Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A talk on God's sovereignty, and how He can use any situation to accomplish His will.

Text: Heb 11:20, Gen 27:1-40, Title: Really Blind Faith, Date/Place: NRBC, 3/4/12, AM

Opening illustration:

Background to passage: Last Sun night we looked at Abraham’s life of faith with all its highs and lows, and the encouragement that it gives to the Christian. The next verse speaks of the faith of Isaac in the blessings of his sons regarding their future. So we are going to go back to Gen 27 and look at the account of the fight that was superintended by God to accomplish His own will. Aside: Blessings and Rites of Passage.

Main thought: God uses many means to ensure the accomplishment of His ends

A. Ingredients of a Mess (v. 1-17)

Ingredient #1: birth order. Lots of literature on the subject, but simply know that it was accepted at the time that the “first-born” was really the firstborn. And there are many rights that go with it: a 2X of the estate, father’s major blessing, status, legal responsibility, etc. God made it a point to say that “the older will serve the younger,” because it would go against the grain, against the norm.

Ingredient #2: favoritism. Immediately after the account of the barren Rebekah conceiving at about 40 years old, the bible speaks of Isaac’s propensity toward Esau, and Rebekah’s toward Jacob. We all know that sibling rivalry is bad enough, esp among twins, but to add favoritism to the mix was another poison in the mix. This favoritism played right into the events of chapter 27.

Ingredient #3: distrust. They don’t trust God, but they don’t trust each other either. Rather than a public blessing (which was the norm), Isaac kept it a secret. He wanted his favored son to be blessed. Rebekah didn’t trust her husband, because she had her “ear to the keyhole.” Isaac didn’t trust Jacob or Rebekah enough to tell them, but didn’t trust them in the actual blessing. Another poison to the family.

Ingredient #4: deception. Jacob’s name means “the one who grasps the heel.” He came out of the womb grasping. He traded a bowl of soup for a birthright. He limited his answers to one word ones once dad picked up on the voice. And he obviously came by it honestly from both sides. And the motivation was their own selfish ends.

Gen 25:23, Deut 21:15-17,

Illustration: Erika is one of the best examples of not letting your past slow you down. Cymba ran from his past, and forsook his responsibilities blaming it on something that happened to him a long time ago,

So since we are in it, let’s talk about it. #1: Two things: don’t let things like birth order and how you were raised determine your future. It is not required that you have trouble with relationships because your dad was a bad father (or an absent one). Secondly, sometimes we are all going to get the short end of the stick. Things don’t always have to be fair. Jesus didn’t get treated fairly, and he promised that if they hated him, that they would hate us. So GET OVER IT. Bad things will happen, injustice will happen, you will be taken advantage of, left out, kicked out, or whatever, but don’t play the victim, wallow in your pain, cling to some other time, etc. This is not to say that these things don’t hurt. But simply: don’t expect painless

#2: There is no hope of us being entirely impartial to your kids or grandkids or cousins or coworkers. BUT we can aim for it. Do you look down upon those who are of a different class, race, educational level, professional level, family level? Do you exclusively prefer those who are higher or similar levels? In a family and in a church this can be hurtful.

#3: If trust has been undermined in your relationships, you must work to gain it back. This will take time. Going the extra mile will be required, and the mile after that too. A certain amount of trust can be willfully given, but the final, deepest kind is earned. If there are areas of distrust in a family, confront them wisely and helpfully. Get some help if you need it!

#4: There is a reason that the bible includes lying among the 10 Commandments. As you will see in the story, the truth will come out, and the pain will be great. Lying always is motivated by selfishness (even if you are protecting another), and it is always an issue of character. In relationships it is ALWAYS destructive. Do you tell small little lies to preserve peace?

B. Beauty of Providence (v. 27-29)

After all these ingredients for relational and spiritual disaster (we have all had times like this), God, without so much as breaking a sweat, still brings about His plan. Isaac blesses the son that God told him 77 years before that he would. The genealogy of Christ is set in another generation. The course of history is continuing to move toward the central point in God’s economy of salvation. The point of the story is that in spite of their failings, God never fails. In spite of their striving, manipulating, deceiving, anger, and other sin, God saw to it that His ultimate plan will not be thwarted.

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