Pastor Gene takes us to the account of Jacob and Esau as we see what the world tells us vs. what God's Word tells us.
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good morning welcome if you are new here among us my name is gene and i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor if you're tuning in from somewhere else welcome to somewhere else that's still funny to just like two people in the room i got to get a new one i just haven't had time to think about it a while back i told you guys a story about a man by himself out on a walk through the woods he was on a path and eventually that path i'm afraid of heights so it's as close as i'm going to get goes along a cliff side sure enough he slips off he falls a long way down finally he finds a branch to grab onto and he's holding on for dear life so in desperation he calls out help is there anyone up there yes he hears a voice ah okay help me the voice says let go i said who is that it's god let go man says is there anyone else up there today i'm going to tell you the rest of that story so the man's hanging on for a while and he cries out again anyone else finally yes yes there's someone else up there two people bandits two robbers now it's gonna sound similar to a movie but it's not some people know where i'm going but anyway they say we'll help you we're going to throw down a rope long rope he's a long way down you can climb up okay just one thing don't look down now this seem normal to the man right when we're in a high place especially if you're like me you're a little afraid of heights you look down you get a little dizzy sometimes don't look down all right they want to come up because they're going to rob them and they know by the time he climbs this rope he's going to be really really tired also he didn't offload some of his stuff he's got the backpack on it's full of all kinds of stuff so he's climbing up the rope now the thieves are just waiting finally he gets to the top he's totally exhausted he's done sure enough they rob him and kill him now while they're looting the body they're taking all the stuff out of the pockets the backpack everywhere he said to each other it's a good thing he didn't look down because if he had listened to god and let go he would have landed safely on the ground just a few feet beneath him last week we talked about promises this week we'll talk about kind of the opposite we looked at the adult life of isaac abraham's son we saw the getting a bride for isaac account maybe eliezer the servant went and got rebecca for him we also saw that he was deceitful with abimelech like father like son we saw that he made an oath with him that place was named beersheba well of the oath we did a bunch of skipping around and i told you we're going to do that a lot in the series so if you're following along i'll try to tell you where we are because we're keeping it topical the storyline doesn't always go like perfectly and chronologically or attaching ideas to one another kind of like a movie does right it'll kind of do cut scenes it'll cut away to something else that might be happening at the same time or at a different time so i'm putting it back together again and doing it topically this will be really interesting when we get to the prophets because they all go kind of back in to the rest of the story that happened before so this is what we're doing if you're new and you're wondering how i'm going about this so let's go back we did genesis 24 and 26 last week so let's hop into 25 we just went there for a brief moment and i want to look at the accounts of isaac's sons genesis 25 19. these are the family records of isaac son of abraham abraham fathered isaac isaac was 40 years old when he took his wife rebecca daughter of bethel the aramean from peyton arum and the sister of laban the arameans we're going to talk about him a little more today too isaac prayed to the lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless the lord heard his prayer and his wife rebecca conceived but the children inside her struggled with each other and she said why is this happening to me so she went to inquire of the lord and the lord said to her two nations are in your womb two people will come from you and be separated one people will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger so this is jacob and esau so first esau comes out and it says he's red and hairy really hairy so his name means harry he saw or sounds like harry we'll get there jacob comes out and he's grabbing esau's heel so his name sounds like deceiver and heel we saw these combination names they all kind of mean something they do become two nations that have a history with one another they'll develop it and we'll see this later in the rest of the story we can elaborate a little bit bible study wednesday 6 pm here are two reasons why esau grows up and he becomes a skillful hunter and isaac likes this his dad because he gets a lot of wild game and they make stews really enjoys that but it says that rebecca likes jacob and he's kind of a homebody so one day jacob is making stew esau comes in he smells it he's hungry he says i'm starving give me some of that red stew this is important because it says that this is where he gets his other name edom so whenever you hear about the Edomites this is where it comes from and that's this history if you're familiar with obadiah that's kind of what that's all about Edomites don't gloat over what's happening to israel so this sets us up for that give me some let's do i'm starving now jacob begins to earn his namesake he says i'll give you some of the stew if you sell me your birthright