Summary: This sermon is an exegetical sermon from a rare character’s perspective.
Fear Factor: “Leah—The Fear of Rejection” (Genesis 29)
M. Cameron McDonald
February 15, 2004
ILL: HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE MOVIE BACK TO THE FUTURE? IN THE MOVIE, MARTY McFLY GOES BACK IN TIME TO THE YEAR 1955, TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS MOM FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIS DAD. AND THERE IS A SCENE WHERE MARTY TRIES TO GET HIS DAD TO ASK HER OUT. AND HIS DAD SAYS, “YOU MEAN ON A DATE?” AND MARTY SAYS, “YEAH.” AND THE DAD SAYS, “GEE I DON’T KNOW, MARTY. I MEAN, WHAT IF SHE SAYS NO? WHAT IF SHE LAUGHS AT ME? I JUST DON’T THINK I CAN TAKE THAT KIND OF REJECTION. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?”
AND MARTY LOOKED DOWN AND SAID, “YES, YES I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.”
A. Do you know what he means?
a. I think we can all resonate with that, I mean as humans we hate being rejected, in any form. Why? Because rejection hurts.
b. Whether it is on the playground at recess, at school growing up, asking a date to the prom, asking for a hand in marriage, or maybe it is on the job, or maybe it’s from your spouse or a child.
c. Wherever it comes from we can all agree it hurts, it damages, it bruises our ego, and I would be willing to bet that it is an emotion that we can all agree we would like to do without.
d. But in our sinful nature, we understand that hurts for us to be rejected, but it is not so bad when that rejection happens to somebody else. Because it makes us feel a little better, and it allows us to compare our situations and ourselves with someone else.
EX: I think that is why millions of Americans tune in every week to shows like “American Idol” or “The Bachelor or Bachelorette.” Yeah the show is entertaining, but for the most part we love the rejection part of it. The best part of the Bachelor is the last 10 minutes when they have the rose ceremony and the interviews of the contestants who got rejected, and just to see their humiliation and how they handle it.
Simon the British guy on American Idol has made millions of dollars and quite a name for himself simply by belittling and demoralizing potential candidates.
e. As human beings we seems to enjoy this rejection when viewing it safely from the comforts of our living rooms, but when we experience it first hand that is a whole different story.
f. It makes our stomach turns, it leaves us with feeling and emotions and thoughts that we never thought we were capable of having we say things we wouldn’t normally say, we think thoughts we would not normally think, all because we feel like we have been trashed inside and deemed worthless by another human being.
B. Well today I am continuing the series Fear Factor.
a. And we are going to take a look at an uncommon character in the Bible who felt this rejection on a daily basis.
b. I want us to draw some parallels with her situation and see how maybe we can gain strength from it.
c. If you have your Bibles get them out and turn to Genesis 29, and we are going to look at the story of Leah.
I. Now this is a story that you are probably not aware that you know.
A. It is found nestled in the Genesis account about Jacob the son of Isaac.