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August 27, 2022 7:00 am
We are in a verse by verse study all of the book of Genesis, because that's what we do here McLean Bible church. We do verse by verse. Expository Bible teaching and we've been studying the story of Jacob and Esau. The two brothers of Rebecca and Isaac. They were brothers and they were the children of Rebecca and Isaac.
And what we've seen so far as how Jacob schemed against his brother Esau installed his blessing how Esau then plotted to murder Jacob how Rebecca said Jacob for his own safety to her brother's uncle, a man named Laban in the town of Carondelet show your map so you can see where Jacob went. He was living with his brother and his mother and his father in Beersheba are down at the South of the land of Canaan and he went all the way to Northeastern Mesopotamia to the town of Acheron and when he got there we saw how uncle Laban gave Jacob a dose of his own medicine by tricking him into marrying his oldest daughter Leah instead of the daughter Jacob really love who was Rachel. Now let's pick up the story and let's see what happens next. Are you ready for that and never to talk about what difference it makes to your life and to my life. So here we go now. Jacob served uncle Laban for 20 years in the town of Acheron and during this time he took both Rachel and Leah as his wife and between the two of them and their two handmaidens during these 20 years Jacob had 11 sons and one daughter.
Genesis 30 verse 43 says, and Jacob became exceedingly prosperous and have large flocks of cattle and camels and donkeys and then the Lord said to Jacob go back now to the land of your fathers back to Canaan back to the promised land and to your relatives and I will be with you. Okay. But remember who's still living back in the land of Canaan. Esau his brother and the last time we met Esau. Esau was out to kill Jacob right that was 20 years before.
And now there's been 20 years for Esau's anger to mature and ripen. So let's pick up the story here you go. Then Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau, and the messengers returned to Jacob saying we came to your brother, Esau, and he is coming to meet you, accompanied by 400 armed men. Then Jacob was greatly afraid, so he divided the people who were with him in the two groups saying if Esau comes against one group and attacks it then at least the other group will escape.
Then Jacob prayed and said all God of my father Abraham and God of my father, Isaac, you who told me to return to my country and my relatives that you would bless me. I am unworthy. Jacob says of all the grace and faithfulness which you have shown to me for with only my staff. I cross this Jordan River 20 years before fleeing. Of course from Esau and now I have become two groups of people.
Remember how he divided the people into two groups athletes talking about. Deliver me. Jacob says I pray from the hand of my brother Esau.
For I fear him that he will come and attack me and also the mothers with the children until Jacob spent the night there and from the possessions he had with him. He selected a president for Esau on the Bible wants us to see what a huge present this was that Jacob sent to Esau 200 female goats 20 male goat 200 young lambs and 20 rams, 30 milking camels and their young 40 cows and 10 bulls 20 female and 10 male donkeys. While any split these animals into three retinues into three groups and told the man leading each of the three groups he said when my brother Esau meets you and says to whom do you and all these animals in front of you belong, then you shall say they belong to your servant Jacob, and they are present sent by him to my Lord Esau, and please know that Jacob is coming behind us and so is Esau is on his way to meet Jacob, he runs into three separate groups of these animals. Three separate presidents if you will, each one with the guys leading them announcing to him that Jacob is sending him this present well in the morning it says Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there was Esau coming with his 400 men. Then Jacob walked out to meet his brother bowing down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother as a sign of respect and honor until he came near his brother.
Then Esau say the next word with me ran ran to meet Jacob, but he didn't hurt him. He embraced him and he fell on Jacob's neck and he kissed him and they both wept friends.
I think this is one of the most touching scenes in all, the word of God. I mean I mean can you get a feel for this here, I just imagine the very worst enemy that you've ever had in your life. And then imagine that not only do they hate you, but they had 20 years for that hatred to mature and then you finally have a meeting with them, but instead of hurting you.
Instead of trying to damage you instead. This meeting is full of healing and reconciliation and forgiveness is a will on you know my my DC cynical mind I to say this but part of me wants to say that maybe what we really see here is merely Esau, all responding to all the gifts the Jacob center. Now that's about it folks because later in this chapter, the Bible says that Esau said to Jacob I am planning my brother, let what you have. Be your own. Esau turned down the gifts he didn't even accept the gifts you want to give no folks, when we have here is not bribery. What we have here is true, heartfelt forgiveness on the part of Esau to his brother Jacob. And you know the Bible tells us that Esau and Jacob remainder friends for the rest of their lives. Now that's as far as we want to go in the passage who want to stop now and ask our most important question. So we already yeah everybody all year ago nice and loud.
