Faithlife Sermons

The Young and the Restless

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Gen 25:19-34
Genesis 25:19–34 NIV
19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 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.” 24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. 27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
Subject: All the Scars
Me: How I broke my leg. I still have the scar but it no longer hurts.
We: We have all been scarred at some point in life. Some physical, others mental, emotional and even spiritual. (Hit with a switch, carpet burns, an abusive relationship, church hurt).
You can have surgery, take medicine, bandage the wound and render all the first aid possible. You can stop the bleeding with sutures and numb the pain with pharmaceuticals but the only thing that can heal outside of God’s immediate touch is time.
Trauma that happened in an instant can take a lifetime to heal. It happened one night, but you’ve been crying every night since! You were robbed in your youth, your future was stripped from you and what should have been a good life, seems dismal without that which was rightfully yours.
Your story is not new, but it’s yours. Maybe some of it was even your fault but that doesn’t stop the pain. All trauma requires healing. Ask Esau. You know his story. He was the firstborn twin of brothers, the father’s favorite son.
He was a skilled hunter, a go-getter of sorts whose biblical profile would make one think he was a man’s man. If they had motorcycles, he would’ve ridden a Harley.
He’s a man’s man. He’s disciplined. He’s strong. He’s decisive and he’s not afraid of anything except failure. Yet, we find that even the strongest of men have weak moments.
We church folk tend to criticize Esau for selling out over something so little but the truth is, we all have a little bit of Esau in us. In fact, there’s more Esau in us than most of us like to admit.
At least he sold out to survive. We’ve sold out for pleasure. We’ve sold out for applause. We’ve sold out for attention and recognition, but Esau thought his life was at stake so maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on the brother.
Perhaps Esau is not the man we see through the window of scripture but the mirror. Maybe God wants to show us how we too, are always one decision away from the blessing intended for us.
Maybe Esau’s story is more beneficial for us than we realized. So let’s look once again to the text and discover how Esau’s mistake lead to a scar and how that scar lead to his blessing.
Here’s what we know. Isaac, their father is preparing to die so he calls for Esau to speak the blessing of the firstborn over him. He sends him out to the field to hunt for fresh meet in order for them to enjoy his favorite meal together as they discuss the future. It’s important to know that a man’s word is bond.
We don’t say one thing and mean another. We don’t speak in ways that can be easily misconstrued. As a man, whatever we say we should mean and whatever we mean, we should say.
Our women should be able to depend on that. Our children should be able to trust in that. And when we’re not sure, we should be honest about that too. Oh, how I wish men would be men again.
Oh how I wish we didn’t need a court room to make a man take care of his children. Oh, how I wish we didn’t need lawyers to make a man keep his word on a business deal.
Oh, how I wish men would walk tall on their feet instead of sliding on their bellies like snakes in the grass. Stop hissing secrets and speak up like a man.
Jacob, is whispering with his mother, deceptive plans in the comfort of the tent while his brother works hard in the field for his father’s blessing. Jacob is preparing his costume while his brother is preparing authenticity.
Jacob is pretending to be someone he’s not while Esau is being who he has always been. But Isaac, is old and blind and trusting that in his vulnerability, the people around him will do the right thing.
But they don’t. Jacob deceives his father for the blessing. Isaac pronounces
Gen 27:28-29
Genesis 27:28–29 NIV
28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine. 29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
Esau returns from his task and misses his brother as they pass through the night and when his father tells him that he was deceived by his brother, Esau loses it!
Gen 27:34-41
Genesis 27:34–41 (NIV)
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”
37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
I don’t need to tell you that holding a grudge is not healthy for you physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. But I will share 4 things that will help you heal from your scars.
Recognize your trauma. It happened. Don’t deny it. Don’t minimize it. Don’t pretend. You must deal with the fact that even though you didn’t deserve it, even if some of it was brought on by your own decision, it happened.
Seek wise counsel. Esau did not leave his father’s presence until his father spoke over his life. Notice, however, Isaac’s response was a warning that included instructions on how to heal.
gen 27:39-40
Genesis 27:39–40 NIV
39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. 40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”
Here’s what he’s saying, and this is point number three.
3. If you stay focused on what happened to you, you will remain stuck at the day of your trauma. You’ll miss years of your life focused on yesterday. You cannot stay here if you want to be free. You must grow restless.
You must become uncomfortable with this moment. You have to let it go or else you will be yoked to the pain of your past for the rest of your life. And that takes us to number four.
4. The scars might be permanent but the wounds don’t have to be. In fact, they shouldn’t be. We can only bleed out so much before we lose too much blood. A wound that remains open, risks infection.
Infections can lead to amputations or you can become septic. And that too, is a slow, painful death. How long will you remain angry at Jacob, Esau? How long will you allow your pain to consume you?
How long will you stay stuck in the past until it eats away at you from the inside?
Now, the text doesn’t tell us how long Esau remained angry but we do know it was at least 14 years before he had to face his past. We know this because Jacob ran away to his uncle’s country while Esau was still mad.
We know Jacob stayed with his uncle for 14 years before that relationship demolished and we know he didn’t return back to his homeland until his mother died and by then, Esau had already received healing from the past. By then, he was walking in favor.
By then, the yoke had been broken from his neck. He was rich and not worried about what his brother did to him. He was happy and forgot about the times he was hurting.
Some of us haven’t learned to break the yoke of the past like Esau so we are still slave to it.
But Jesus came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly. His blood replaced yours. His scars covered yours too. And the same resurrection that belongs to Jesus, is the same resurrection that belongs to you.
There is freedom in Christ. There is Liberty in Jesus. The yoke of your past is broken in the now of his oil. He would quote Jeremiah who wrote:
Luke 4:18-19
Luke 4:18–19 (NIV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
I need somebody who’s ready to let go of the past to shout “God favors me!” I need you to tell at least two people, I’m letting go of this yoke. All the scars are distant memories. All the scars are old pains. All the scars are past hurts.
But today I declare healing in Jesus’ name. Victory in Jesus’ name. Joy, in Jesus’ name. Peace, in Jesus’ name. My past will no longer hurt me because the blessing of my future is healing me.
Like Esau, I’ve grown restless. I can’t stay in my past anymore. I’ve grown restless. I have to move from this place of hurt. I’m restless, I must move from this moment of pain. I’ve got to get this yoke off my neck. I’ve grown restless.
And my past has got to stay in the past. It can’t go with me because I’m in restless. I’m in restless pursuit of the promises of God. And God’s promises are more secure than any promise that even my own daddy has ever made.
Here’s a promise for you. No matter what you go through in your life, Jesus said he’d never leave nor forsake you. Here’s another one. If you confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth and believe...
I’m willing to let go of the past for that future. I’m willing to trade my scars for his. His scars lead to my healing, my deliverance, my peace, my salvation. His scars lead to eternal life.
I’ll trade mine for his. And ladies & gents, I hope you will too.
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