Faithlife Sermons

Jacob Learns Faith

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Finisher Of Our Faith

Genesis 28-35


- unfinished home

- unfinished car

- Does God do that with us?

- God has

- prepared the way of salvation

- prepared the soil of our hearts

- called us to himself

- put a new heart in us by the rebirth of the Holy Spirit

- Our part in salvation was only to receive the gift of God

- does he then leave us to complete the job ourselves?

- Does He stop working once He gets us to salvation or does God finish the job he starts in us?

            - Philippians 1:6 - “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

- Hebrews 12:2 - Jesus - “the author and perfecter of our faith...”  - KJV - “finisher.”

- I Thessalonians 5:24 - “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”


- example of how God does His work in the life of Jacob.

- How was God at work in his life?

- How is God at work in your life?

I. God’s Chosen

A. Flawed Character

- After last Sunday’s message,

- “a terrible man, he makes me so mad.”

- bought his brother’s rights as the firstborn

- showed up what was revealed at his birth already - that he was a grasper.

- willing to deceive

- favoritism

- living with his uncle Laban, - a manipulator.

- Genesis 30:37 - manipulate things - strongest flocks and herds.

- We can get mad at him, but

- saved from sin, there are weaknesses and sins

B. God’s Chosen

- Jacob was God’s chosen instrument.

- Genesis 25:23 - “The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

            - Genesis 28, - same promises - to Abraham and Isaac

- promises of many descendants, promises of the land, promises that all nations on earth would be blessed through him and promises of God’s care and presence.

            - Romans 9:10-13, “…Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”


- there was a seed of faith in Jacob.

- interested in God’s plan, He obeyed God and He acknowledged God.

- hard to imagine why he was God’s chosen and how God could use him.


- God has chosen us to receive salvation even though we are not perfect

- His children?

- we rejoice in His choice

- rest in the wonder of His gracious gift.

II. God’s Work

- But - God is at work in us to bring us to a deeper faith

- Genesis 28-35 - ways in which God was at work in the life of Jacob.


- Two stories - Bethel

- fleeing from Esau.

- dreamt

- promise of his care and presence.

- if God would care for him, then God would be his God.

- a statement, not of doubt, but of “wait and see.”

- Genesis 35

- returned to the promised land.

- built an altar

- changed attitude from “wait and see” to one who worshiped

- What had happened in the intervening years to help him grow in faith?


- the story,

- uncle Laban

- met Rachel

- agreed with his uncle to work for him for seven years

- Laban had switched brides

- married Rachel a short time later,

- had to work another 7 years

- 11 sons and one daughter were born

- another 6 years. and he increased greatly in wealth and property.

- After 20 years, God told him to return

- fled from Laban.

- problem of meeting Esau.

- encounter with God.

- met Esau,

- During these 20 years, God taught Him to trust.

- five things that God did

A. God Reveals Himself

- Genesis 28:10-22

- traveling to his uncle Laban’s place.

- not stop at a Holiday Inn,

- stone as a pillow.

- God revealed himself

- the presence of the protecting angels

- promises

- remembered the dream

- “surely the Lord is in this place” and “How awesome is this place.”

- encouraged him on his journey

- gave him the assurance that God was his God and would be with him.


- God reveals himself

- a beautiful day.

- a crisis, a friend called

- read the Bible

- we come together in worship

- Jacob put up a stone to mark the experience

B. Face To Face With Ourselves

- God works in a very different way.


- Jacob was a grasper, a deceiver and a manipulator.

- uncle Laban, - someone who was exactly like him.

- surprise when he realized that the wife he woke up with was not the one he had looked forward to waking up with for 7 years?

- 31:38-42,

- demanded payment when animals were lost or stolen,

- changed his wages 10 times,

- would have sent him away empty handed.


- face to face with his own weaknesses and sins and has seen how they affect other people and how damaging they are.

            - Genesis 31:42, - realize that grasping and deceiving do not really accomplish what he hoped.

- “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed.”


- God allows us to see the results of our weaknesses and our sins.

- consequences of our wrong actions

- meet others who have the same weaknesses

- fall into the traps we have set for others

- stumble because of the wrong things we have done,

- we learn that doing things our way, - bring trouble.

- If we are wise, we will also learn to put our trust in God.

- Hebrews 12:5,6 - “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

C. God Blesses

- Jacob came to recognize that things went well - it came from God.

            - Genesis 29:31 - 30:24 - birth of his children,

- 29:31 - God “opened Leah’s womb,”

- 29:33 - “the Lord heard,”

- 30:17 - “God listened,”

- 30:20 - “God has presented me with this gift,”

- 30:22, - “God remembered Rachel.”

- when he met Esau- Genesis 33:5 - “the children God has graciously given.”

- 31:9 - when convincing his wives that it was right to leave,

- God had taken Laban’s flocks away from his uncle and given them to him.

- met Esau - Genesis 33:11 - “Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.”


- we have received a much needed gift

- tuition for seminary,

- meals after Carla’s surgery

- gifts that were what we hoped for but didn’t even ask for.

-  God is good and can be trusted.

D. God Protects

- Genesis 28:15, “I …will watch over you wherever you go.”

- God fulfilled this promise.

- Genesis 31:7 - “God has not allowed him to harm me.”


- a potentially angry Esau, Jacob was scared.

- Esau was coming towards him with 400 men, he was terrified.

- Jacob prayed - Genesis 32:11 - “Save me, I pray from the hand of my brother Esau.”

- Esau came in peace and did not attack Jacob and his family. God answered the prayer for protection.


- many promises

- Psalm 91:11,12, - “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

- bad things do happen to Christians,

- He protects us from all harm,

- uses it to bring a greater victory,

- is present with us in trouble

- brings us to eternity,

- God’s protection is always evident.

- Hebrews 13:5 - “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

- How have you experienced God’s protection?

E. God Teaches Dependence

- encounter with God, - wrestled with God himself.

- Just before his meeting with Esau,

- on the banks of the Jabbok.

- Jacob came to this encounter with his same grasping nature.

- “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

- crippled by God so that he limped.

- God changed his name from Jacob, which means grasper, to Israel, which means “God fights.”

- In his weakness, he had come to the place where he knew that his own strength would never accomplish for him what God wanted to accomplish.

- in dependence on God that God’s will was done.

- “Jacob is no longer the strong victorious controller of the divine but Israel who is totally dependent on God’s grace...”


- God leads us through times in which we begin to realize that we cannot make it in our own strength.

- best place we can get to in our life is to realize that we need God.

- come to a deeper faith, a trust that goes with us wherever God leads.

! Conclusion

- Genesis 35 we meet the new Jacob.

- returned to the place where he had met God some 20 years earlier.

- demonstrated confidence in God by building an altar.

- Genesis 35:3 - “I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”


- Throughout these years, it is evident that God was working in his life.

- still not perfect, but he was a greatly changed man.


- We know our own hearts and how weak our faith often is.

- grit our teeth and determine to have faith.

- We are called to trust,

- God is also at work in us and leads us through experiences which, if we will see them and embrace them, will lead us to a deeper trust.


- yield willingly to the work God is doing in our life

- praise Him that He is at work in us.

Related Media
Related Sermons