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The Fear of Isaac

The Book of Beginnings  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:08
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“No Fear” use to be a popular symbol and phrase but how difficult is it to really live by?

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Preach for a Year #2 Groundless Fears

I. Introduction

A. Jacob: The Man Who Stole His Brother’s Birthright (Gen. 27)

1. Jacob and Esau were twins but so different

2. Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob

3. Jacob stole Esau’s birthright

4. Jacob fled at Rebekah’s advice (Gen. 27:44)

a. Rebekah thought it would be but a few days

b. She would never see Jacob again

B. Jacob’s Prosperity in Haran and His Return

1. He returned wealthy but filled with fear

2. He feared Esau because he had defrauded him

C. What Jacob’s Fears Did to Him

II. Body

A. How Jacob’s Fear Affected His State of Mind (v. 7)

1. “Then was Jacob greatly afraid and distressed”

2. Goes much deeper than this one experience

3. Jacob’s years in Haran

a. He must have longed to return

b. Fear of Esau kept him from doing so

c. Fear was the bitter morsel in his cup of blessing

4. Fear brought him chronic distress

B. How Jacob’s Fear Affected His Spiritual Life (vv. 9–12)

1. See how fear affected his faith

a. God had told him to return but he was afraid

b. God had promised to deal well with him but he was afraid

c. God had been faithful in the past but he was afraid

2. Note the contradiction in logic in verses 11 and 12

3. Fear and faith cannot co-exist

C. How Jacob’s Fear Affected His Handling of His Money (vv. 13–23)

1. He decided to send a large gift to Esau

2. This gift was given out of fear

3. Most of us have suffered financially because of fear

a. We have been afraid to invest

b. We have missed great opportunities

4. But there is a greater tragedy

a. Money has been held that could have been given to Christ

b. Church projects have been delayed because of fear

c. Missionaries have received little because of our fear

D. How Jacob’s Fear Affected His Family (33:1–3)

1. Jacob sees Esau coming with 400 men and panics

2. Fear divided his family

a. He put them through unneeded stress

b. He showed favoritism that they would never forget

3. Our families need to see us act in faith … not in fear

III. Conclusion

A. The Meeting with Esau Finally Arrives (33:4)

1. They embrace and weep

2. Esau has forgiven Jacob long ago

3. Jacob’s fears have been groundless

B. Most of Our Fears Are Groundless

1. God is bigger than our fears

2. Faith in Christ brings salvation … and His protection every day

Introduction
I. Introduction
Outline taken from Campbell, Roger F. Preach for a Year. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1988–.
We are going to skip 33:22-32 for today and come back to that next week
Campbell, Roger F. Preach for a Year. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1988–.
No Fear T-shirts were very popular from the mid-1990s to early-2000s
Bad dream I have had in the past
Bad experience in driveway when I was a kid
Afraid of the dark
What dad says...
No Fear T-shirts were very popular from the mid-1990s to early-2000s
A. Jacob’s life has many similarities with ours today
1. Jacob and Esau were twins but so different
2. Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob
3. Jacob stole Esau’s birthright
1. He returned wealthy but filled with fear
4. Jacob fled at Rebekah’s advice ()
a. Rebekah thought it would be but a few days
1. He had hopes and dreams
b. She would never see Jacob again
2. He had a family he cared for and that cared for him
3. He had a career that he worked hard at to provide for his family
4. He was doing the best he could to follow God’s plans
a. His life was filled with uncertainty / difficulties / trials
b. His life was filled with fear
B. Jacob’s Prosperity in Haran and His Return
B. Jacob’s Prosperity in Haran and His Return
1. He returned wealthy but filled with fear
2. He feared Esau because he had defrauded him
C. What Jacob’s Fears Did to Him...
What can we learn from Jacobs fears and how do they relate to me?
How can we apply it to ourselves today?
Title & Text
The Fear of Isaac
We are going to skip 33:22-32 for today and come back to that next week.
Pray
S.T.A.R.T.
Solemnly praise and recognize the greatness of our God and Savior connected to the Biblical text being preached
Touch upon the subject of corporate sin and confess any shortcomings the body has committed related to the Biblical text to be preached
Ask God to help the body/local church to hear and apply the truths of the Biblical text to be preached
Review and remind the audience of the key related passages to the Biblical text being preached
Transition to the opening of the sermon and the Biblical text to be preached
Theme
Fear is a liar and will deceive us if we let it.
Pray
S.T.A.R.T.
Solemnly praise and recognize the greatness of our God and Savior connected to the Biblical text being preached
praise for the living word, applicable today as it was for Jacob & Israel after
praise for the living saviour who gives us the victory over fear
Touch upon the subject of corporate sin and confess any shortcomings the body has committed related to the Biblical text to be preached
forgive us for our sinful fearfulness
