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The Promise Through the Mess

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Isaac: The Child of Promise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:59
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Intro:

515 years ago (April 18 -1506), cornerstone laid for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Pope Julius II
largest Basilica in the world, finished in 1615, required great sums of money / led the Pope to see other revenue streams - indulgences
500 years ago, Luther stood before the Emperor Charles V called to recant his works (Pope Leo X excommunicated him 3 months earlier - 1/3/1521)
Admitted his strong language: I have no hesitation in admitting that in these I have shown greater violence than befitted a man of my calling
In our text, we encounter a the that happened 3 thousand years prior
Gen 27-28 retell the account of a royal mess where everyone bears blame
aftermath of the tangled web - a blessing gone sideways, and as it goes with all deception, it other choices need to be made.
We observe how they view the choices before them - the lens, the problem and the solution
We’ll observe God’s providence at work and the alignment to God’s will where evident

REBEKAH’S LENS: Control

as we’ve pointed out - motives somewhat unknown, but she is the main driving force throughout this chapter
Is she trying to do the right thing or just get a win for her favorite son?
Appears she has been in charge of much of the household, especially with Isaac in failing health
being the comfort of Isaac at the passing of his mother does raise some potential questions about their relationship (Gen 24:67)

1. The Problem: Preservation

Eager to not lose her sons
jacob - death; Esau - punished (death/banishment - cain?)
Two different outcomes
Jacob and Esau to both remain living
Peaceful household without foreign (local) wives

2. The solution: Manipulation

Jacob: “forgets” what you did to him (nothing of “let the curse be upon me”)
‘a while’ (v44) (lit. days) thinking perhaps she would be able to work something calm him down
ended up being 20 years and the rest of Rebekah’s life!
Also mirrors the tactics used to get the blessing for Jacob
living/quality of life is horrible having hittite women around and as DILs (26:35)
Jacob should not get a wife from this land
NO mention of the concern for Joseph’s life
Illustration: like Peter who so often felt he had the right thing “No you won’t die” only to be corrected by Christ
It has been pointed out that in the alphabetical order goes word, work, worker, world. When we put those out of order, we do not act more clarity, but confusion. When we start with the word of God and allow the word to direct our steps you will not be immune to messes, but the word is far more suited to carry the burden of the work than you or I am.

ISAAC’S LENS: Faith

1. The Problem: Passing the Promise

Rebekah’s plea - keep us from have to deal with displeasurable in-laws
He apparently sees the connection to the promise that he carries in himself
This blessing invokes Abraham’s name
the first blessing (27:28-29)- abundance of crops / rule over family & nations / curse & blessing towards others
more importantly the blessings envoke the God who made the original promise

2.The Solution: Trust God

Isaac settled in God’s plan to go through Jacob
Isaac was deceived, but he at least was aware something was up
God works even through the trickery of his family
consequences are still present for the actions, but God’s will persists
Blessing: - Direction
no wife from Canan
trusting the El-Shaddai (Lord Almighty) for possession of land
he has to return for that!

ESAU’S LENS: Desire

what the felt need is (hunger, anger, here: approval)

1. The problem: Approval

Reaction -> He acts only after he finds out that the Hittite women are offensive this his parents
could be looking to do the right thing - sticks with father’s family (Ishmael)
craves the good the perceived good favor of his parents
NOT focused on the covenant God has made - does he even know?

2. The solution: Approximate

I’ll pick the what, way, and means of what needs to be corrected
close is good enough
not submitted to the will of God
of all three examples, this one diverges the most
Esau goes to the family the very offspring that resulted from lack of trust in God’s plan
Psalm 81:11–16 ESV
11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. 13 Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! 14 I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes. 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him, and their fate would last forever. 16 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Application:

1) See the ++Christ

believe in - not just ‘that’, but trust him and cling to him as your only hope
grow in grace - process of stripping away the things that don’t belong and adding through the work of the Spirit through spiritual eyes
fix your eyes on Christ the author and perfecter of your faith - the living Word
“sinful appetites do not decrease but increase by being gratified. The longer our minds are set on earthly things, the more earthly minded we will grow. Therefore we must seek the Lord without delay.” - Jonathan Edwards

2) See the ++Promise

You are not ruled by the messes you experience (even the ones your create)
The Lord is at work in ways you have no clue about, but he is at work through the revealing of his word
Christ for you

Conclusion

Martin Luther - “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen”
Luther lived 20 more years and wrote more - majority focused on the word

Thoughts:

-aftermath of deception
Everyone still clueless
Rebekah looks to preserve:
1) Jacob - Esau wants to kill
B/C of what “you” did to him - no responsibility
she makes no effort to bear the promise of taking the curse (27:13) upon her - but she never really could
she does suffer the loss of ever seeing Jacob again
send off immediately to brother until esau cools down
2) Her own peace
More than likely just a tactic to get Isaac to go along with it
Very real displeasure (26:35) hating Hittite women
does not oppose based on purity
Isaac very passive, yet godly direction from him
Do NOT take a wife from Canaan
Blessing is great
fruitful and multiply
Abraham’s blessing (land)
Esau
looks to gain favor through actions
only gleans the despising of the Hittite women
Getting it wrong but God makes it right
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