We are back in our study of the book of Genesis, verse by verse, and we come today to one of the most well-known events in the Old Testament, namely Jacob stealing the blessing that his father Isaac intended to give to his older brother Esau. We're going to go back and look at those events, and then we're going to bring all of that forward and we're going to talk about, well, what difference does this make for me? So, you ready?
You ready? All right, here we go. Verse 1, we're in Genesis chapter 27. Now, 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, I am now an old man, and I don't know the day of my death. Isaac was 137 years old. Esau and Jacob, twins of course, were 77 years old.
Now then, Isaac says, get your quiver and bow and go out Esau into the open country to hunt some wild game for me, then prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat so that I may give you Esau my blessing before I die. Now, here's where the rub comes because back in Genesis 25, Rebekah went to the Lord. She was carrying twins, and here's what God said to her. He said, Two nations are in your womb, and the older, that is Esau, shall serve the younger, that is Jacob. Now certainly, Isaac knew what God had said. Certainly, Rebekah had told Isaac what God had said, and here Isaac was determined not to bless Jacob, whom God had chosen, but determined instead to bless Esau. Now you say, Lon, wasn't that for Isaac direct disobedience to God?
It was. You say, well then why would he do that? Well, we don't know 100% for sure, but the Bible tells us, Genesis 25, that when the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man staying among the tents, and Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Why did Isaac do this? Why was he determined to give the blessing to Esau? Friends, it may be as simple as just pure favoritism. He just liked Esau better.
Well, what happened? Verse 5, now Rebekah was listening, actually eavesdropping, as Isaac spoke to Esau, so when Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to Jacob, look, I overheard your father, say to your brother Esau, bring some game and prepare me some tasty food that I may eat and bless you in the presence of the Lord before I die. Now my son Jacob, listen carefully and do what I tell you to do. Go, bring me two young goats so I can prepare some tasty food for your father just the way he likes it. Then you shall bring it to your father that he may eat and bless you, Jacob, before his death.
And this is precisely what happened. Now, let's remember that it wasn't too long before this that Jacob had lured Esau into selling him Esau's birthright. You remember that when he did that, traded it to him for a bowl of stew? Now friends, that was not illegal. We know from the archeological information we've gotten from Newsy, an ancient city in northern Mesopotamia from the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that it was perfectly legal for one brother to sell their birthright to another brother. So what Jacob did there might have been cunning, but it was not illegal. Now this is a completely different story. What Rebecca and Jacob are about to do here is not legal.
It was deceit, it was treachery, it was lying, and it was stealing. And so after Isaac finished blessing Jacob, Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence when Esau came from hunting. He too prepared some stew and brought it to his father. And then he said to him, my father, sit up and eat some of my games so that you may give me your blessing. And his father Isaac asked him, who are you? And he said, I'm your son, your firstborn, Esau. Then Isaac began to tremble violently and he said, well, who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him.
And he indeed will be blessed. And when Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud cry. And Isaac said, your brother Jacob came deceitfully and took your blessing. Then Esau asked Isaac, haven't you reserved any blessing for me?
They said, wait a minute, wait a minute, just stop a second. I mean, a mistake was made here, right? Isaac gave the blessing to the wrong person, right?
Yeah. Well, you say, so why couldn't Isaac, when he realized it, just take the bet, call Jacob in and say, Jacob, sorry, I'm taking the blessing back from you and I'm giving it to Esau where I originally intended it to go. I mean, you know, you and I go to the store, we buy something, we bring it home, we don't like it, we take the receipt, we go back, we get our money back. Why couldn't he just do that?
Well, the answer is very simple. It's because we also found in tablets from this city, Newsy, from the time of Abraham and Isaac, that once a father's blessing had been given to a child, it was irrevocable, it was illegal to take it back. Isaac could not take back the blessing from Jacob for the simple reason that it was against the law.
Right? Now, he gives Esau, Isaac does, the blessing. It's a deeply inferior blessing to the one he gave Jacob. So Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau said to him, the days of mourning, for my father are near, after that I will kill my brother Jacob.
Premeditated, first degree murder here. Now, when the words of her elder son were reported to Rebekah, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you, now therefore my son, obey my voice and flee at once to my brother Laban in the Quran, that's the city where Rebekah had come from. Stay with him, say the next four words with me. For a few days.
Come on, say them louder. For a few days until your brother's fury subsides and when your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did, I'll send word for you to come back home. Little did Rebekah know that for a few days would actually be 20 years.
