Today we take a look at the adult life of Issac as we look at covenants.
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good morning everyone there we are i bet you liked it better the other way uh if you're new here among us my name is gene i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor and i want to go off the notes for just a minute as i was preparing for my message i felt that the lord was telling me to tell you guys something we've been talking about obedience lately in the series obedience nobody likes that word obey right sounds like something we tell dogs to do be obedient sit stay come here right so we don't like it and therefore it's one of the hardest things to preach on it's really tough because you're covering a multitude of things right so we all sin we all fall short we're all going through something especially when it's politics that's really really tough for people and the world is just trying so hard to make you angry that's what satan wants to do he wants to divide he wants to divide people he wants to divide the country he wants to divide the church and so what happens as a pastor you see it so i see my brothers and sisters who are democrats or republicans and then they start doing this dividing separating and forgetting about the main things as a pastor that breaks my heart because really all of that is secondary jesus is here the enemy is just going to tell you something totally different but we have to believe these other things too and if my brother or sister doesn't believe it i have to fight with them about it and it's just not true it's not true we're in church all that out there all right the gospel the truth about the word not the world i want to see that today all of this will fade away it's all going to be gone read to the end of the book all gone doesn't matter jesus is coming back all right so just want to let you guys know that uh if you don't know me i'm a former martial arts instructor so we did mixed martial arts tough stuff and so i'd always hesitate to compliment someone it was more like hard discipline i always felt like you ever get this when you're a parent if you're a parent you know i was just telling you how good you were doing you know and then so it's hard for me but i just want to say this to you guys i know we're going to go a little over today but we're all good right we have lunch afterwards okay good we can you know we can go five minutes late for jesus we got food upstairs actually all right so i just have to say this to you from the bottom of my heart good job for those of you who stuck it out had some tough conversations with people we worked through it like brothers and sisters in christ and if you're here if you stuck it out good job good job i appreciate you guys all right so let's stay in the word the main thing the main thing amen amen thank you it's been a joy actually the last week you guys have made my life a joy so i want to say that no nasty phone calls emails or meetings it's been wonderful you're spoiling me so here's a question for you have you ever made a promise to someone so important that you had to like seal it with something like a pinky swear is that a thing anymore do people do they do they still do pinky swears all right well we've been looking at covenants that is promises in the bible we see a lot of promises being made we've been in genesis in the last message in this series we looked at abraham and the early life of his son isaac was the fulfillment of god's promise before that we saw that abraham rescued lot remember sodom and gomorrah and then there is the tithe to and the blessing from that mysterious high priest melchizedek then genesis 15 1 says some time later the lord spoke to abram in a vision and said to him do not be afraid abram for i will protect you and your reward will be great but abram replied o sovereign lord what good are all your blessings when i don't even have a son since you've given me no children eleazar of damascus a servant in my household will inherit my wealth you have given me no descendants of my own so one of my servants will be my heir and the lord said to him no your servant will not be your heir for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir then the lord took abram outside and he said to him look up into the sky and count the stars if you can that's how many descendants seed you will have do you think that abram was actually able to count the stars maybe he could if he had a telescope now we can get a better look than abram or abraham did thanks to people like jocelyn bell burnell a remarkable person who in 1967 at the age of just 24 years old helped build a radio telescope at cambridge university in england almost immediately afterwards she used it to discover pulsars completely upending everything we knew about supernova explosions this earned a nobel prize in physics or her supervisor anthony hewish but he was kind enough to share it with martin ryall not jocelyn bell brunell in those days junior assistants simply didn't make big discoveries and if they did they weren't by a woman she didn't get credit right away but i'm talking about her today so she did make it into the history books now maybe we can relate to this in some way shape or form maybe we had an experience with a colleague at work who took credit for ours maybe it's a lab partner in school who was always absent but got the credit for the project when we did all the hard work today we're going to look at a biblical account someone who did a lot of work but didn't necessarily get credit for it and someone who did almost nothing whose name did make it to the