Summary: How God used the flight of Jacob to build his faith and encourage his future.
The Flight of Jacob - Jacob Sermon Series # 2 - Genesis 27:41-28:22
Living by faith is really a strange way to live. It’s kind of like trying to talk to your child or husband when he or she is watching TV. The child doesn’t quite grasp everything you’re saying because he or she has his mind in another place. That’s how we live as Christians. Our minds aren’t focused on here. They’re focused on heaven. So when people try to talk to us about stuff in this life, it’s not really what we’re focusing on. In some ways faith almost makes us - what would you say - aloof - of it. It doesn’t bother us if the garage door doesn’t work quite right, our couch is twenty five years old, or our hair isn’t quite right. We don’t get all worked up over how our retirement accounts are going or whether we’re making a few thousand less than our brothers or neighbors or whether we aren’t really “getting ahead” in life. Why? Because we live by faith - our minds are on loftier - higher things - future things. With our eyes on the cross and the empty grave - in the big picture of heaven and hell, these things don’t really count for much.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always our attitude. The truth is that we do get worked up over whether our clothes coordinate. We spend a lot of time making sure the corners on our cabinets are just right, and we work hard to make sure that we can have the proper nest egg built up for retirement. Instead of focusing on our heavenly retirement, we end up either trying to hide from our past or to fix our future. And it never quite seems like we’re THERE - does it? There’s always something to do - some journey to take - before we’ll really be content. So God sees us running around from here to there like chickens with our heads cut off. As we see Jacob in the midst of flight, we’ll see how -
God Takes us from Flight to Sight to Delight
I. Flights aren’t fun, but they are necessary
Do you think Jacob was a happy camper when laid down in the desert on his way to Haran? Let’s review our history for a moment. In Episode I, Jacob had just taken part in the deception of his father Isaac. After having dressed up as Esau and disguising his skin, he received the double blessing of the Land and the Savior. He got what his mom told him was rightfully his - by the promise of God. You would think then that everything should have been great for him - it’s what he always wanted - and now he had it! You would expect that he would have had a huge smile on his face.
However, there was a problem - a big red hairy problem - by the name of Esau. Genesis 27:41 says, Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” Think about that. If Esau really believed in the blessing, why did he think that he could murder his brother? If he murdered Jacob, then he would also be murdering his hope of the Savior - which was to go through HIM! Yet Esau’s attitude was, “if I can’t have the blessing, then no one can!” “Vengeance is mine,” saith the heathen.
Genesis 27:42-45 continues. “When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you. Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” Rebekah told Jacob to run. Keep in mind now, what this meant for Jacob. He was now in his seventies. Jacob was no spring chicken. Haran was about 500 miles away in modern day Syria - far north of southern Israel where they were located. Jacob had lived among the tents of mom and dad his whole life. Laban, Rebekah’s brother - was not exactly a moral man either. All Jacob had was the staff in his hand and the clothes on his back. He fled immediately. Mom thought this would be for only a little while. It ended up being twenty years, and Jacob never saw his mom again. In the meantime, Esau was allowed to remain at home. His wives and children were able to inherit all that land. Nothing changed for him. With this blessing, everything changed for Jacob. He was uprooted and sent from home like a cursed criminal, instead of a blessed forerunner to Jesus.