Summary: A talk on the lives of Jacob and Joseph, and how we can learn from them to cling to the promises and faithfulness of God.
Text: Heb 11:21-22, Title: Neither the Egg nor the Omelet, Date/Place: NRBC, 3/18/12, AM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage: these two men were looking to the same event. They desired and foresaw the suffering and deliverance of their people. This was a promise/prophecy that was made 200-250 years earlier, and would be fulfilled 350-400 later. So these guys were like the peanut butter and the jelly between the bread, or the runny, swirly mix of slimy eggs before the skillet gets hot. They neither heard the Lord say it, nor for they see Him fulfill it with natural eyes. But they both looked for its occurrence. These men clinged tightly to what seemed to be a dream.
C. Main thought: So this morning we are going to glean some truths from the final days of the lives of these men.
A. Jacob (v. 21)
1. We looked at how Jacob “stole” the blessing and the birthright from Esau two weeks ago. The next incident recounted by the writer of Hebrews is when Jacob is on his deathbed. Many years had gone by, both boys had married, and had children. Spiritually Jacob had his ups and downs, but here at the end, there is no indication of anything but of solemn obedience to the will of God. The lost and found story of Joseph colors many of the things that take place in the remaining verses of Genesis. He had called Joseph to bring his two sons as he was about to die. The oldest two of Jacob’s sons were being removed from their positions of prominence in the family (because of their disobedience and sin), and replaced officially with Joseph’s children, Manassah and Ephriam. This ceremony completes that process, and gives them a double portion of the inheritance of the land—that they will receive 360 years from then. Tell how Jacob crosses his hands and puts the greater blessing on the younger Ephriam. This explains why the writer of Hebrews includes him a a man of faith—he has lived in and out of the promised land for years, never knowing the freedom of inheritance. And now, all of the family is out of the land, and living in Egypt of all places. But in his dying reflections, he calls to mind the faith he has in the promise that God made to Abraham and Isaac. And he commissions the land to his grandsons as their inheritance. He dies; looking for the promise he never heard nor saw.
2. Gen 15:13-16,
4. Many of these early examples of faith have pointed us down a road of endurance and faith that is very long. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, now Jacob and Joseph. We complain about hours, days, weeks, or months, but many of their faith’s let them wait for years, or lifetimes. We are soft! God is big enough to get them through decades of pain and make it worth it. I think that a battle we fight, more so as younger generations is our willingness to endure and wait. We live in a more more faster faster generation, and we get upset if the computer doesn’t open up a file fast enough. Marks of maturity in faith are an increasing ability in endure suffering well, and a deeper faith in the long term goal of God.