Come on now Juan choked her a year you say we know lawn. I mean, it's a great story. I got admit I love happy endings and what is a happy ending.
This grade but I don't really see what this has to do with me.
Well, it has a lot to do with you and me folks. Because the central issue in this passage is Esau's forgiveness of his brother Jacob, and that's what I want to talk to you about today is the subject of forgiveness because sooner or later.
Forgiveness becomes an issue for every single one of us and the reason is because forgiveness is merely a way of responding to hurt and sooner or later, every one of us gets her now. Forgiveness is not the only way of responding to hurt but it is the way the Bible tells us that we are to respond to it and you say will not very nice, very nice. The Bible says in but you know what after what that person did to me after the way that person hurt me. I mean why should I forgive. I should forgive him just because the Bible tells me to no folks, you and I should forgive them because of why the Bible tells us to Matthew chapter 18 Jesus said in the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain King who wished to settle accounts with your servant and a servant unloading 10,000 talents. That's over $10 million in today's money was brought to him and since he did not have the means to repay, his Lord commanded that he should be sold into slavery, along with his wife and children and all he possessed an repayment be made for the servant fell to the ground and prostrated himself before the king and said, have patience with me and I will repay you everything in the Lord of the servant, no compassion for him and released him and forgave say the next three words all his debt okay so far so good but that servant then went out and found a fellow servant who owed him 100 the Marriott Bonomo $200 and he sees them and he began to choke him, saying, pay me what you owe me, so his fellow servant fell down and began to beg him, saying, have patience with me and I will repay you. Does that sound familiar. Yeah it not exactly what the first servant just said to the king verbatim. That's what he said but he the first servant was unwilling and went in through the second servant into prison until he should pay back all that was old and when the king heard what happened.
He summoned the first servant and said to him you went. Servant, I forgave you to say it all your debt because you begged me to watch sure you do not have had mercy on your fellow servant in the same way that I had mercy on you.
Now let's identify the players in Jesus's story showing close the king that the guy over 10,000 talents to that's God exactly right and who's the servant that owed $10 million. Well hello here if you're a follower of Jesus Christ that you and Obama follower of Jesus Christ which I am designee. We owed God a debt that we could never hope to repay. We owed God a sin debt that we could never hope to pay back on our own and yet, as Jesus said, God felt compassion on us and he released us and through Jesus's work on the cross. He forgave how much all our debt level.
Colossians chapter 2 says about this. It says God canceled our Praise the Lord God canceled our dad can anybody get excited about that. But me. Praise the Lord God canceled our dad and took it out of the way. Look say the next six words with me, having nailed it to the cross. Praise God. Where is your sin today, my friends, if you know Jesus nailed to the cross.
And God threw away the crowbar is not coming off the cross is there for eternity and is not on you if you're here today and you never have a great experience of having God lift all of your sin and all of your debts off of you and transfer it and nail it to the cross of Jesus and Fran. We long for you to have this experience. We covet for you to have this experience of watching Jesus Christ cancel your debt, and as the Bible says take it out of the way and if you'll come down from at the end of our service and you'll see members of our prayer team and our staff team better down here and you tell him you need that you can have that experience right here before you walk out of this auditorium today please I'm begging you don't walk out of this room without knowing that your sin debt is canceled paid in full and nailed to the cross of Christ for all of eternity.
Yeah yeah all right now who's the third guy in the story you know the one that oh $200. Who's that.
Well friends is a follower of Christ. That's every body else in the world who's ever sinned against me and who's ever sinned against you and so what's the point of Jesus's story and you gotta get this because this is the point of everything. What's the point of Jesus's story. Listen here it is, no matter how much another person has sinned against you as a follower of Christ has sinned against me as a follower of Christ what they've done to us is a dribble what they've done to us is a pittance compared to our sins against Almighty God, and in light listen of how much God has forgiven me as a follower of Christ. You, as a follower of Christ. 10,000 talents $10 million worth us in an amount you could never repay. In light of that, how dare you refuse how dare I refuse to forgive anybody for anything you got it you got it. That's the point. And I love what the king said, should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant in the same way I had mercy on you.