history books so god made a promise as we've seen but then abraham tries to fulfill it on his own human effort but then he learns to trust god and wait so god fulfills the promise and it's isaac and so it is abraham's faith that leads to obedience and this obedience leads to what we looked at in the last part the sacrifice or willingness to do so on abraham's part of isaac an amazing story of absolute obedience now today we're going to jump around a little bit we're going to be in genesis 24 and 26. i told you bible's not always chronological it often kind of zooms in and out of scenes like a movie or a tv show would so today we're going to hop around just to keep it topical we're going to be looking at the adult life of isaac and here we reach a story that actually gets left out most of the time it's kind of funny in fact if you've ever read the story or done the story as a church we did that program years ago this one gets almost totally left out the story just tells us that isaac marries rebecca then it moves on to other stories it doesn't go deep into this at all it's a shame so here we see that abraham is getting old he's getting on in years and he wants a bride for his son isaac right he's the fulfillment of this promise but then all the descendants are going to come through isaac so this is important it's a big deal so he trusts his oldest servant and he says you're going to take an oath you're going to put your hand under my thigh it's kind of like an ancient pinky swear it is said that the descendants come from this region get my drift gross but anyway they just do this right come in my office dustin and put your hand under my thigh we have to call a lawyer all right so it's not like that anyway so we just that and we'll do that and then that's it so he trusts them with this task it's a monumental task it's really important they both know it he says do not let isaac marry any of these local canaanite women i want you to do that i want you to go back to my homeland back to my kinsmen and find a bride for isaac there natural question what if i can't find one the servant says he says don't worry prophetically he says the lord told me the angel is going to go ahead of you and make you successful in this task but abraham doesn't trust the people there and he says well if she doesn't come back you're not going to be held to this oath the curse won't be on you don't worry about that so the servant loads up ten camels with all kinds of gifts this is for the bride price and he sets out finally gets to a ram between the rivers avraham literally between two rivers is where nahor had settled he's outside the town at the well knows that the women are going to be coming out to get water to draw water from the well when he gets there he does something very important that we don't often do he stops and prays lord please make me successful for my master lord abraham in this task now you ever do something like this maybe you got like a crumpled up piece of paper you want to throw away and you try to make a basket but you make bets with yourself about things like if i make this basket i'll win lotto no i'm the only one who's like made little deals with myself like if i make this okay whatever i'm crazy but anyway this is kind of what he does made me laugh anyway he says lord i'm gonna choose one of these women and the one who gives me water i'm going to ask her for water i'm going to say give me something to drink the one who not only gives me something to drink but then waters my camels that's the bride for isaac it says his prayers it's kind of it's kind of funny i don't know struck me as strange i'm strange anyway before he can finish praying he looks up and he sees rebecca coming so you have to picture this kind of middle eastern type of thing she's got the water jug and everything and she's going to draw water and he runs up to her can i have a drink of water sure she lowers the jug gives him a drink of water let me water the camels yes home run all right so gene made the basket very excited he waits for her to finish up gives her a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets like wonder woman or something so nose rings they were all the rage back then and in the 80s so so he's excited he asks her a couple of questions he says whose daughter are you and is there a room in your house where i can stay and she says well i'm the daughter of bethel who is the son of nehor and milka ding-ding-ding that's abraham's family so it's a good thing in this particular case not now but in this particular case that's a good thing his his kinsmen so this is good he's happy now if you've been paying attention to names this is very complicated a lot of twists and turns nahor is abraham's brother milka was haran's daughter that is nehorn abraham's brother that means that nehor married his niece i think i've got that right weird it's very strange and i think she's brothers with lot you can check my work on that one too so it all kind of comes around they're keeping it in the family so this is isaac's second cousin that's what that is rebecca he's older than her probably around 40 years old and she's younger says that she's a virgin but old enough to get married so he says great she rushes off goes back home and tells her family what happened now there's another person that i want you guys to pay attention to over the next couple weeks he's interesting and we're going to see some foreshadowing laban lavin is an interesting cat so he hears the story he sees the gold nose ring the bracelets all the stuff and he gets excited he rushes out to the servant and he's like come on in