your inheritance hmm esau thinks about it for a minute and says well what good will my inheritance do me if i starve to death maybe there's some hyperbole there i don't know but he makes a bad decision and does it he eats the stew as we continue reading we see that isaac is now getting old and what he wants to do is bless his oldest son before he dies so he tells esau take a quiver of arrows in your bow and go out there and hunt me some of that wild game and make me a nice stew and then i'll bless you okay so he goes out and does it rebecca hears it she reminds you of sarah she's eavesdropping she likes jacob she wants him to have the blessing not esau so she gets jacob and she says go out and get a couple goats for me bring it back in i'll cook them up serve it to your father you get the blessing how is this possible well isaac is going blind he's really old he can't see okay but jacob's like i don't know my brother he's hairy and i have smooth skin not like my brother so if he touches me he's gonna know he says don't worry about it just do what i say if he curses you let that curse fall on me instead okay so he gets the goats she comes up with a plan she gets some of esau's favorite clothes and puts them on him so he's going to smell like them then she takes the skin of the animals and puts them on his arms and his neck probably where isaac will touch him cooks up the stew now he goes in jacob the deceiver ah is that esau you're back quick well god put it in my path it was easy here's your stew share your esau yeah come here let me touch you and sure enough it works he feels hairy but he says hmm the hands they're esaus but the voice is jacob's are you sure yes i'm esau okay he eats the stew and then gets his brother's blessing right as he's finishing up in comes esau he says i'm here cooks up the stew his dad's like i already gave you your blessing and he realizes jacob stole it esau's really upset now it says this genesis 27 36 so he said isn't he rightly named jacob for his cheated me twice now he took my birthright and look now he has taken my blessing then he asked haven't you saved a blessing from me but isaac answered esau look i have made him a master over you have given him all of his relatives as his servants and have sustained him with grain and new wine what then can i do for you my son esau said to his father do you only have one blessing my father bless me too my father and esau wept loudly then his father isaac answered him look your dwelling place will be away from the richness of the land away from the dew of the sky above so he's doing the opposite of what he told jacob you will live by your sword and you will serve your brother but when you rebel you will break his yoke from your neck so we see it first esau has contempt for his birthright sells it for a bowl of stew and jacob steals his blessing he saw val's revenge i'm going to kill him he's really upset and we'll see that in the future there will indeed be some strife between the two nations that they become in genesis 36 something kind of important happens a lot of people miss esau takes a spite bride he goes and he marries ishmael's daughter now if you're following along and you remember who was ishmael that was abraham's other son by the slave wife that got sent away it's also the reason that they're sending their sons away they don't want them to marry the local women the hittites the canaanites those people they want to keep it with their own kinsmen so esaun knows this knows his parents aren't going to be happy so he takes one of those women as his bride so now you have these two people right that are going to be at odds coming together so it's important but it's also important because rachel who's also been deceptive uses that very same reasoning to get isaac to send jacob away very interesting she says i won't have my son marrying one of these hittite or canaanite women it's important isaac he can still hear and so he says yeah good idea let's send him away so he doesn't marry any of these canaanite women so same reasoning that the servant was sent to get rebecca if you remember from last week so jacob goes he flees to peyton arum where laban is on the way there you guys probably remember this story it takes a nap on a rock doesn't sound very comfortable but he has a vision and he sees angels coming up and down like the stairway or some people say ladder god's at the top and god gives him a great blessing like the one that he gave to his father and his grandfather except this time it's not like stars in the sky your descendants will be like stars in the sky it says dust of the ground still many imagine grains of sand there are many you can't count them blesses him and so he decides to call this place bethel house of god surely god is here and then he uses the stone he napped on it's just like a commemorative marker bethel is an important place finally jacob arrives at peyton arum he comes across a well and some people there he asks about levin do you know laban yes we do and you know what there's his daughter rachel coming our way now we have another well scene do you remember what happened at the last well you had a laser the servant maybe him and rebecca well here something different happens in this account jacob the groom is actually there he's at the scene unlike the servant and this time he waters the flocks for her it was the woman the other time so it's reversed this time well she's excited finds out he's kin this time first cousins not second cousins like his mom and dad and so she runs and tells laban laban gets excited comes out and saves them this is great now jacob