So let's go back to our original question we ask a few minutes ago. Why should I forgive people who've heard me. Well, let me say as an answer if you're here and you've never come to Christ. You've never had that experience of God for giving you all your debt. Frankly, I'm not sure I can present a compelling reason for you to forgive people this hurt you but if you are follower of Jesus here. I sure can.
Colossians chapter 3 verse 13 says forgive others.
Just as the Lord forgave you, folks, recipients of God's mercy are expected to pass it on recipients of God's clemency are expected to pass it on recipients of God's forgiveness and his pardon are expected to pass it on. And not only does God expect us to do that God commands us to do that. Forgive others.
Just as the Lord forgave you. And how did the Lord forgive you and me. He forgave us freely.
He forgave us fall away and he forgave us even though we didn't deserve it right.
That's how he want you to forgive the people around you freely, fully and even though they don't deserve it.
Nice Alana, I got a couple questions before dawn, you're all right to say what my first question is, are you suggesting here that we forgive people to do a cross I am and we just let them all know folks, we are not talking here about prosecuting criminal activity. We are talking here about responding to personal hurt is LRI well then if somebody's really hurt me, personally, are you saying that I'm just supposed to pretend that they really didn't hurt me, no, no, I'm not saying that all remember God's definition of forgiveness. Forgiveness means it was not okay. Then when you did that to me you hurt me, you caught me deeply you that you damaged me you you there's no excuse for your behavior.
It was not okay. Then bought in obedience to God. I am willing to declare that it's okay now it's okay now. I forgiven you say what is that mean I lower my garden.
I let these people I trust them. I let these people get back close to me and do it to me again. Wait a minute.
Whoa, forgiveness and trust are not the same thing folks we grant people forgiveness trust has to be earned. There are many people that I have forgiven in my life and they have earned my trust back and drop the walls and let them get back close to me and it's fine and there are many people I forgiven that I have not dropped the wall that I don't trust them that I'm not going to let them get close to me, but I still forgiven him. They're not the same things you understand what I'm saying to you. Yeah all right you civil law. And what about my feelings just aren't there yet. I was, though I don't feel like forgiving them yet. Well listen folks, SRI because forgiveness is not an act of your feelings. Forgiveness is an act of your will. We forgive people in obedience to God by a decision of our will. And then God make sure that our feelings eventually catch up. You see, forgiveness, obedience to God is the engine and feelings of the caboose.
Wherever the engine goes sooner or later the caboose is following God will see to it. Your feelings get there but feelings is not the engine.
We don't make decision to forgive. Based on our feelings. We make it in obedience to God. Say you have about that person never asked me to forgive them. Well you it's wonderful that they asked. That makes it easier but God's command in the Scripture for us to forgive other people never requires that they ask for it. Never. In fact, Romans chapter 12 verse 18 says as much, as it lies with you. Be at peace with all men as followers of Christ we can forgive other people and be at peace with them in our whether they ever ask us to forgive them or not, whether they ever forgive us or not. As much as it lies with you. The verse says you be at peace with all men is Avalon. I got one final question and that is what if I'm not sure I can do this I mean I mean they did these people hurt me so bad. I'm just not sure I can forgive. Listen here, look your folks God will never ask you to do a thing that he will not and cannot give you the power to do with. He ask you to forgive. He will give you the power to do it. You know I was driving in last night coming in the church year and I was thinking in the car about the message they are and I was thinking you know the only person I think in my life. The only person that I have ever hated with an order hatred was my mother. I hated that woman growing up with the most order hatred you could ever imagine. You say why well because of the way she treated me. She rejected me. She verbally abused me, she always criticize me. She made me grow up and be dysfunctional. She made me grow up and be psychotic and I hated her I hated her.
She tried to dominate my life trying to make me do and control me make me do what you wanted me to do. I couldn't even stand to be around that woman growing up kisser hugger touch or are you serious are you serious well I came to Christ, I read Colossians 313 forgive others.