because he knows he's got the ten camels with all the goodies on it all right so just just remember laban's character here he comes in they have a meal prepared for him and the servant says no no no no this is exciting i got to tell you what happened so it's kind of a long account in the bible because he says it all again he retells the entire thing we're not going to do that again so they say bethel and laban great this is obviously from the lord you can have rebecca great he spends the night the servant gets up the next morning he says i gotta get going this is awesome i got to share it with my master my lord more foreshadowing we kind of want you to stay a while now if you know what i'm talking about not 14 years just 10 days somebody's reading the bible just 10 days he's like nope i can't do it i got to get back to my master well let's ask rebecca see what she says she says yes so they go and now you get this scene that's kind of like the prodigal son scene you have isaac in the field and rebecca in the distance and they see each other very romantic in the nlt audio bible they put on this nice like music you know so it's like you get you get a picture here and rebecca says to the servant who is that that's my master's son my master she puts on the veil they meet each other and that goes really fast from here they end up in his mother's tent consummating the marriage that's it it says that he loved her and she comforted him isaac and rebecca so sarah's dead by the way so get that picture out of your mind remember last time she died 127. so then have chapter 25 spoiler alert abraham dies 175 years old jacob and esau are born we're saving that for next next week again adult life of isaac so we move to chapter 26 and there's something interesting it's kind of a reoccurring theme there's a famine in the land now this should sound a little bit familiar to you this happened before with abraham this will happen again and the joseph accounts there's often a famine and then they go to egypt to get grain or whatever they need and there's a big deal on the joseph account well here it happens again but there's something different about this the lord tells isaac to stay put in gerar so this is a land of the philistines and there's another name abimelech if you were paying attention you might have heard that name before abraham also had an encounter with a guy named abemelek a lot of people try to figure this one out but this is what the word says that is abimelech and he's a philistine king in gerar that's it same description so some people will say it's got to be a different one it doesn't say that it says it's the same abimelech well isaac he's hanging out and when people ask him who rebecca is he says she's my sister sound familiar same thing abraham did probably the same guy kind of weird like father like son well it's different with abimelech this time last time god told him this time he perceives it he sees isaac caressing rebecca he gets mad what are you doing if someone was with her you would have caused us all the sin and he makes a proclamation anybody who touches her or him or him or her they die story continues isaac stays in the land and his servants are digging wells that's really important gotta remember like a desert arid kind of climate there you're to need water even here we need water so they dig wells that's a big deal he's prospering says his crops produce 100 times it's a lot he's expanding and expanding and as a result the philistines start getting jealous and they start filling in his wells with dirt it's no good and eventually abimelech says you know what get on out of here you've grown too powerful for us but isaac despite all this continues to prosper he's digging wells but the philistines are still making it difficult for him he doesn't go very far because maybe into the valley of gerard it says so not a maps guy but not far so they're still filling as well and he names them different things arguing hostility they name all these wells because that's what's going on but finally open space he gets room to grow he prospers now abimelech he's perceptive and so he approaches isaac isaac's like what you already kicked me out he has an advisor there his military general peakel what do you want you hate me he's like no i don't want there to be hostility between us so let's make an oath let's promise not to be hostile toward one another smart guy so they take an oath and they call that place or reaffirm that place because it's come up before beersheba it means well of the oath and it's a word play because it sounds like seven two well the oath are seven why seven because there are seven lambs that are involved with the covenant here so in this section of scripture we see a lot of oaths that require faith in another person and most importantly god we saw that abraham had faith and a sign of that faith was indeed obedience which was credited to him as righteousness and he got credit for it a lot of credit he's mentioned a lot in the bible but here's the thing would we be that obedient even if we knew we'd never get credit for it many don't realize that there is the rest of the rest of the story in the servant maybe you noticed something now remember abraham's initial concern here at the initiation of the covenant there's a reason i went to genesis 15 here he thinks that the servant will inherit the wealth genesis 15 2 but abram replied o sovereign lord what good are all your blessings when i don't even have a son since you've given me no children eliezer of damascus a servant in my household will inherit all my wealth but god says genesis 15 5 then the lord