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Summary: The life of Jacob was such that it could rival any soap opera today; stealing, lying, duped & multiple marriages, betrayals, hatred, rivalry, etc.Many of our lives have some of that drama. Here's how to deal with it!

WHEN YOUR LIFE BECOMES A SOAP OPERA

Gen. 25:28-30:20

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. People who break rules usually get caught sooner or later. I was reading about opening day of hunting season in one state.

2. Game wardens put up a sign on a certain highway that read as follows: “Check station: 1,000 yards ahead.” Near the sign was a convenient side road that went around the check station.

3. Lawful hunters went straight ahead to the check station. Over-limit hunters or those who’d violated the law turned off down the side road.

4. The check station? It was down the side road!

B. TEXT

25:28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29:25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” 26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you [Rachel] also. 31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.

30:1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” 8 Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali. 19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 37:4 When [Joseph’s] brothers saw that their father [Jacob] loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

C. THESIS

1. “A Dysfunctional family” is “a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child or spouse neglect or abuse occurs, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such an arrangement is normal.”

2. A Soap Opera is defined as “a serial life-drama chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment.”

3. The story of Jacob’s life certainly contains both dysfunction and a plot-line that would rival many of today’s soap operas!

4. Sometimes our own lives can lapse into a series of catastrophes. People often refer to the fact that there’s too much “drama” at their work, or in a relative’s home.

5. They’re overly emotional, backstabbing, gossiping, betraying their friends, and falling in and out of relationships all the time.

6. Sometimes our lives are so fraught with drama and crises that we really feel that we’re living in a soap opera.

7. Others absorb the difficulties of people they hear about, feeling responsible somehow.

8. Excitement, drama and living on the edge is entertaining in soap operas, but it doesn’t make for a healthy emotional life.

9. So we’re going to look this morning at “When Your Life Becomes A Soap Opera.”

I. WHAT’S WRONG WITH A SOAP OPERA LIFE?

A. 4 TYPES OF DYSFUNCTION IN JACOB’S FAMILY

1. FAVORITISM

a. Isaac favored Esau, Rebecca favored Jacob.

b. Jacob loved Rachel, Leah was unloved.

c. Jacob favored Rachel’s child, Joseph, to whom he gave the Coat of Many Colors (Gen. 37:3).

2. DECEITFUL NATURE

a. Jacob finagled Esau’s birthright for a bowl of chili.

b. At his mother’s insistence, he put on his brother’s clothes, hair on his hands & neck, and deceived his father into passing the blessing of Abraham onto him!

c. Laban deceived him with the wrong woman under the wedding dress! How horrible after 7 years of waiting.

3. JEALOUSY & RIVALRY

a. Between Jacob & Esau;

b. Of Rachel against Leah.

4. BITTERNESS OF JACOB’S SONS AGAINST JOSEPH

[see the diagram of Jacob's family: http://abrahams-legacy.org/family-tree.html]

B. NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ARE DISPLEASING TO GOD AND MUST BE SUBJUGATED

1. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. James 4:1-2.

2. 19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, 20…hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the [God’s] Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control….24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Gal. 5:19-24

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