ends up working for him for about a month about a month by and he says something that's kind of out of character for laban but we'll see where he's going with this he said you know just because you're my kinsmen you shouldn't be working for free what do you want as your wages well jacob says give me your daughter rachel he says okay work for seven years and i'll give her to you so it says it went by like a few days because of his love for rachel so they get to the time of the wedding feast and here's the thing has two daughters leia and it says some not so nice things about her she's not pretty i put it that way and rachel which says she has a nice figure she's very pretty well when it gets dark maybe jacob drank a lot at the wedding feast it just says it gets dark speculating laban puts leia in the tent not rachel he wakes up what did you do i can't believe this laban's kind of casual about it it's kind of a surprising response well it's not our custom here to give away the younger daughter before the older daughter every time i read that i laugh because i think you had seven years to tell me that like that's like the fine print you know what i mean like he's holding on to that the whole time right he doesn't see them flirting with each other or anything not nothing i'm gonna get them all right but i'll give you rachel if you work another seven years but here's the thing after the wedding feast week they would they would feast for a week at a wedding after that's over you can marry rachel too so he gets her like ahead of time i guess part of the deal so he's like okay fine and this is what it says genesis 29 20 and jacob did just that he finished the week of celebration and laban gave him his daughter rachel as a wife and laban gave his slave bilhah to his daughter rachel as her slave jacob slept with rachel also and indeed he loved rachel more than leah and he worked for laban another seven years so now we have something that everybody skips over but it's kind of important when you start reading the rest of the story to understand why the relationships between these people are the way they are so i'll drop into some kind of series my wife is watching and i don't know what is going on well that person did like why did he do that well you know this relative of this family member killed somebody or whatever and did this and that so now he's getting revenge i don't know any of it and so in order to understand some of these relationships understanding these genealogies are very very important and they can be arduous they can be difficult to read but i'm just going to encourage you to go through them so here's what happens it says that god has some favor on leo or feels sorry for her because he knows that jacob likes rachel right so she's blessed with children first so you have the oldest child reuben simeon levi and judah judah is the line from which jesus comes from well rachel gets antsy she's upset she's not having children so she gives jacob her slave or servant bilhah to be with does it sound familiar to you remember sarah and hagar so he's with belja that's fine dan naphtali come from bilhah well then lee is not getting pregnant this is problematic for her she has a slave zilpah and now she has gad and asher well then we get a kind of funny story about mandrakes who knows what a mandrake is amazing you're a liar you watch harry potter mandrake i didn't either so don't feel bad i didn't either until i was preparing for this message it's one of those things i just kind of read by when i read my bible or i'm listening to it i'm like whatever i guess it's a tasty treat here's what happens reuben the oldest son gets mandrakes and gives them to leah his mother i know it's difficult are you following all right so the one that he doesn't love rachel wants the mandrakes so she says give me some of them now leia responds harshly ah first you steal my son now you are my husband now you want my son's mandrakes too that's the conversation so she says you know what i'll give you jacob if i can have some of those mandrakes now that alone by itself might sound surprising like what but if you remember the other stories you have esau selling his birthright for red stew so whatever i guess in this storyline it seems kind of normal i started thinking what's a mandrake i found out i thought it was like a fruit or something like that i said well that must be really tasty fruit let me get some of that because you're going to sell your spouse for it it's got to be pretty good but you know like let's try it but it turns out that a mandrake is like a root in an ancient world that has properties or they believed it had properties that would make you more fertile ah rachel's not having kids so here's another example of someone trying to press forward on a human effort to make these births happen really interesting i didn't know that that was underneath there so i just learned it now you know you can sound smart at a bible study or something like that but here's the thing you got to remember there's an important theme that we're going to see it's all throughout the bible it says that before having joseph now rachel prays very important this wasn't done on her own initiative god did it god caused joseph to happen joseph's going to be really important if you're paying attention i'll give you a little hint here i normally like to leave this stuff and let you guys find the easter eggs but really important we go over the joseph accountant remember who rachel is it's the bride he wanted first he got kind of like cheated out of it for the seven years it's the one he loves right there's strife between