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Parashah Va-yetzeʾ ויצא

Genesis Parashah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:14
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Va-yetzeʾ ויצא
Sermon Purpose: Beth Messiah will embrace God’s discipline as a necessary ingredient for spiritual growth and the spread of the gospel.
Homiletical Purpose: If you want to see the world rescued, be the conduit of God’s blessing to the world, discipline is a necessary spiritual ingredient.


1. (Image)…With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror I can tell you I am glad for all the “prep” meetings I had with my wife and children before we jumped in the deep waters of extended family fun time. These were training meetings and discipline 101 on what to say and what not to say.
2. (Need)…We all know how important discipline is to succeed in life and not just thanksgiving.
a. Work
b. School
c. Finances
d. Health
e. Relationships
3. (Subject)…God’s discipline of his children is a necessary ingredient for the rescue of the world.
4. (Text) …
Genesis 31:1–13 TLV
Now Jacob heard the words Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything that belongs to our father, and from what belongs to our father he has made all these riches.” Then Jacob saw Laban’s face, and he noticed that his expression wasn’t the same as it was just a day or two before. Then Adonai said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called for Rachel and Leah to come to the field, to his flock. He said to them, “I can see by your father’s face that his expression isn’t the same as it was just a day or two ago. But the God of my father has been with me. Now you yourselves know that I’ve served your father with all my strength. Yet your father has fooled around with me and has changed my salary ten times—but God hasn’t allowed him to harm me. If he would say, ‘the spotted ones will be your salary,’ then the flocks would give birth to spotted ones. Or if he would say, ‘the striped ones will be your salary,’ then all the flocks would give birth to striped ones. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me. Now it happened when the flocks were in heat that I lifted up my eyes and saw, in a dream, behold, the males going up to the flocks were striped, spotted and speckled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Hineni.’ He said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see that all the males going up to the flocks are striped, spotted and speckled. For I have seen everything Laban has done to you. I am the God of Beth-El where you anointed a memorial stone, where you made a vow to Me. Get up now and leave this land, and return to the land of your relatives.’ ”
5. (Preview)… show you an odd problem, an uncomfortable solution and a simple but hard application.


