Summary: God treats you with GRACE. He comes to ASSURE you, of His presence and promise. He wants to BLESS you.
Isaac has twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Right from the beginning, Gen 25 tells us they were very different.
• Esau a skilful hunter, always out in the open country, and Jacob staying in the tents, a homemaker.
• There was rivalry between them, right from the start. Genesis records two accounts of Jacob cheating his elder brother Esau.
The first in Gen 25 when he cheated him of his birth-right. And the second in Gen 27 disguising as his elder brother he got the father’s blessing.
Now Jacob has to run. Esau held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him (27:41).
• We are going to read what happens while he was on the run. [Gen 28:10-22]
Jacob experiences God in these 3 ways and so will we. (1) God treats us with grace, always with grace and never by merit. (1) God comes to us to assure us, of His presence and promise, and (3) God wants to give us His blessings.
God came to him and said He will bless Jacob! This is quite unthinkable.
1. God Treats You with GRACE
Jacob is far from good. He is a schemer and a deceiver. He lied to his father and cheated his brother.
• But he was hungry for God’s blessings. Ironic, right? It’s like a “holy greed”.
• Genesis 25 tells us of the two hungry brothers – one hungry for food, the other wanted the birth-right (because of the blessings).
• Esau was overwhelmed by his immediate, physical hunger. He wasn’t bothered about anything else.
• Many are like Esau today. They are hungry people, but only for the immediate and physical satisfaction.
Jacob, on the other hand, craves for God’s blessings. He was determined to get it. He wanted the birth-right.
• He wasn’t good, but he wanted God’s blessings. In Gen 27 he finally got the chance and seized the father’s blessings, posing as Esau.
• This is hard for us to accept. He does not deserve it. Yet he got it. And we read in Gen 28 that the Lord came to him and said he will be blessed.
How can it be? Yes, how can this be? We are not too far from Jacob, actually.
• We are not good, and yet we want God’s blessings. We know we do not deserve it, but we are asking God to bless us. That sentiment is the similar.
• Jacob was blessed, not because he was good, not because he deserves it. He was blessed because he WANTED it!
• He was blessed because of God’s grace. Nothing he receives comes by merit. Nothing.
Nothing we receives from God comes by our merit. Nothing.
• All that we are enjoying from Him today are the gift of His grace. No one earns it. Not Jacob, not us.
If you have been reading through Genesis, you would have gotten this picture by now. No one is good.
• We see in Abraham and Isaac families – incest, immorality, cheating and lying; sibling rivalry, disharmony in the family; Lot offering his daughters to men; Sarah despising the maidservant Hagar.
• Further on we read of her brother Laban (where Jacob fled to stay with) cheating Jacob, giving him the older daughter in marriage instead of the younger one. And in Gen 34 Jacob’s sons killing all the males in the town because someone raped their sister.
Why can’t we have something neater and nicer, something easier for us to shallow?
• Genesis portrays human life as it is, in its most authentic form. No camouflaging. No cover up.
• Even for the people of God, who supposedly knows Jehovah God, we see immorality and sin!
• The truth is, man is far from good. This is a fallen world. And this is what a fallen world looks like in real terms.
But God is not ready to discard it. He did tried to renew it once, through Noah’s flood in Gen 6.
• God is determined to save the world from sin. God is seeking to redeem man. And this is His plan, to save the world through Abraham and his family.
• By grace, Jacob will receive His blessings. By grace, his name will be changed to ISRAEL (Gen 32:28; 35:10) and God will bring salvation to this world.
2. God ASSURES You with His Presence and Promise
[Illust: Difference between insurance and assurance. Insurance, you pay premiums. Assurance comes from God, no premium on our side. Jesus paid in full.]
Jacob was all alone running from home, but he was not alone. He ran because he did wrong and his brother wanted to kill him, yet God assures him He is with him.
• That’s grace. God is gracious. How gracious must He be before we can truly trust Him?