Summary: We can see God in our past, God is present, and He has promises for the future. If we find these truths it makes life more liveable.
ISAAC, JACOB, AND JOSEPH
Past, Present, and Future
1. It would be nice to know what God is doing at some point in time wouldn’t it be?
2. While we cannot know exactly what He is doing at any single point in time there are some clues He gives and we can know that He has not left us on our own
3. Read Hebrews 11:20-22
4. Three ways we can see God operating in the world
a. Isaac was able to look to his past and see God operating
b. Jacob worked with God’s operation in the present
c. Joseph saw what God intended to do in the future
5. We know that Jesus promised never to leave us
a. Matthew 28:20, "…and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
b. John 14:18, "I will not leave you orphans"
6. We can learn by looking each direction, behind, around, and ahead, who God is and what He expects from us
TRANSITION: First of all:
I. Isaac learned from the past
A. He learned from his father, an important thing to remember
1. Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it"
a. A proverb is a saying of general truth that can be overridden by man’s will
b. If you do your job as a parent then most often you will be successful in training children who love God
2. In which way should we train them?
a. Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren"
b. Mind the things of God and teach them to your family, children and spouse, sisters and brothers
c. What happens if you don’t?
d. Judges 2:10, "When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD or the work which He had done for Israel."
3. And that business of families is to continue in the New Testament church family
a. Ephesians 6:1-4, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: 3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord"
b. We must be careful what we teach our children so that they are not provoked to wrath
i. Wrath of men
ii. Or wrath of God
B. Isaac learned bad things from his dad
a. Abram was afraid to be killed because of the beauty of his wife Sarai so he lied about her and said she was his sister
b. Pharaoh took Sarai as his wife and was plagued by God
c. Pharaoh took exception to the deception of Abram and sent him away
a. Isaac tells Abimelech, king of Gerar that Rebekah was his sister because he was afraid to be killed on account of the beauty of his wife
b. Abimelech has the same discussion with Isaac as the Pharaoh did with Abram
3. The younger generation is watching us to see how we react to things and they are learning tools that determine their reactions in the future
4. Titus 2:3-10 deals with how the younger women ought to instruct the younger women to love their husbands and behave properly
C. He also learned good things
a. Abimelech’s servants seize wells from Abraham
b. He does not fight with them over the wells but is defrauded
c. Them he meets with Abimelech and discusses the wells like grown men and things are made right between them
a. Isaac’s servants dig two wells that are seized by Abimelech’s servants
b. They are told to dig a third well and it is left alone
c. Isaac met with Abimelech and insured peace with them and all was well
3. He learned how to deal well with other people even when those people do not deal well with you
D. Look back at what God has done
a. Galatians 3:24, "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith"
b. The law teaches us who God is, He is loving, He is just, and He is serious
2. Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever"
3. He will not change in nature or mission