Ask God to help the body/local church to hear and apply the truths of the Biblical text to be preached
clarity + conviction
error + encouragement
Review and remind the audience of the key related passages to the Biblical text being preached
Fearfulness +
Transition to the opening of the sermon and the Biblical text to be preached
Text
Genesis 32:7 ESV
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,
A. How Does Jacob’s Fear Affected His State of Mind (v. 7)
Genesis 32:7 ESV
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,
1. “Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed”
a. afraid =
b. distressed =
2. Goes much deeper than this one experience
3. Jacob’s years in Haran
a. He must have longed to return - do you?
b. Fear of Esau kept him from doing so - you?
c. Fear was the bitter morsel in his cup of blessing - you?
4. Fear brought him chronic distress - you?
Fear can warp us when we dwell on it.
Where is your fear bringing you an anxious state of mind?
B. How Does Jacob’s Fear Affected His Spiritual Life (vv. 9–12)
Genesis 32:9–12 ESV
9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
1. See how fear affected his faith
a. God had told him to return but he was afraid
b. God had promised to deal well with him but he was afraid
c. God had been faithful in the past but he was afraid
2. Note the contradiction in logic in verses 11 and 12
3. Fear and faith cannot co-exist
Fear at its root is a spiritual heart condition.
Where do we need to repent from an unbelieving fearful heart?
What trait of God’s character, or what promise of His are we doubting?
C. How Does Jacob’s Fear Affected His Handling of His Money (vv. 13–20)
Genesis 32:13–23 ESV
13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’ ” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp. 22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.
Genesis 32:13–20 ESV
So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’ ” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”
1. He decided to send a large gift to Esau
a. purchased acceptance
2. This gift was given out of fear
3. Most of us have suffered financially because of fear
a. We have been afraid to invest
b. We have missed great opportunities
4. There is a great tragedy
a. Money has been held that could have been given to Christ
b. Church projects have been delayed because of fear
c. Missionaries have received little because of our fear
5. But there is a greater tragedy
a. We have neglected our call because of fear
b. We have neglected His message because of fear
Fear often manifests itself in physical behaviour.
Where is the fruit of fearfulness in your life?
D. How Does Jacob’s Fear Affected His Family (33:1–3)
Genesis 33:1–3 ESV
1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
1. Jacob sees Esau coming with 400 men and panics
2. Fear divided his family
a. He put them through unneeded stress
b. He showed favoritism that they would never forget
3. Our families need to see us lead in faith … not in fear
a. Our community needs to see us serve in faith … not recoil fear
Sinful fear like any other sin leaches out of our lives to effect others also.
Where are you leading out of fear rather then faith?
Where is sinful fear causing you to sin in other areas of your life also?
III. Conclusion
A. The Meeting with Esau Finally Arrives (33:4)
Genesis 33:4 ESV
4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
1. They embrace and weep
2. Esau has forgiven Jacob long ago
3. Jacob’s fears have been groundless - yours?
Genesis 33:19–20 ESV
19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
B. Most of Our Fears Are Groundless
1. God is bigger than our fears
Genesis 31:42 ESV
42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”
a. How quickly we forget the strength, promises, and steadfastness of God in our fear!
When Yahweh is not our personal God we should be afraid
When Yahweh is not our personal God we should be afraid
Genesis 33:20 ESV
20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
Gen 33
b. When Yahweh is your God you need not fear!
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
c. God is asking you to do something today
Speak
Go
Do
Give
Trust
T
d. Fear hinders
2. Faith in Christ brings salvation … and His protection every day
a. Those with nothing to loose have everything to gain!
b. Die to self and follow Christ!
c. No really! die to self and follow Christ
Application
Do not let the lie of fear overtake you, have faith!
CLOSE
E.N.D.
Exalt God in relation to the Biblical truths that were just taught
We exalt you that you are trustworthy and in you we need not fear.
Name the Biblical principles preached and ask God to help the local church body to obey these truths
It is one thing to agree with this knowledge but another to apply it on a daily basis, help us to apply this truth to our lives .
fearless obedience to you
rebuke those who need rebuke
comfort those who need comfort
strengthen all of us in the Spirit
Draw people to the cross of Christ by proclaiming hope and help in the person and work of Christ for salvation and sanctification
Free those who live in fear by the cross of Christ
hope in the cross
cling to salvation
rejoice in sanctification
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COMMUNION
What it stands for
Warning
Communion Verses
COMMUNION TOGETHER
Fellowship With Each Other
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