Summary: We need to pursue the promises of God with the understanding that God brings about His purposes… not our dreams!
1. His birth was miraculous
a) God loves to glorify himself in impossible situations
i) His father Isaac’s birth was miraculous
ii) His mother, Rebekah was barren and Isaac prayed for her Gen 25:21
iii) We lose hope too quickly. We need the newspapers, check the rise in bond rates and give up
iv) ILLUS. In today’s paper, a young man falsely accused of murdering his parents … kills himself “rather than go to jail for something he didn’t do”
v) Look through the Bible: Gideon … hiding away; Moses … stuttered; Samson … normal guy; David … child Goliath; Paul … persecutor of the church writes ½ NT.
b) Two reasons why
i) God receives all the glory
ii) Difficult for pride to set in.
Jacob couldn’t say “Look what a great man I am” God would remind him “You shouldn’t actually be here”
Myself: When I am tempted to think “I’ve really done well as a Christian” God reminds me of my past life …
c) No one here who is facing an impossible situation, but when you do get into one of these situations, remember that this is the perfect opportunity for God to step in. Don’t despair, turn to God.
2. 27:11 What was the difference between these two?
a) Besides temperament types, Esau was not too concerned about things of God
i) He despised his birthright
a) His immediate need took precedence over a promise in the future
(1) How many people miss out because of this exact same thing? Eternal Life is so far away and so we choose to do our own thing now.
b) His driving force was self pleasure. Didn’t even think about asking his parents for advice on who to marry and so makes some disastrous choices.
ii) Jacob was determined to get the promise made to him
a) His mother must have told him all about prophecy God gave her “Your older brother is going to serve you. What God promised to Abraham is going to be passed down to you”
b) When Esau says “you’ve got something I want” He is quick to say “BIRTHRIGHT”
c) Wrestling with God “I won’t let you go until you bless me”
iii) Jacob was open to the things of God (He was intimate with God)
a) When he left home, his first night alone, angels appear to him
b) His response is significant because someone who does not have a relationship with God would have gotten out of there. But he says “Wow, God is here” and he makes a covenant with God.
c) When he blesses his grandchildren many years later Heb 11:21 By faith Jacob , when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
iv) I think that this intimacy was the major difference between the two brothers. The story of Jacob and Esau is so similar to the NT story of Mary and Martha. Luke 10:41 Martha , Martha ," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." What was Jacob doing while Esau was out hunting? I don’t know, but I do know that when the twins had grown up, one was more sensitive to God than the other.
• This whole story of someone “stealing” a birthright in order to inherit a promise from God may not make sense to you. God didn’t bless Jacob because he stole, but in spite of that. Jesus, however, told a parable and said “the Kingdom of heaven is like a man who finds a treasure in a field. He goes and sells everything he owns in order to buy the field. When we discover salvation, it is worth more than any possession we have.
• Gen32:24 hip out of place. With the blessing comes pain / trouble / persecution … normally as preparation.
You can’t grow in God and stay where you are at the same time.
• We need to pursue the promises of God with the understanding that God brings about His purposes… not our dreams!