This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on November 5th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
We’ve been going through the key people in the Old Testament, we looked at Abraham, Isaac and the subject for today is Jacob.
In Gen 12 God appears to Abraham. He gives him a promise. Abraham heard God and followed God. We need to do the same. And it was not all rosy. We see the struggles that Abraham goes through. At the time he received the promise, he had no children. But Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Finally they had one child, Isaac. God was working through Abraham and he blessed all the families
“This is the family tree of Isaac son of Abraham: Abraham had Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan Aram. She was the sister of Laban the Aramean.”
It’s very important who we marry.
Isaac prayed hard to God for his wife because she was barren.
There are things that challenge our faith even after we receive the promise. Isaac prayed. The time gap between Isaac praying and Rebekah becoming pregnant was 20 years. We need to persevere in Prayer and in due time it will happen.
“God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant. But the children tumbled and kicked inside her so much that she said, “If this is the way it’s going to be, why go on living?” She went to God to find out what was going on. God told her, Two nations are in your womb,two peoples butting heads while still in your body.One people will overpower the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
Rebekah had twins in her womb. This is an amazing verse. Before the children were born, God’s prophetic word about the children is this- the older will serve the younger.
“When her time to give birth came, sure enough, there were twins in her womb. The first came out reddish, as if snugly wrapped in a hairy blanket; they named him Esau (Hairy). His brother followed, his fist clutched tight to Esau’s heel; they named him Jacob (Heel). Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.”
Jacob means he takes by the heel, or he cheats. We see the amazing birth of Jacob. Before the twins were born, God decides to choose one and not the other.
Q. Does God love you? Why do you say he loves you?
Malachi 1: 2-5 “God said, “I love you.” You replied, “Really? How have you loved us?” “Look at history” (this is God’s answer). “Look at how differently I’ve treated you, Jacob, from Esau: I loved Jacob and hated Esau. I reduced pretentious Esau to a molehill, turned his whole country into a ghost town.””
The way that he loved us is that he has chosen us above everything else. God chose Jacob and rejected Esau. It is not because of anything Jacob has done. It is just his amazing grace in choosing people. The promises are coming to you through Jacob.
“The boys grew up. Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a quiet man preferring life indoors among the tents. Isaac loved Esau because he loved his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
We see a bit of a dysfunctional family. The father loved one son and the mother the other.
“One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field, starved. Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stew—I’m starved!” That’s how he came to be called Edom (Red). Jacob said, “Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.” Esau said, “I’m starving! What good is a birthright if I’m dead?” Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.”
A birthright is a spiritual blessing. It is very important in those days. This is was rightfully Esau’s but he despised it. His heart was not on spiritual things, but on his physical needs.
“When Isaac had become an old man and was nearly blind, he called his eldest son, Esau, and said, “My son.”“Yes, Father?” “I’m an old man,” he said; “I might die any day now. Do me a favor: Get your quiver of arrows and your bow and go out in the country and hunt me some game. Then fix me a hearty meal, the kind that you know I like, and bring it to me to eat so that I can give you my personal blessing before I die.”
Isaac began well, but in his old age he lost it. He disregarded the prophecy of God. He wanted to give the blessing to Jacob, but he wanted to give it to Esau because he liked him better.
“Rebekah was eavesdropping as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. As soon as Esau had gone off to the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah spoke to her son Jacob. “I just overheard your father talking with your brother, Esau. He said, ‘Bring me some game and fix me a hearty meal so that I can eat and bless you with God’s blessing before I die.’ “Now, my son, listen to me. Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and get me two young goats. Pick the best; I’ll prepare them into a hearty meal, the kind that your father loves. Then you’ll take it to your father, he’ll eat and bless you before he dies.””
“But Mother,” Jacob said, “my brother Esau is a hairy man and I have smooth skin. What happens if my father touches me? He’ll think I’m playing games with him. I’ll bring down a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” “If it comes to that,” said his mother, “I’ll take the curse on myself. Now, just do what I say. Go and get the goats.”
So his mother cooks the meal, and then covered Jacob with the goat’s skin. Jacob is lying through his teeth. Is Jacob a good person? NO!
