Summary: By Faith – Issac, Jacob & Joseph (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Hebrews chapter 11 verses 20-22
• A preacher was addressing his congregation;
• When he held up a large piece of paper.
• He then took from his pocket a marker pen;
• And made a black dot in the centre of it.
• Then he held the paper up before the people and asked them what they saw.
• One person quickly replied, “I see a black mark.”
• “Right,” the preacher replied. “What else do you see?”
• Complete silence prevailed. “Don’t you see anything other than the dot?” he asked.
• A chorus of no's came from the audience.
• “I’m really surprised,” the preacher commented.
• “You have completely overlooked the most important thing of all—the sheet of paper.”
• Then he made the application.
“He said that in life we are often distracted by small, dot-like disappointments or painful experiences, and we are prone to forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the hand of the Lord”.
• But like the sheet of paper,
• The good things are far more important than the adversities that monopolize our attention.
Quote: Someone has written:
“As you travel down life’s pathway, may this ever be your goal:
Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!”
There was an advertisement in a local newspaper that said:
REWARD: Lost dog. Three legs, blind in left eye, right ear missing, tail broken,
Answers to the name “Lucky”.
Note: The theme running throughout these verses is blessing:
• Not luck, not chance, not fate, not good fortune etc;
• But blessing!
• These blessing may include both prayer and prophecy concerning that individual;
• But primarily they are passing on the promises of God given to this family/people.
• The theme running throughout these verses is blessing:
• With Isaac, he blessed his immediate children.
• With Jacob, he blessed his grandsons.
• And with Joseph, he blessed his clan.
• “You could summarise these blessings as:
• Blessing to the individual.
• Blessing to the family.
• Blessing to the nation.”
Notice too that the blessing came near the end of their lives.
• (a). Genesis chapter 27, is where the blessings to Jacob and Esau are recorded,
• We read there that Isaac thought he was about to die.
• (b). Here in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 21;
• We are told that Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh “when he was dying”.
• In fact, in Genesis chapter 48 verse 2,
• It says that Jacob rallied the last of his strength just to sit up on his bed
• (c). When Joseph brought in his two boys.
• Hebrews chapter 11 verse 22 tells us that Joseph blessed “when his end was near”.
• People respond in different ways to the realization that they are getting old;
• And in different ways – when they are getting ready to die.
• At a nursing home in Fareham, a group of residents were moaning about their ailments:
• One lady said: "My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,"
• An old man replied:
• "Yes, I know, my cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,"
• Another replied;
• "I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,"
• Another said: "My blood pressure pills make me very dizzy,"
• Another went on to say. "I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,"
• There was general agreement and a short moment of silence ensued.
• Then someone cheerfully said: "Well, it’s not that bad, at least we can all still drive!"
• When Isaac, Jacob and Joseph knew the end was near, they didn’t complain.
• They used the last ounce of energy that they had to bless others.
• The fact that they waited until the end of their lives to pass along these blessings
• The fact they waited;
• Does not mean that they were only a blessing to their families at the end of their lives.
• It means that the blessing was so important;
• That they wanted it to be the last thing that they were remembered for.
• The blessing was their last act.
• They couldn’t die before they gave it.
• It was the summation of all that they were,
• What their life had been about and all that they wanted to pass along.
• It was important.
• Blessing others is important in life and in death.
(1). Blessing someone implies that there is a
• A frog went to see a fortune-teller,
• The fortune-teller gazed into a crystal ball and said:
“You are going to meet a beautiful young woman.