Just as the Lord forgave you. I thought well I guess somewhere in there. My mom qualifies as another so so this is not good here. Lord I got to do something here. I thought I thought Lord understand what you're saying and I get it, but I don't think I can do this God you don't understand. Here I'm telling God and others that you don't understand what she did to me Lord and yet you know the Holy Spirit kept pressing me back and saying bought Colossians 313 says so I got on my face before God and I said God I know what I gotta do.
And so here's what I'm gonna do Lord I'm gonna tell you right here by faith in obedience to God that I am prepared, willing and ready to forgive my mother but you're going to have to make that turn into reality. Somehow God I don't know how to do that well all I can tell you, folks, I don't know how God did it, but once I committed myself to obedience. All I can tell you is God change my heart towards my mother.
By the end of her life. My mother and I could hug each other. My mother and I could kiss each other. I could look in my mother's eyes and tell her that I loved her docket holder, armor holder Hannah let her put her arm in mine and my mother came to Christ. Just before she died and I'm convinced that would never have happened if I had not forgiven my mother as a follower of Jesus, and she said to me once she said do you hated me. Growing up in you, and I said mom did.
It wasn't okay. Then what you did to me was okay now Jesus is made it okay now listen folks, there may be somebody in your life that you don't believe you can forgive I'm here to tell you if God can give me the power to forgive my mother God can give you the power to forgive anybody in your life.
Let me conclude by saying this that I've been praying for you guys all week. Otto I don't know every single name here, but I've been praying for you anyway because I know that in a crowd like this. There've got to be people who have not forgiven other folks in their life. Maybe it's a father or mother, maybe a brother or sister. Maybe an ex-husband or an ex-wife or I don't know somebody that did you dirty at work and betrayed you.
I don't know but there's a lot of us here today with the greatest need of our life is to forgive somebody folks.
The three most beautiful words in the world or I forgive you.
The three most healing words in the world are I forgive you. There's more power in those three words for healing the human heart than in every psychology book that's ever been written. The most liberating three words in all the human language is. I forgive you and some of us here are in bondage to bitterness were in bondage to hatred were in bondage to malice in gangrene and plus in our soul against somebody else, or maybe a couple people and listen, my friends, Jesus said if the Son of Man makes you free, you shall be free indeed. And he didn't just mean free from the penalty of sin. He meant free from the bondage of hatred and malice in unforgiveness to other people because he can give you the power to forgive those people and get free free and so what I would ask you to do in just a minute is to take those people and what they did do you pretend like it's a little piece of paper I'm going to ask you and your mind to take that piece of paper and a hammer and a nail and take that paper and nail it to the foot of the cross of Jesus and throw that hammer away and leave it there and be free be free. Listen such a job to exact justice from these people. Justice will be exacted from these people because we have a righteous God who when it's all said and done, he will see to it that righteous judgment is done, but that is not your job and it will kill you to try to make it your job. Your job is to forgive them and give them to God and go on with your life free in Christ with me and listen listen once you take a little piece of paper and you nail it to the cross. If Satan comes around tomorrow or the next day whispered in your ear, and Sampson don't you remember what they did to you… Don't you remember how they hurt you. This is this is. Don't you remember what they used to say to him in the name of Jesus say it out loud and in the power of Jesus by the blood of Jesus.
Satan you I resist you be gone because that's what you're talking about is nail to the cross for ever and I'm not pulling it off the cross. That's where it stays Satan, a man so let's pray together folks with our heads bowed in her eyes close, let's do exactly what we just whether it's a mother or father that hurt you badly brother or sister in ex-husband or wife someone at work. Someone at school doesn't matter.
You imagine what they did you take them and what they did nail that to the cross of Jesus and throw that hammer away and you leave it there and you say thank you Jesus I finally free free if you need to do that friends take a moment, let's do more Jesus.
There are so many people here today who been carrying a bondage in their life like I carried for years towards my mother. I'll never forget the day I gave it to you God and I stood up and I was free, free liberate like a thousand pounds of been taken off my shoulders in a thousand pounds of gangrene is taken out of my heart all God. That's the way you want us to live free at peace with all men, in our heart. So Lord Jesus today give us the power to do it.
Give us that obedience.
Oh God, liberate your people today Lord bring them out of bondage today and if you could open the Red Sea and if you can open the Jordan River and if you can raise Jesus from the dead, then you can give us the power to forgive.
So give it to us and set us free and heal our hearts in Jesus name we pray, God's people said Amen