I. An Odd Problem: The odd problem of God’s love for Jacob.
A. God, for the first time, Discloses His Love to Jacob ().
Genesis 28:10–15 TLV
Then Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He happened upon a certain place and spent the night there, for the sun had set. So he took one of the stones from the place and put it by his head and lay down in that place. He dreamed: All of a sudden, there was a stairway set up on the earth and its top reaching to the heavens—and behold, angels of God going up and down on it! Surprisingly, Adonai was standing on top of it and He said, “I am Adonai, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your seed. Your seed will be as the dust of the land, and you will burst forth to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed—and in your seed. Behold, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I promised you.”
1. The LORD Shows Himself to Jacob ().
2. The LORD Ratifies Covenant with Jacob ().
3. The LORD Assures Jacob of Personal Protection ().
B. Jacob’s Right Response to God Self-Disclosure ().
Genesis 28:16–20 TLV
Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Undoubtedly, Adonai is in this place—and I was unaware.” So he was afraid and said, “How fearsome this place is! This is none other than the House of God—this must be the gate of heaven!” Early in the morning Jacob got up and took the stone, which he had placed by his head, and set it up as a memorial stone and poured oil on top of it. He called the name of that place Beth-El (though originally the city’s name was Luz). Then Jacob made a vow saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this way that I am going, and provide me food to eat and clothes to wear,
1. Jacob Confesses Blindness ().
2. Jacob Fears the LORD ().
3. Jacob Commits His Life ().
C. Why is the Love of God such an odd problem for Jacob?
1. Jacob’s life so far, is a perfect reflection of Jacob’s name: crooked.
1. Jacob’s life so far, is a perfect reflection of Jacob’s name: crooked.
a. Illustrate: EgyptAir Flight 990 (See Appendix A).
b. We know something Jacob does not know but will learn, “Those whom God loves, He disciplines” ()
Proverbs 3:11–12 TLV
My son, never despise Adonai’s discipline or dread His correction. For Adonai loves those He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.
2. Validate: We have a one-sided definition of the word discipline.
a. Everybody Loves Raymond, “Do you always uses threats? No, sometimes she yells.”
b. Our limited definition.
c. The Biblical definition.
d. The Biblical Promises
i. It Can Save a Marriage ()
Proverbs 5 TLV
My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Incline your ear to my insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For a seducing woman’s lips drip honey and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to Sheol. She does not keep straight to the path of life, her paths are crooked —but she does not know it. So now, my sons, listen to me and do not turn aside from the words of my mouth. Keep your path far from her and do not go near the door of her house— lest you give your strength to others and your years to one who is cruel; lest strangers feast on your strength, your labors go to a foreigner’s house. At the end of your life, you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent— and you will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned reproof! I would not listen to my teacher’s voice or incline my ear to my instructors. I was almost in utter ruin amid the community and congregation.” Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well. Should your springs flow in the streets, your streams of water in public squares? Let them be yours alone and not shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed and may you delight in the wife of your youth. A lovely hind, a graceful doe— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you always be captivated by her love. Why, my son, be captivated by a seducing woman? Why embrace a foreigner’s bosom? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of Adonai, and He observes all his paths. The iniquities of a wicked man will ensnare him. The cords of his sin will hold him down. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
ii. It Can Protect Your Children ()
Proverbs 29:15 TLV
A rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
iii. It Can Make You Prosper ()
Proverbs 6 TLV
My son, if you have become a cosigner for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge with a stranger, if you are trapped by your own words, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and free yourself, since you fell into your neighbor’s hand: Go, humble yourself, plead with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Escape like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. Go to the ant, you slacker— consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler. Yet it prepares its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— and your poverty comes like a bandit and your need like an armed man. A scoundrel, a wicked man, is one who goes around with a perverse mouth, winking his eyes, shuffling his feet, pointing his fingers, who continually plots evil with deceit in his heart stirring up strife. Therefore his disaster will come suddenly —in an instant he will be broken, with no remedy. Six things Adonai hates, yes, seven are abominations to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run to evil, a false witness who spouts lies, and one who stirs up strife among brothers. My son, keep your father’s mitzvah, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart continually— tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you. When you lie down, they will watch over you, and when you wake up, they will speak to you. For the mitzvah is a lamp, Torah a light, and corrective discipline the way of life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from a wayward wife’s smooth tongue. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyelids. For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a loaf of bread; a man’s wife preys on your precious life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without burning his clothes? Or can a man walk upon hot coals without scorching his feet? So is he who goes to another man’s wife. No one who touches her will go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must repay sevenfold, giving up all the wealth of his house. He who commits adultery with a woman lacks sense. Whoever does so destroys himself. He will find disease and disgrace. His shame will never be wiped away. For jealousy enrages a man and he will show no mercy in the day of revenge. He will not accept any compensation, he will not consent, even if your bribe is great.
iv. It Can Make You Wise ()
Transition: At Bethel Jacob encounters the God of his Fathers, a God of covenant and love but that is the problem for Jacob. Because God loves Him He is going to discipline Him as a son, or if you like coach him like a son. For most of us in this room, I think we can handle the idea of God coaching me. God disciplining me one-on-one. Here is the thing, 99% of the time God does not train you in an empty gym. He fills the gym up with all kinds of stuff and people to get you coached up.
II. An Uncomfortable Solution: When self-discipline is found wanting, God uses other-discipline to grow us. Most people think they are self-disciplined but you really don’t know how undisciplined you are, best by sin, until all the normal restraints are taken away.
A. You reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow (Laban)
Genesis 31:4–6 TLV
So Jacob sent and called for Rachel and Leah to come to the field, to his flock. He said to them, “I can see by your father’s face that his expression isn’t the same as it was just a day or two ago. But the God of my father has been with me. Now you yourselves know that I’ve served your father with all my strength.
2. The Scorpion and the Frog Illustration (See Appendix)
3. The one who tricked his nearly blind father, has the wool pulled over his own eyes by Laban.
4. God will protect Jacob but he will also allow him to reap what he sows. A relationship with God is not an escape from the consequences of sin.
B. As a child of your Sovereign Father, you know there are no accidents (Leah). Leah wants her husband to love her, seen through boys names
C. What is highly esteemed among men is detestable to God (Rachel). Rachel wants to be exalted above her sister.
Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis A. Dan and Naphtali: Success in Strife (1–8)

Dan (dān) was the first son born to Bilhah. The sentiment expressed at the naming was “God has vindicated me [dānannî].” The name itself could be a perfect tense (“he judged, vindicated”) or a participle (“judge”) and is thus very closely related to the explanation. This birth indicated to Rachel that God was beginning to set things right for her, that he was vindicating her cause.

The name of the second son, Naphtali (naptālî), emphasizes the conflict motif more than any other of the names (vv. 7–8). Rachel said, “A mighty struggle [naptûlê ʾĕlōhîm] have I waged [niptaltî] with my sister.” According to this explanation, the name carries the meaning “my wrestling.”