the two brides and now it's finally one of our own children not through the servant you could have children back then through your servant wife because you own the servant anything they do becomes your property that's how that works but it's important joseph is really really important i'll tell you another one in a minute we'll both keep going through the story here well jacob wants to leave he gets to a point where he wants to go and laban in the background when you put it all together he doesn't want him to go all right jacob is a good shepherd and he's making laban a lot of money laban's he really happy leave and he says what should your wages be jacob's like not another bride do that again right it'll cost me another seven years more trouble and mandrakes or whatever i'm done hearing about it right so he says give me the speckled spotted or you know the black sheep of the flock give me them that's it now i ran up on it because i know nothing about farming at all and i'm wondering why he does this well it's a small percentage of the flock it's said that maybe like 20 block is going to be like this so he knows he's going to get it it's a good deal for laban laban says okay but then laban now again deceives the deceiver he goes and he removes those sheep from his flock gives them to his sons and puts them out about a three-day journey nice so what does jacob do no problem so he's tending to his uncle laban's flock and he does another kind of ancient thing that is weird if you've ever read this account he takes bark strips and he puts them in the water and then when the sheep mate in front of it they come out the babies come out speckled spotted i don't know this made me go what you know what i mean so it's like one of those things like be careful what tv show is on when you guys are consummating your thing there you know because what could your child let's watch brad pitt and angelina jolie right and then the kids will be really handsome so i wondered about this like what you look at and then your child comes out like that how does this work apparently in the ancient world they believed that but it's like the mandrake probably not no like all the holistic people are like no it works so i don't know okay so i'm not a scientist or a doctor anyway they believed this and so that's what's going on here it's important to pay attention though to what happens he's clever he mates only the stronger sheep so on some of his own initiative it works out he becomes very very wealthy the flocks increase greatly and then he decides he's going to leave why here's what it says genesis 31 1. now jacob heard what laban's sons were saying jacob has taken all that was our father's and has built his wealth from belong to our father and jacob saw from laban's face that his attitude toward him was not the same then the lord said to him go back to the land of your fathers and to your family and i will be with you okay but here's what happens he consults with rachel and leah and they say fine we want to get out of here our dad has squandered our inheritance anyway so we're out but that's not enough rachel decides to steal from her father his idols i'll explain this to you if you haven't read the bible you don't understand it it's okay sometimes idols can be like statues that people worship false gods idols all right so when we talk about idols in the church what are your idols meaning what are the things that you're worshiping what are the things you're putting ahead of god and that's what they are but at this time they're like little figurines they can be maybe he carved them out of wood the bible talks a lot about that kind of stuff and she decides to steal them hmm they take off they get about three days out see a theme here laban notices takes layman about seven days to catch up with him when he does he's really upset like what did you do how could you take off like this if you had told me i would have thrown you a celebration it would have been great well there's nothing in laban's character to suggest that this would have happened this way so jacob starts leveling back at him this big argument then laban gets to another problem and you know what you're a thief jacob you've stolen my idols jacob's like i don't know what you're talking about search everywhere if you find whoever did it kill him so he does he searches his daughters and their servants tense and doesn't come up with anything because they are in rachel's saddle either under the saddle or within it so laban gets to rachel or rebecca rachel rachel sorry it gets very confusing rachel saddle thought i said it wrong gets up to her and she says excuse me sir it's my time of the month he says okay i'm out so he doesn't check for the idol so she steals the idol she deceives him then we see an interaction with jacob and esau finally it's been about 20 years it's been a long time but jacob's a little nervous about it he's thinking is he gonna kill me now i could be in trouble so what he does is he sends gifts and waves ahead of him and ends up working out they get along he doesn't decide to take revenge if we fast forward a little bit rachel she dies like everybody does but she dies in childbirth giving birth to benjamin she's really sad so at first she names him as she's dying with her dying breath benoni which means son of my sorrow but jacob renames him benjamin remember let me give you give you a couple of easter eggs here two kids rachel has joseph and benjamin a couple weeks from now that's going to be very important they're very important players in the story and this will give you the motivation as to why jacob does some