be important for us to understand the value of simply being yourself and not focus upon anyone else, or attempt to be something that we are not. I challenge us this morning to understand the gifting that God has placed in you and operate in your gifting, simply be yourself, everyone else is taken. We run into many problems not only in Church but also in life in general when we never become comfortable with whom we are, and the great value we have to offer. We each have a treasure hidden in our lives that we take for granted and if we aren’t careful, we allow the enemy to rob us of the very thing God has entrusted to us. We have then, in essence, under-priced God’s precious gift to us.
I believe that God is calling us to take an assessment today and see if we have placed too low a price on the gifting that God has provided for us as Christians. Perhaps there is even a second question here - Have you short-changed your gift by trying to be like someone else? I have often heard over the years many Christians say they don’t have a gift or unsure as to the gift they have and how to operate in it. Let’s try to address all of these issues this morning.
Let’s run over and visit our initial text read in our hearing. As writer Frederick Beuchner pointed out in The Magnificent Defeat, “This was not a blessing in our sense of the word, a vague expression of goodwill that we might use when someone is going on a journey and we say, ‘God bless you.’ For Jacob the blessing is a word of great power. It conveys the very energy and vitality of the blesser’s soul into the one blessed. Just like Elijah when he was carried into heaven by chariots of fire. As he was taken up he dropped his mantle on his successor by the name of Elisha who then received a Double Portion of the Anointing. From that point Elisha would go out and do extraordinary things for God. So, this final blessing by Isaac of his son is to be the most powerful of all blessings. Let us also remember that once it is given it can never be taken back.
There was a rivalry between these twin brothers. The boys mother, Rebecca, would tell you it could be traced back right to the womb. When she was pregnant with them it was like WWF wrestling match going on inside her. It was so intense that she feared for her life and prayed to God about it. God said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” In other words, God was pronouncing blessing upon the youngest child in her womb. Now, that’s not the way it works in Hebrew culture – everyone knows that the first born is the preferred child, not the youngest! But God decreed it would be otherwise and Rebecca heard it.
In our text, we find the twins father, Isaac is advanced or old in age and his eyes have begun to dim. Old Man Isaac waits now for his eldest son, Esau, to appear. After awhile, he hears someone enter the tent and say, ‘my father’. “Who are you, my son?” The boy Jacob lies and says that he is Esau. He says it boldly. Isaac almost believes, but not completely. The weak-eyed father asks, ‘Are you really my son, Esau?’ The boy Jacob lies a second time. In the silence of that black, goatskin tent, Isaac reaches out both of his arms and says, ‘Come near and kiss me, my son.’ Let’s identify the first problem - Jacob’s hands are smooth. His brother’s hands are hairy. But the boys’ mother Rebecca is in on the whole thing with Jacob. She has covered the backs of Jacob’s hands with the hair of animals. Jacob stretches his hands into Isaac’s and Isaac is fully deceived. He blesses him saying, ‘See, the smell of my son is the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.’ Then Isaac gave Jacob the great blessing. Jacob is now the recipient of the blessing that belongs to his brother and takes advantage of his own father’s blindness. Right here he has broken three of the Ten Commandments – “You shall not steal.” “You shall honor your father and mother,” “You shall not bear false witness.” Yes, I agree with you studious Bible readers, there was a fourth commandment violated as well – the one against coveting – however, this one had gone by the wayside years before.