Text: Gen. 25:19-26
1. Read Genesis 25:19-26
2. Illustration: Three men waiting in the room for expectant fathers waited for word on the arrival of their infants.
Some while later a nurse comes in and announces to one of the men that his wife had just given birth to twins.
’that’s amazing he said - I play for the Minnesota Twins’ !
About twenty minutes later another nurse comes in and announces to the second gentleman that his wife had given birth to triplets. ’WOW’ - he stated, ’I work for the 3M company’ !Upon hearing that the third man fell off his chair and fainted - after those who were present were able to revive him, they all inquired as to why he had fainted. He said ’ I work for the 7-UP company !
3. Our text today is a story about two twins: Esau and Jacob. However, it is also a story about the blessings of God because they were a part of the promise God made to Abraham.
4. What this story shows us is:
Proposition: God’s promises never change.
Transition: This story shows us that...
I. Receiving God’s Blessing Requires Grace (19-21)
A. Isaac Entreated the LORD
1. This story starts out with Isaac, the son of Abraham.
a. Isaac was the miraculous son of promise.
b. His mother Sarah had been barren, but God intervened and she conceived Isaac.
c. He was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars.
2. However, in order for God’s promise to be ultimately fulfilled, the promise had to continue, and just as with his father Abraham, there was a problem.
a. Just as in the case of his parents, Rebekah was barren.
b. Unlike his parents, though, who tried to fix the problem themselves through the flesh, Isaac trusted God to fix the problem.
3. Verse 21 says, "And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived."
a. The word "entreat" means "to make an earnest prayer or request, to beseech, implore."—Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
b. He didn’t just pray some wimpy prayer and them wonder why God didn’t answer, but in his desperation he cried out to God to intervened just as He had done for Isaac’s parents.
c. Just as Jesus prayed in desperation until His sweat became as drops of blood in the Garden on the night he was betrayed, we must be willing to sacrifice at the altar.
d. We’ve got to get desperate before God and cry out to Him.
e. If we want the blessing, we have to be willing to pay the price.
4. Yet, what we must see in this text is that it took divine intervention for the promise to come to pass.
a. Isaac and Rebekah did everything right.
b. Isaac was the son of promise.
c. Rebekah was from the right family, and was hand picked by God himself to be Isaac’s wife.
d. Yet she was still barren.
e. It took divine intervention for the promise to come to pass.
B. Blessings and Grace
1. Illustration: Phillip Yancey describes grace in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace. He writes, “Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more—no amount of spiritual calisthenics and renunciations, no amount of knowledge gained from seminaries, no amount of crusading on behalf of righteous causes. And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less—no amount of racism or pride or pornography or adultery or even murder. Grace means that God already loves us as much an infinite God can possibly love.”
2. I think some Christians make the same mistake that Abraham and Sarah did.
a. They think if they say the right formula it will bring them the blessings of God.
b. They think if they say the right Bible verses it will bring the blessings of God.
c. They think that if they travel to the church where the latest revival is taking place that they can bring back the blessings of God.
3. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you go, or what books you read, it is still going to take the grace of God to receive the blessings of God.
4. We make the mistake of thinking that if we follow the right formula we can make God give us His blessing.
a. We can’t force God to bless us, it takes the grace of God.
b. God doesn’t owe us anything, it takes the grace of God.
5. However, the good news is that God wants to bless us. He wants to bestow his blessings upon us.
6. James 4:6 But He gives more grace.
Transition: Not only do God’s blessings require grace, but...
II. Receiving God’s Blessing Requires Struggle (22-23)
A. The Children Struggles Within Her
1. Again there is a problem. Verse 22 says "And the children struggled together within her..."
a. The word translated "struggle" means to "crush" or "break in pieces" —Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
b. This was not a mild discomfort (Ross, Creation and Blessing, 439).
c. It was much worse than normal labor pains.
2. She knew that something was wrong. She said "If all is well, why am I like this?"
3. There was literally a war going on inside of her, and how could God answer there prayers for children and then allow this to happen.
4. So she prayed to the Lord, and the Lord assured her that everything was according to his plan.
5. The Lord said "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger."
a. Two great tribes would come from her womb.
b. There would continue to be conflict between them.
c. One people would be greater than the other.
d. This was all a part of God’s plan.
B. The Struggle for Blessings
1. Illustration: A compassionate man once noticed an emperor moth struggling to emerge through a small hole in its cocoon and decided to assist it. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the cocoon. The moth emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. Later the man learned the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.
2. James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything (NLT).
3. God knows that if He made blessing easy all the time that it would deprive us of things we need to grow and mature.
4. He knows that struggle is good for us and it produces things like:
5. Just like a loving Father, He does not like to see us struggle, but he knows that this is how we learn.
Transition: Another important aspect is...
III. Receiving God’s Blessing Requires His Will (24-26)
A. The Elder Shall Serve the Younger
1. There was something very unusual about what the Lord told Rebekah. He said "the elder shall serve the younger."
a. That’s not the way it is supposed to be! The younger is supposed to serve the older.
b. It’s the oldest that’s supposed to get the blessing.
c. God’s election of Jacob the younger over Esau the older was against the natural order.—Bible Knowledge Commentary
d. God doesn’t always do things the way there’re supposed to be.
2. Throughout Scripture God chooses the younger instead of the older.
3. By sovereign election, God declared that the promised line would belong to Jacob, the younger son. Jacob thus owed his supremacy not to natural order or to human will but to divine election (Ross, 439).
4. At first glance, it would appear that God had made a mistake. Not only did he choose the younger son, but also chose the one with bad character.
a. The name Jacob means "to defraud, deceive, to supplant, i.e., to overthrow a person by tripping up his heels." —Adam Clarke’s Commentary
b. As time would go on, he would live up to his name as he would defraud his brother of his birthright.
5. But God doesn’t make mistakes and His will is always right.
B. God’s Will
1. Illustration: A bishop of a century ago pronounced from his pulpit and in the periodical he edited that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. Oh, the irony that Bishop Wright had two sons, Orville and Wilbur! Wright was wrong. Sure of himself, but wrong.
2. It is always dangerous to assume what God’s will is.
3. It’s always dangerous to assume what God will or will not do.
4. It’s always dangerous to assume that just because God has not answered your prayer right away, that is not going to.
a. Don’t assume that delay means no, it might mean wait.
b. Don’t assume that your time is God’s time.
c. Don’t assume that your way is God’s way.
5. God’s blessing are always contingent on God’s will.
1. God’s blessings require:
c. His Will
2. However, they also require an understanding that His blessings do not change.
a. They don’t change with time
b. They don’t change with circumstances
c. They don’t change with human limitation
3. Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.