of the things that he does later isaac dies and we see another interaction with jacob and esau and it's friendly they bury his father it says this 35 28 of genesis isaac lived 180 years did five years better than his dad he took his last breath and died and was gathered to his people old and full of days his sons esau and jacob buried him so regardless of the deceit we don't see any revenge yet we'll talk about that later and the rest of the story maybe esau thinks it's a dish better served cold come on stew guys they're killing me okay now you may know that it's not just abraham who had the name changed you remember that he went from abram to abraham exalted father to father of multitudes the father of many while jacob was waiting for esau he's afraid it's night time he's a little scared something happens a man shows up and wrestles with him overnight a man kind of interesting he dislocates jacob's hip socket but regardless of that he won't let go he's holding on very tight it says this genesis 32 26 and the man said let me go for the dawn is breaking but jacob said i will not let you go unless you bless me this guy likes his blessings what is your name the man asked he replied jacob your name will no longer be jacob the man told him from now on you will be called israel because you have fought with god and with men and have won please tell me your name jacob said why do you want to know my name the man replied then he blessed jacob there jacob named the place peniel which means face of god for he said i have seen god face to face now we know if we read the bible in its entirety for example hosea i believe chapter 12 verses 3 and 4 tells us that this is an angel from god it's god himself and that jacob had wrestled or struggled with god so it's interesting to think jacob he goes on to being from being the deceiver to the one who wrestles or holds on to god that is the origin of the name israel struggles with god or holds on to god or wrestles with god remember how jacob grabbed on to esau's heel he started his life that way jacob is grabbing on to things even if he has to use deceit to get it he's holding on to all the things of the world see what's going on here he starts out that way whether it's the inheritance all the stuff the livestock it's holding on to allah but now he's israel he's holding on to god the rest of the story here a lot of people don't cover is very important when he sends the gifts on ahead something interesting happens you got to think about it i told you it's about 20 years right so he has all these herds it's a lot of stuff it's like a small moving a small village or town around with him a lot of stuff 20 years of wealth he's got with him he lets go of it genesis 32 21. so the gifts is for esau were sent on ahead while jacob himself spent that night in the camp during the night jacob got up took his two wives his two servant wives and his 11 sons and crossed the jabbok river with them after taking them to the other side he sent over all his possessions he's there with no one and nothing when he holds on to god and god gave him a new name the world has a lot of names for us doesn't it sometimes they're good sometimes they're not but god has given us a new identity in him like jacob if we hold on to him have you ever lived life in deceit have you ever deceived anyone has anyone ever deceived you in what ways might the world be deceiving us you see the world tells us a lot of lies but as i've told you the word does not new people come here and sometimes they say something like that was refreshing you preached the bible others go that was a lot of scriptures and i don't say see you next week we preach from the word here for a reason because it does not lie to us it is the truth the minute i start giving too many of my opinions i get it wrong one degree of separation down the line way off so i always come back to the word i paraphrase i'll tell you the stories but what am i doing it comes back to the word it's always verified in the word i will never tell you anything that you can't find and by the way probably redundantly in the word of god we shouldn't be deceived by the lies of this world we shouldn't cling to them either some of us like them sometimes we cling to those lies we shouldn't cling to them even if they seem good even if they seem like they're getting us somewhere this promise will be fulfilled eventually seems good sometimes sometimes it's fun sometimes it's not a climb sometimes it is sometimes we think we're climbing the rope the ladder to success here's the thing in reality the word the world is always out to deceive us we find our real hope in clinging to god and god alone the world is shouting shouting lies to us climb that ladder to success believe this or that be angry about this and that hate this person or that person constantly but where's christ in that we mustn't confuse one ladder with the other ladder the real goal is in heaven you see the world tells us this is it this is all that there is for you it has all there is to offer but the word says something different set your minds on what is above not not on what is on the earth the world says this is our permanent home and our final resting place but the word says but our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a savior the lord jesus christ he will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself he is the visible image of the invisible god colossians 1 15. the world will also tell you there's something wrong with you that you need what it has to offer because god is not enough they will tell you not to trust in god's provision don't let go it's