And during those 20 years, she died and never again saw her beloved son Jacob alive. Now, that's as far as we want to go in the passage because we want to stop now and ask our most important question. And everybody knows what that is, so all of you guys at our campuses and everybody here, are we ready? You ready? All right, come on now, make this good.
One, two, three. That's sweet. You say, Lon, okay, I got the chapter, but I swear I don't see a thing in here from my life. Well, let's talk about it. But before we talk about how this affects you and me, let's first agree that everybody in this chapter sinned.
Can we agree to that? Isaac sinned by setting out deliberately to disobey God and bless Esau instead of Jacob. Rebekah sinned by plotting and scheming and deceiving her husband. Jacob sinned by going along with Rebekah's plot and then bold face lying to his father. And Esau sinned by planning in his heart to murder his brother in a premeditated and deliberate way.
Everybody in this chapter sinned. Do we agree to that? Yet, in the end, God's sovereign will prevail. In the end, Jacob was preeminent over Esau. As a matter of fact, the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, don't even exist today in our world, but the descendants of Jacob, the Jewish people certainly do. And in the end, Jacob inherited the Abrahamic covenant, just the way the sovereign plan of God intended it. And in the end, Jacob's descendants became the people of Israel, God's chosen people, just the way God's sovereign plan intended it. As I said earlier, in the end, God's sovereignty prevailed because, friends, God's sovereignty is always bigger than man's sin.
God's sovereignty, praise the Lord, is always bigger than man's sin. And that gives me great comfort. I don't know about you, but it gives me great comfort, particularly living in this town, in Washington, D.C. When I look around this town and I see all that's going on in this town, how great a comfort is it to know that in spite of what everybody's doing in this town, God's sovereign plan will prevail in this town and in this world. Amen?
You bet. But, my friends, if we think that this family got away with all of this sin scot-free, even though God's plan prevailed, if we think they got away with all of it scot-free, we are grossly mistaken. This family was shattered because of all of this sin. It was never the same again.
It was never healthy again. This family was never whole again. Rebecca and Isaac's relationship was never the same again after she had deceived him like this. And Rebecca never saw her beloved son Jacob again. These are consequences of their sin that God allowed to come on them. Esau and Jacob were estranged from one another for 20 years as brothers. And later, Jacob's sons would deceive him, just like he had deceived his father Isaac, and they would carry out the same kind of treachery towards their brother Joseph that Jacob had carried out towards his brother Esau. The point, here's the point, is that even though God's sovereignty always triumphs in the end, as it did in this situation, nobody can violate the word of God with impunity.
Nobody. Isaac couldn't. Rebecca couldn't. Jacob couldn't.
And you know what? Moses couldn't. The great man of God, Moses. I want to show you one of the scariest passages for me in all the Bible. If you remember, Moses had disobeyed God in Numbers chapter 20 and struck the rock more than once when God said strike it once. And as a result, God said to him, Moses, as a consequence of your sin, you will not get to go into the Promised Land.
You will not get to go across the Jordan River. Well, in Deuteronomy 3, when the Israelites arrived at the Jordan to cross it, listen to what Moses said. Moses said at that time, I, what's the next word? Say it out loud.
Say it louder. I pleaded with the Lord. Pleaded with the Lord. And I said, please, Lord, let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan River. But the Lord would not listen to me.
Yikes. And the Lord said to me, Moses, enough. Enough, Moses.
That's it. I don't want to talk about it anymore. The consequences of your sin in the wilderness, I am not removing them. I am not taking them away. You are not going into the Promised Land. Look at this. Now speak to me no more about this matter.
Wow. To me, that's scary. You know, we always think of our God as being a God of mercy and he is a God of mercy. And we always think that when we go to him in trouble, we can count on him to step in and help us with that trouble.
And we can. Friends, there are times when God lays consequences of our sin on us where he says no. Pray all you want. But no, I'm not lifting it.
I'm not changing it. And he said to Moses here, Moses, enough. You get the impression that Moses has been praying about this for years through the wilderness. Don't you go in? Hey, Lord, can I go in? Hey, Lord, can I go in? Hey, Lord, can I go in? Hey, Lord, can I go in?
And finally, they're actually there. And he says, Hey, Lord, can I go in? And God says enough. Don't speak to me anymore about this, Moses. I've told you I'm not lifting this consequence of your sin.
I'm not doing it. Friends, when God puts consequences for our sin on us and when he will not be entreated to take them off, I don't know about you, but that scares me to death. And so as followers of Christ, even though we are God's adopted children, and even though he loves us as his children through Christ, friends, we must never forget that God is a holy God, that God is a righteous God, and that you and I cannot violate the word of God with impunity any more than Isaac could, Jacob could, Rebecca could, Moses could, or anybody else. Now, look here.
