Summary: Revenge. Taking revenge will lead us to ruin – spiritually.
Trucker is in a restaurant minding own business and a motorcycle gang begins to harass trucker. One in particular got right in his face. "Big man in the 18 wheeler, out of your truck you’re a wimp", he shouted, pouring coffee all over his food. Trucker pays his bill and walks out.
The biker says to the waitress, "He’s not much of a man out of his truck" Waitress causally shoots back, "not much of a truck diver either he just ran over 6 motorcycles on the way out."
We like that kind of a story. It appeals to our human nature. When we get cut down, we like some cleaver way to get back. But God tells us: resist that impulse – don’t take revenge. He tells us don’t follow your human nature – follow my Holy Spirit. God warns us not to take revenge, and when we do, and we do don’t we…It destroys our relationships with others, it hurts our thought life, it takes away the blessing God intends for our life, it ruins our witness to others, it shows a heart that is selfish.
Taking revenge will lead us to ruin – spiritually.
When we take revenge, we also reveal our lack of faith in Jesus Christ and we reveal how spiritually weak we are, weak because we lack spiritual foresight.
How we handle feelings of revenge speaks volumes about your character, and as a Christian, how you are progressing in your walk with Christ.
Bottom line: when we take revenge we are stepping onto God’s territory. It is better left – alone.
Our Scripture today from Genesis helps us see what turning to revenge can do. We continue this from last week where Jacob deceives his father into blessing him the younger, and not his older brother Esau as his father intended. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is all headed, an explosive situation is about to erupt.
Why is it such a big deal to Esau?
The Blessing. Blessing or a cursing by a family patriarch was taken seriously and considered binding. It is about foundational elements of survival and prosperity, it is not about material things only. Isaac is giving God’s covenant blessing.
In our culture – family’s blessing upon a marriage or parents going children’s sports events...it all revolves around approval for us – but with these guys, it is more intense. See this blessing cannot be undone.
What we say to each other cannot be taken back – it is out there. Now it is not God speaking blessing, but Isaac, but it shows us how faithful God is to his promise. Remember God promised that Jacob would get the blessing in spite of Isaac refusal to do so.
Last week – we saw it is not ok to do wrong to get what is right. Here we see it would have happened anyway, because God is in control.
32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
Holy Smokes! And you know what’s coming…The feelings of revenge. Esau felt what was natural. He was justifiably upset. What he was promised couldn’t be given. His father was visibly very upset..of course, that is a natural reaction.
Now did Jacob do the right thing to his father and brother? Absolutely not. Is it bad to have feelings of revenge like Esau? – no, that’s how life is. We saw last week that Jacob and Rebekah are going to pay dearly for their actions. They’ve known Esau his whole lif certainly they suspected the possibility of a bad reaction. Of course they knew.
First realize it is a natural reaction, but just because it is natural, it is there, doesn’t mean I act on it.
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
Notice – he holds a grudge, bids his time, reassures himself....How unhealthy is that? He’s going to cause himself health problems, if not only sleepless nights. Also notice, just holding the grudge, and not even acting on it, has detrimental effects
42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran.
It is not just the carrying out of revenge –it is also the intent. Esau doesn’t have to act on it, to take his toll…