Summary: This sermon focuses on the broken relationship of Jacob and Esau. We will learn that broken relationships must be healed through confession and forgiveness in a way that honors both TRUTH in judgement and GRACE in forgiveness.
We’ve been told that Time heals all wounds.
Our unwillingness to confront sin, or talk about broken relationships confirms that at least some of the time, we follow this advice.
But as we know, time does not heal all wounds. Come with me to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Roman Catholics, Greek Orothodox and several other denominations consider it the place of Christ’s crucifixion and burial. Each denomination stakes claim to various parts of the church, which has been a source of conflict for centuries. As you approach the church, there is ladder strangely leaning on one of the balconies. It’s been there at least since the middle 1800’s. No one dares move the ladder because it might lead to an international incident.
Closer to home, I read of a man still seeking revenge after 30 years! SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) "Police say a 30-year grudge boiled over when a former elementary school teacher littered the driveways of former co-workers and bosses with roofing nails and splattered paint on their garage doors. Thomas R. Haberbush, 72, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to one count each of stalking, criminal mischief and criminal tampering, all misdemeanors. Police said that three former school board members, a retired principal and a retired assistant principal at Caroline Street Elementary School were among the nine victims Haberbush targeted over the past two years. Their car tires were damaged by roofing nails that Haberbush threw in the driveways, police said. "It’s very bizarre to carry around a grudge for nearly 30 years," said Saratoga Springs police investigator John Catone. "At least now there can be closure for all those people he terrorized." Police said Haberbush had been angered after receiving poor work reviews. Saratoga County assistant district attorney
Time does not heal all wounds.
This sermon focuses on the broken relationship of Jacob and Esau. We will learn that broken relationships must be healed through confession and forgiveness in a way that honors both TRUTH in judgement and GRACE in forgiveness.
DEEP WOUNDS CAUSE GREAT PAIN.
Esau is wounded when his mother Rebekah and brother Jacob conspire to deceive him and their father. This story is contained in Genesis chapters 27-32.
The story begins with Rebekah, who has a serious character flaw of deception. We see her acting deceptively in at least three stories.
The first is the possible deception regarding Esau’s birthright. We studied this last week and discovered that Esau “returned from the open country” when he was hungry. This might refer to him coming home, where no doubt Rebekah would have been, and who might have influenced Jacob to deceive Esau and have him relinquish his birthright.
Rebekah’s second act of dishonesty is the deception of Isaac’s Blessing. We are familiar with the story as it is told in Genesis 27:1–10 "When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. " "Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. " "Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. " "Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.” " "Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, " "Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, " "‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ " "Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: " "Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. " "Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”"
The third deception of Rebekah is the deception of Jacob’s Departure. In this part of the account found in Gen 27:45-46, Rebekah knows that Esau is intent on killing Jacob because of his trickery regarding Isaac’s blessing. She wants Jacob to flee to her brother Laban, hundreds of miles away, but she knows that Jacob cannot simply break ties with his father Isaac. She tricks Isaac into sending Jacob away by complaining to Isaac about the Canaanite women in their land. Isaac then sends Jacob away, thinking the idea was his own. The scene reminds me of a similar scenario in a modern film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” In one scene, the daughter needs daddy’s permission to leave the family business. Knowing he would never give it, the wife and daughter conspire to get the father to do something when he thinks it was “his idea.” I wonder if the writers of that script were familiar with this story from the Old Testament!