Everybody look here. It is true, look at me, that sometimes God does in his mercy, soften the consequences of our sin. That is true. And it's also true, look here, that God sometimes in his mercy removes the consequences of our sin.
That is true. But there are also times where God in his righteousness and justice decides he's going to leave the consequences of our sin on our life, and the problem is when you and I commit the sin, we have no idea which way God's going on this. We don't know whether God's going to remove the consequences, soften the consequences, or leave the consequences because every sin has consequences.
And that's why David prayed, Psalm 19. He said, keep your servant back from presumptuous sins. What's a presumptuous sin? It's a sin where we know we're doing wrong, but where we presume, we presume that God will free us from all the consequences of what we're doing. It's a sin where we say, hey Lord, I know I shouldn't be doing this, but I'm going to come back and confess it, and when I come back and confess it, you're going to not hold me accountable and you're not going to lay the consequences on me.
Friends, that's presumption. God's never promised that. And as Moses and as Isaac and as Jacob and as Rebekah and as many other people have learned, when we play this game with God, oh, I'll go do it and then God will take the consequences off.
When we play that game with God, folks, that is a very dangerous game to play with God. Now, let me conclude by saying that this week as I was on my knees and I said, Lord, what's the message for my life from this passage so that I can share it with other people Sunday? God said to me, I'll tell you what the lesson is for you, Lon. The lesson is for you that you need to be less presumptuous in the way you live your Christian life. You need to be more careful in the way you live your Christian life. You need to be more circumspect in the way you live your life. You need to be more obedient in the way you live your Christian life because you can't always assume that you're not going to do something where I just decide to leave the consequences on and you regret it the rest of your life.
You need to be careful, Lon. And folks, that's my message as your pastor to you. My message is we, as followers of Christ, need to live less presumptuous lives. We need to live more circumspect lives. We need to live more careful and obedient lives. Titus chapter 2 says, while we are looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, watch that we should live. What's the first word?
Say it. We should live most soberly, righteously and godly in this present age. And the Bible often uses this word soberly or sober-mindedness. And what this means for us when we are living with a sober mind is that we look forward and we say, you know what, if I do this and God allows the consequences on my life, what could that mean? Before I do it, if I go out to dinner and I have a couple glasses of wine and then I get caught on the way home and given a DUI, what could that mean for my life? Could it mean I lose my security clearance? Could it mean that I lose my job? Could it mean that I'm publicly embarrassed and I have to resign my political position?
Sober-minded. If I commit adultery, what could this mean if God allows the consequences to stay? Will I lose my family? Will I lose my children? If I do this, if I do that, if I do the other thing, whatever it may be, Lord, maybe you'll remove the consequences but if you don't, what does this mean?
What could happen? Do you understand what I'm saying? Are we together?
Yeah? And friends, God really whooped it on me this week and said, Lon, you cannot live the kind of cavalier life that sometimes you live with me. My mercy has been great to you but don't push me.
Don't push me, Lon. And friends, I would say to you as your pastor, God's mercy has been great to you and that's wonderful but don't push him. That is a dangerous game to play. Let's pray together. And with our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I want to give you a moment to do business with God. Some of us here are right on the edge of doing something that we know is wrong and we're presuming God's just going to not put any consequences on us.
Friends, I want to appeal to you. Don't do it. Don't do it.
And some of us here are already doing things that we know God is displeased with but we're playing Russian roulette with God that the more we do these things, he's just going to keep on ameliorating the consequences force. Folks, don't do it. Come back to Christ. Come back to obedience. Don't live like that.
There's a bullet in that chamber somewhere. Don't do that. If we need to talk to God about these things, let's take a moment and do it. Oh dear Lord Jesus, help us have a balanced view of who you are because right now in our world, all we hear preached is God's love, God's mercy, God's forgiveness, God's graciousness and that you are all of that. But oh God, you are holy and you are righteous and you are just. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Our God is a consuming fire, the Bible says. And oh God, we need to live with the fear, the healthy fear of God in our life that causes us to live circumspectly and soberly and carefully. So bring that fear of God back to our lives, Lord.
It is a healthy thing. And for many people here who need to back off of the way they're living because they're living presumptuously with you, God give them the power and the conviction by the Spirit of God to do that, I pray. Lord, change our lives because we were here today. We sat under the teaching of the eternal word of God. We pray these things in the name of Jesus and God's people said, Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 15:58:40 / 2023-03-12 16:07:02 / 8