took abram outside and said to him look up into the sky and count the stars if you can that's how many descendants you will have and indeed it's true but whatever happened to the servant maybe you notice something that in today's account servant didn't have a name on the paper here in genesis chapter 24 but some say it is in genesis 15 2. it's a trusted servant his oldest servant so some say it is a leaser who took the oath did the ancient pinky swear with abram i hope he washed his hands now if we give a leisure credit for it doesn't say so i'm not saying it's him if we give him credit for it he did a lot he made a promise he made a plan he submitted and prayed to god he devised a strategy with room for god to work he was patient he accepted the answer with thanks he worshipped and he refused delay and if it isn't eliezer he didn't get any credit for any of it have you ever approached a promise to someone with such single-minded devotion and obedience while trusting completely in god have you ever fulfilled the promise selflessly without receiving any credit we talked about faith leading to obedience and we saw that those who love jesus are the ones who obey his commands john 14 21 now we are saved by god's grace through our faith in jesus christ understand that but true faith will produce obedience when looking at the story of isaac in these accounts we see that isaac really didn't do very much maybe that's why it gets left out of the story but when we combine this with what he actually did do which was deceive abimelech we could easily draw the conclusion that we are like isaac nothing we have to do we can go around sinning it just doesn't matter well we saw in the last part in this series that there are two sides to the coin that we have to look at can't be like one side of the coin christians all the time there are two sides to this there was abraham credited as righteous because of his faith in context not by works of the law we see this in galatians 3 and romans 4. but james too by what he did as well it's important when we're baptized we die to our old self that's what that symbolizes and we rise a new creation into a new life in jesus christ but we also come under the lordship of jesus christ i think many christians either forget about it or they're not told about it i didn't hear that at my baptism so it took me a while i wish someone had told me before i got baptized you're going to do this gonna dunk you in the water it symbolizes the dying of your old self and the rising a new creation do you know what that means no one asked me that question it's like whew we're gonna get baptized i'm like before i did it you are now coming under the lordship of the king of all kings there's a responsibility that goes with that you now represent him and everything that you do and say requires obedience he said those who love me will obey me do you know what jesus said to do things like turn the other cheek it's hard but you're baptized in the holy spirit too will help you do this stuff still requires obedience a lot of people don't hear that or they don't understand that you see in luke chapter 6 jesus talks about a good tree producing good fruit means we must produce good deeds there must be results that people can see of this salvation i'll show you that scripture in case you don't believe me he says this why do you call me lord lord but you don't do what i say luke 6 46 look it up he's saying how can you say that i'm your lord and master if you don't do what i'm saying if you don't obey me at all it's ridiculous eliezer if that's him he called abraham his master his lord because he was he obeyed him implicitly and trusted in god and so should we likewise our lord if that's what we're calling him requires obedience that's it and like the servant we are given instructions about how we live that out a whole lot of them love start there covers a lot of them jesus teaches about how we are to fulfill this obedience to him and he says let your good deeds shine so that god gets the glory and then he goes on he continues on that because a lot of people stop there he talks about a whole bunch of sins then matthew 6 1 he says watch out it's important what he's going to say next don't do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will lose you will lose if you do this you will lose the reward from your father in heaven it's not no by the way when you give to someone in need don't do as the hypocrites do blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their actions of charity i tell you the truth they have received all the reward they will ever get but when you give to someone in need don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing give your gifts in private and your father who sees everything will reward you like eliza or the unknown servant we don't get credit for it we get to share in his glory not ours but as we saw we do get to share in his glory and that is an amazing thing more radiant than any glory we could ever produce on our own that reward is in heaven something interesting before isaac has the encounter with abimelech god reassures him of the promise he made to his father to abraham it says this genesis 26 4 i will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky and i will give them all these lands and through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed i will do this because abraham listened and obeyed all my requirements commands decrees and instructions we looked at philippians i like philippians a lot especially chapter two sometimes i recite the carmen christie gospel poem to you it's beautiful i have like