whatever it is you're holding on to don't look down take this rope hang yourself with it but we need to let go and let god trust in his provisions we must learn that from the word you see whatever jacob thought he was doing to increase his wealth the bark strips rachel's mandrakes the growth was caused by god god tells jacob this and if you know this if you're listening today and you refuse the rope or whatever it is or i'll do something different it'll try to get you to identify with it tricks you you belong here because you're one of them and we have all kinds of different groups we can join and say i'm of this i'm of that instead of just saying i'm a christian i don't know about any of those other things who cares my eyes are focused on jesus christ and the hope of the riches in his glory what else matters the world is telling you what's this child of god stuff what's this children of the promised thing you're talking about come on the world also tells you you'll never change but the word says this therefore if anyone is in christ he's a new creation old things have passed away and look look new things have come the world loves to remind you of your mistakes sells them back to you all the time and we buy it loves to remind you you've deceived someone you've lied in the past you slipped and fell off that cliff and now you need the world's help somehow you fail the word says but thank god he gives us victory over sin and death through our lord jesus christ that's the truth not the world the world tells you you're nothing special but the word says i will praise you because i have been remarkably and wonderfully made your works are wonderful i know this very well the world tells you you're worthless but the word says you're worth it first john 4 9. god showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him this is real love not that we loved god but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins we must not hold on to the world it's lies and it's false promises it's deceit instead we must hold on to the word the word of life running short on time so i won't recite the whole thing but in the past i've recited the carmen christie gospel poem philippians 2. it's beautiful tells us about the nature the character of jesus christ who he is he's god what he did for us he was obedient to the point of death even to death on a cross for this reason god highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name so that every knee will bow and every tongue should confess that jesus christ is lord the glory of god the father paul's writing by the power of the holy spirit these beautiful beautiful words and then he says this philippians 2 16 hold firmly to the word of life hold firmly to the word of life then i can boast in the day of christ that i didn't run a label labor for nothing you see paul knows how we finish this race strong and he wants him to finish the race strong he knows we do this by holding firmly to the word of life as i close this morning i'm just going to take a step back i'm going to let the word of god speak to you i want to read you what it says about the world versus the word first john 1 1. we proclaim to you that the one who existed from the beginning he's talking about jesus whom we have heard and seen we saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands he is the word of life he moves on he's worried about false teachers liars people of the world it's always a bad thing versus you god's children first john 2 14 i have written to you who are god's children because you know the father i have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know christ who existed from the beginning i have written to you who are young in the faith because you're strong god's word lives in your hearts and you have won your battle with the evil one do not love this world nor the things it offers you for when you love the world you do not have the love of the father in you for the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure a craving for everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions these are not from the father but are from this world and this world is fading away along with everything that people crave but anyone who does what pleases god will live forever that's a promise you should hold on to first john 4 4 but you belong to god my dear children you've already won a victory over these people because the spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world those people belong to this world so they speak from the world's viewpoint and the world listens to them the word tells us how we achieve victory first john 5 starting at verse 4 for every child of god defeats this evil world and we achieve this victory through our faith and who can win this battle against the world only those who believe that jesus is the son of god we must hold firmly to those promises we must hold firmly to the word of life not to the things of this world but to god let me pray for you lord i thank you for this day for these people your body the body of christ your church there's anyone who's not yet made that commitment and said that jesus christ as lord and savior work on their heart realize that the world is lying to them that they should accept the truth in jesus christ the son of god our lord and savior i pray that those who have received the promises the blessings there were children of god that you strengthen them by the power of your holy spirit build them up so that they radiate out to the community a love to their neighbors so that more people come to know you all glory and honor to you we pray these things in jesus name amen