Summary: Disgust can become a powerful motive.
"Three to Get Ready…"
1. There are many stories of people who have given up on the church and on God is utter disgust.
2. Dan Waite tells this story of a man who almost did:
Once upon a time, a young minister tried to quit the ministry in absolute disgust. He was tired of the immaturity of the people and disillusioned by the politics and lack of spirituality of the leadership. He “reasoned” if the church, God’s ambassadors, was that badly corrupted then Christianity was a lie. His wife dragged him to church and he resented her for it. It was a very ugly time in his spiritual life. Tennyson suggests that “honest doubt is better than blind belief.” I wish I could say that this time was “honest doubt.” It was more like severe disappointment and raging anger.
But one sleepless night he felt the strong urge to “read it one more time” before he gave up completely. So he opened the Bible to Genesis 1:1 and started to read for what he thought would be the last time. He thought he could reason away the miracles. He thought he could dismiss the stories as myth. The one thing that he could not ignore was the prophecy. How could people like Isaiah know so much about the life of Jesus? It was not possible, unless the Bible was true (from beginning to end without exception)!
3. A sense of disgust can devastate us or motivate us. The Reformers were disgusted with the nature of the Roman church and decided to fix it.
4. In our series on the Life of Jacob, we are at a point where Esau is utterly disgusted. He had intentions to kill his brother, even if that meant forfeiting his own life. You see, if we are disgusted enough, we can be tempted to cut off our noses to spite our faces.
5. Webster defines disgust as, "a sickening distaste or dislike; deep aversion; repugnance"
Webster defines spite as, "a mean or evil feeling toward another, characterized by the inclination to hurt, humiliate, annoy, frustrate, etc.; ill will; malice"
Main Idea: Disgust can become a powerful motive.
I. It Was Probably DISGUST With Esau that Motivated Rebekah’s Original Plan
A. Although favoring Jacob, she was TURNED OFF to Esau
There are three things that make us who we are: inherited personality, environment, and choices. Rebekah may not have been drawn to Esau’s personality as she was Jacob’s, but his behavior alienated her. He had married two Hittite women, and, from other texts, we can deduce that he was an immoral man.
Rebekah did not enjoy being alienated, but she seems to have no qualms about alienating Esau by her scheme.
There is an old saying, "Hurt people hurt people." Sometimes people use this saying to excuse others. But if you are a hurt person, let me admonish you: you still need to consider the impact of your behavior upon others. You do not have a carte blanche to hurt others just because you have been hurt.
We cannot forsake the principle of putting ourselves in the shoes of others. If we born-again Christians would do this, do you know how powerful that would be? It is so counter-intuitive, but so consistent with the teachings of Jesus.
B. Rebekah’s Plan: Jacob Would LEAVE to Give Esau Time to Cool Off (41-45)
1. The fallout: a grudge
"to envy and resent (someone) because of that person’s possession or enjoyment of (something)"
Didn’t Rebekah and Jacob foresee this? Are people that oblivious? Yes!
2. Jesus and hatred (putting a fence around the command)
3. A new scheme to address the fallout from the first one. Although Rebekah and Jacob had a great scheme, I wonder if they foresaw the fallout. They should have: Esau’s attitude is consistent with human nature.
4. He would move over 600 miles away.
• Jacob got what he wanted, but he lost what he had.
• Sometimes distance is a good idea when it comes to family conflicts…
• Time often does help people cool off…
• In 20 years, Esau would be cooled off
• We are in such a hurry in our day and age; but human nature does not work that way; we Christians are particularly bad, thinking that walking with the Lord means our feelings will line up instantly or at least quickly… not always so!
C. Rebekah COMPLAINS to Isaac About Esau’s Wives (46)
1. Disgusted (again, is she concerned about Esau’s disgust?)
2. Life not worth living (worked herself into this state); it probably was not THAT bad… a very Jewish exaggeration
D. Isaac instructs Jacob because he wants to PLEASE Rebekah (1-2)
Most men really want to please their wives, and most wives really want to please their husbands, but they often disguise this good desire because they have been hurt too many times…lots of married couples are disgusted with their spouses and need to work hard to develop a momentum toward respect -- even after letdown…