“Jacob answered his father, “I’m your firstborn son Esau. I did what you told me. Come now; sit up and eat of my game so you can give me your personal blessing.” Isaac said, “So soon? How did you get it so quickly?” “Because your God cleared the way for me.” Isaac said, “Come close, son; let me touch you—are you really my son Esau?” So Jacob moved close to his father Isaac. Isaac felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He didn’t recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s. But as he was about to bless him he pressed him, “You’re sure? You are my son Esau?” “Yes. I am.” Isaac said, “Bring the food so I can eat of my son’s game and give you my personal blessing.” Jacob brought it to him and he ate. He also brought him wine and he drank. Then Isaac said, “Come close, son, and kiss me.” He came close and kissed him and Isaac smelled the smell of his clothes. Finally, he blessed him, Ahhh. The smell of my son is like the smell of the open country blessed by God. May God give you of Heaven’s dew and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine. May peoples serve you and nations honor you. You will master your brothers, and your mother’s sons will honor you. Those who curse you will be cursed, those who bless you will be blessed. And then right after Isaac had blessed Jacob and Jacob had left, Esau showed up from the hunt. He also had prepared a hearty meal. He came to his father and said, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s game, that he may give me his personal blessing.” His father Isaac said, “And who are you?” “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Isaac started to tremble, shaking violently. He said, “Then who hunted game and brought it to me? I finished the meal just now, before you walked in. And I blessed him—he’s blessed for good!” Esau, hearing his father’s words, sobbed violently and most bitterly, and cried to his father, “My father! Can’t you also bless me?” “Your brother,” he said, “came here falsely and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Not for nothing was he named Jacob, the Heel. Twice now he’s tricked me: first he took my birthright and now he’s taken my blessing.” He begged, “Haven’t you kept back any blessing for me?”Isaac said to him,You’ll live far from Earth’s bounty, remote from Heaven’s dew. You’ll live by your sword, hand-to-mouth, and you’ll serve your brother. But when you can’t take it any more you’ll break loose and run free. Esau seethed in anger against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him; he brooded, “The time for mourning my father’s death is close. And then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.” When these words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she called her younger son Jacob and said, “Your brother Esau is plotting vengeance against you. He’s going to kill you. Son, listen to me. Get out of here. Run for your life to Haran, to my brother Laban. Live with him for a while until your brother cools down, until his anger subsides and he forgets what you did to him. I’ll then send for you and bring you back. Why should I lose both of you the same day?”Rebekah spoke to Isaac, “I’m sick to death of these Hittite women. If Jacob also marries a native Hittite woman, why live?””
1. We’ve been chosen by God: God chose Jacob- Jacob is not a good person to be chosen. God chooses us because he is a sovereign God who rules over the Universe and he does as He pleases. Romans 9:10-13 “When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, and her babies were still innocent in the womb—incapable of good or bad—she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. God told Rebecca, “The firstborn of your twins will take second place.” Later that was turned into a stark epigram: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.”” This is the doctrine of Election. If you are a believer in Jesus, you’ve got to prize that above everything else.
Q. Is that unjust?
By no means- because he says, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. We saw it operating in the life of Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau... God chose the younger. God is sovereign.
2. We’ve been placed into Christ: We see the picture of Salvation- Isaac is the father and Jacob is trying to get the blessing of Esau, so he covers himself to be like Esau. We go into the Father’s presence clothed with the righteousness. There is a great blessing given to Jacob because he was in Esau’s clothes. That is the same with us. But Jacob is deceiving the Father, but we have been placed there by the righteousness of Jesus. He is for us and is going to bless us. 2 Cor 5:21 “In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”
May our eyes open to the great plan and promise of God. All the promises of the Old Testament have come down from the Nation of Israel, to us. We are like one of those patriarchs. Will those promises end with us or will it be passed on to generations. It is not just through Physical children. Esau was a profane man and didn’t care about the things of God. He went and married where their parents didn’t want him marry. The promise of God passes on spiritually and physically.
Q. When we leave this earth, what are we leaving behind?
We hear about Timothy’s ancestry.
Q. Can we say that at the end of our lives that we have passed on the spiritual things in our life to others?
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.