D. You grow more in your valleys, than on your mountaintops (Jacob).
1. He has grown close to God in the valley (, ).
Genesis 31:5b TLV
He said to them, “I can see by your father’s face that his expression isn’t the same as it was just a day or two ago. But the God of my father has been with me.
2. He has grown character in the valley ()
Genesis 31:38–41 TLV
These past twenty years I’ve been with you, your ewes and female goats have never miscarried, and I’ve never eaten the rams of your flock. I didn’t bring you animals torn by wild beasts. I myself would bear the loss. You would require it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. I was consumed by heat during the day, consumed by frost during the night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. This is how it’s been for me twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flocks—and you changed my salary ten times!
3. He has prospered in the valley (; also Paul’s thorn).
Genesis 31:17–18 TLV
Then Jacob got up and put his children and wives on camels. He drove away all his livestock and all his possessions that he had acquired—the livestock in his possession that he acquired in Paddan-aram—to go to his father Isaac, to the land of Canaan.
4. He has been protected in the valley (, ).
Genesis 31:22–24 TLV
When Laban was told on the third day after Jacob had fled, he took his relatives with him and pursued him a seven days’ journey. Then he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Watch yourself—lest you say anything to Jacob, good or bad.”
5. The Name Changing of Jacob to Jeshurun
a. Jacob (crooked) to Jeshurun (upright one).
b. word play on Jacob and Jeshurun
Isaiah 40:3–4 TLV
A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Adonai, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground will be a plain and the rugged terrain smooth.
Transition: We said the odd problem Jacob faced was the amazing love of God. The solution to that problem is that when self-discipline is found wanting, God uses other-discipline us to grow us.
III. Simple but hard application: If you want to grow spiritually, you have to embrace God’s disciplining.
A. People pay lots of money to get discipline in their lives.
B. Here are some things you might need to embrace in order to grow.
1. Difficult People
2. Difficult Problems
3. Difficult Prosperity
4. Difficult Pain
C. Here is one spiritual truth you must embrace to grow during this time.
1. God is with you in an even deeper way than Jacob, if Messiah Yeshua has become your Bethel.
2. – Yeshua has become our Beth-el so that we could be little Beth-Els.
John 1:45–51 TLV
Philip finds Nathanael and tells him, “We’ve found the One that Moses in the Torah, and also the prophets, wrote about—Yeshua of Natzeret, the son of Joseph!” Natzeret!” Nathanael answered. “Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Yeshua saw Nathanael coming toward Him. He said, “Look, a true Israelite! There’s nothing false in him.” Nathanael said to Him, “How do you know me?” Yeshua answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” “Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are Ben-Elohim! You are the King of Israel!” “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, you believe?” Yeshua replied to him. “You will see greater things than that!” And He said, “Amen, amen I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man!”


1. Review: God is committed to his rescue of this rebellious world through the family of Abraham. Our portion this week introduces us to
A. An Odd Problem: The Love of God
B. An Uncomfortable Solution: When self-discipline is found wanting, God uses other-discipline to grow us.
C. A Simple Yet Hard Application: If you want to grow spiritually, you have to embrace God’s disciplining. And you are not alone.
2. Concluding Image:
A. A young officer in the US military showed up drunker than skunk to report to his commanding officer. This was not the first time this officer had committed this offense and several like it. He was a good solider, some considered him one of our nation’s best but even the military’s strict discipline was not discipline enough for this young man. So, his commanding officer gave him a choice: leave the military dishonorably or be court marshalled. He quit the military spend the next decade or so as pauper barely able to scratch out a living and support his wife and children. Soldiers who served under him would see him on the side of the room appearing like a bum to them. During this time God got a hold of this man’s heart as he reaped what he sowed, more than he sowed, later than he sowed; God used this valley to grow him and change him.
B. The US Military was desperately needing someone to take over a rag-tag group of undisciplined, unruly soldiers in Illinois and someone had heard that former Officer Ulysses S. Grant had made a turn-around. So they called him up. Grant had learned in the valley, he grew in the valley and he took one of the most undisciplined regiments in the US military and made them one of the most elite fighting groups on our nations soil.
C. In the valley, Grant could not afford a horse to get from work to home. So he spent all week at work, lived in a partially furnished room and on Saturday he walked some eight hours to see his wife and then on Sunday eight hours to get back to work. When President Lincoln wanted to fast-track Grant’s troops to the front lines of battle by sending them on barges and boats. Grant turned the offer down, he said his troops needed discipline in field maneuvers so he said he would march them to the battle field and train them along the way. When the Union Troops showed up to that first battle under Grant the confederates were so scared by the discipline of the Union troops that surrendered without a shot being fired and agreed to all of Grant’s terms of surrender.
D. From that day forward Grant was no longer that undisciplined officer he had learned in the valley. After that battle, the newspaper declared Grant’s new name no longer Ulysses S. Grant but “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
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