sevenish lines of favorite scripture i don't have a life verse i won't go there again anyway it's a beautiful gospel poem we could repeat it every sunday in church and it wouldn't be enough it tells us about the nature of christ who he is and what he did for us and in it it says that he was obedient to the point of death even to death on a cross if we keep reading it says this philippians 2 12. dear friends paul writes you always followed my instructions when i was with you and now that i'm away it is even more important work hard to show the results of your salvation obeying god with deep reverence and fear for god is working in you giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you live clean innocent lives as children of god shining like bright stars in a world full of crooked and perverse people shining like stars in the sky we are part of the fulfillment of god's promise going all the way back to abram like stars in the sky you are part of that fulfillment of god's promise isaac was the fulfillment of a promise and paul writes this in galatians while in context he compares and contrasts abraham's children as slaves to the law of freedom in christ but he says this galatians 4 22 the scriptures say that abraham had two sons one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife the son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of god's promise but the son of the freeborn wife was born as god's own fulfillment of his promise and you dear brothers and sisters are children of the promise just like isaac beautiful and you dear brothers and sisters you are children of the promise just like isaac we are the children of the promise who will share in christ's glory and inheritance shining like stars in the sky we've been talking about history a little bit i like to do that biblical history and other world history now we may not end up in the history books like jocelyn bell burnell or isaac and it doesn't really matter anyway because there's a much better book that we should be far more concerned with ending up in did you know that god has his own history book through what jesus did for us we end up in a better book the book of life through jesus christ our names are now in the book of life if we keep reading philippians in context there's eodia and sintiki they're not getting along there's women in the church in philippi just as today back then too they're not getting along he's encouraging them this is the context but he says this pay attention philippians 4 33 and i ask you my true partner to help these two women for they worked hard with me in telling others the good news they worked along with clement and the rest of my co-workers whose names are written in the book of life jesus puts our name there he fulfilled a promise through obedience and that promise our names are in the lamb's book of life we celebrated the resurrection last week and many don't realize that the resurrection was prophesied about in the old testament they don't realize that it's in daniel it's because they're like a couple places where people usually stop reading the daniel diet stop right three people in the fire and stop there the lion's dead stop that's it right that's the story but daniel there's a lot more to it than that and if you get all the way to chapter 12 it talks about the end times and something else too daniel 12 1. at that time michael the archangel who stands guard over your nation will arise then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since the nations first came into existence but at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever do you ever notice that before it's beautiful and indeed when we get to the end of the rest of the story almost one chapter away from it see that jesus has come back the word of the lord he takes care of all this stuff we're worried about indeed it's all gone there's a new heaven and a new earth and there's a new jerusalem it says this revelation 21 22 i saw no temple in the city for the lord god almighty in the lamb are its temple and the city has no need for sun or moon for the glory of god illuminates the city and the lamb jesus is its light the nations will walk in its light and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory its gates will never be closed at the end of the day because there's no night there and all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city nothing evil will be allowed to enter nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty but only those whose names are written in the lamb's book of life amen as you go out this week take that one with you remember that when someone slaps you across the face remember that when you see something you don't agree with jesus has got it jesus has got it and your names are written in the lamb's book of life that's what's important through jesus we're in there and our hope and assurance is in sharing in his glory the glory of jesus christ so we must finish our race here strong holding on to that promise that hope and that assurance i pray for you lord i thank you for this church everyone who took the time to be here to dig into your word their love for you lord that radiate out into each other bind us in your holy spirit unify us as a church let that also radiate out to everyone they encounter throughout their week everyone they encounter throughout their week everyone and lord if there are any within the sound of my voice who have not come underneath your lordship fully i pray they surrender to you be filled with your holy spirit love you in their mind their heart believe what you did for them i ask these things in jesus name