‘Jacob steals the blessing’ (Genesis 27:1-29)

After stealing the birthright from Esau, Genesis 27:1-29 tells us how Jacob, led by his mother Rebekah, conspired to also steal the blessing that would normally be given by the father to the first-born, in this case his elder twin, Esau. By deceiving his father, and blasheming against God and following his mother’s instructions, Jacob succeeded. But all was not well within the family. And all is not well when we seek to manipulate others into doing (what we might think was) God’s will.

Message

Outline

• A well-known story
• Like a daytime TV soap opera!
• That recipe for disaster…
• See how Moses tells us of …

  1. Isaac, the spiritually blind father (v.1-4)
  2. Rebekah, the scheming mother (v.5-13)
  3. Jacob, the complicit son (v.14-29)

Aiming for the right goal but doing it the wrong way…
The blessing of the Lord – so needed!

‘Jacob steals the birthright’ (Genesis 25:27-34)

After the introduction of the twins, Jacob and Esau, into the family of Isaac and Rebekah, the two boys could not have been any more different. In Genesis 25:27-34, we find that Esau was a hunter and Jacob a man of ‘tents’. One was more inclined to be the outdoors type, while the other, indoors. The traits these brothers showed were probably inculcated upon them by their parents, who played ‘favourites’ among them. Isaac’s favourite was Esau. Rebekah’s favourite was Jacob. This style of parenting reared some ugly fruits – the first seen in Jacob’s stealing of Esau’s birthright and Esau’s own despising of that birthright.

Message

Outline

• Where we are in the story
• Twins and identical twins
• Dysfunctional parents…
• See how Moses tells us of …

  1. The traits that defined them (v.27)
  2. The parents who mistreated them (v.28)
  3. The meal that divided them (v.29-34)

Understanding God’s eternal decrees…
Avoid placing the temporal over the eternal…

‘Jacob arrives on centre stage’ (Genesis 25:19-28)

The character of Jacob in the Old Testament is no small, ‘bit part’ player. As one of the patriarchs, with Isaac as his father and Abraham as his grandfather, Jacob plays a vital role in the unfolding of God’s promises to Abraham ‘to bless all the nations’ through him. However, in recording the arrival of Jacob onto the scene, Moses tells it, ‘as it is’, Not all is rosy in the family, and there are hints given that not all will be easy in the lives of Jacob and his twin brother, Esau.

Message

Outline

• Why preach a series on Jacob?
• The importance of Jacob in the Scriptures
• A man saved by grace…
• See how Moses tells us of …

  1. Who Jacob was born to (v.19-23)
  2. Who Jacob was born with (v.24-26)
  3. What Jacob was born into (v.27-28)

A vital character introduced into the plot line…
No longer defined by a physical birth!

‘The coming of the Messiah as told to …the serpent’ (Genesis 3:15)

Genesis 3:15 would have to be one of the most important verses in all of the Old Testament. Straight after Adam and Eve’s rebeliion against God’s righteous rule, the Lord himself promised that the ‘seed of the woman’ would one day come and crush ‘the head of the serpent’. This verse is widely known as the first announcement (or proclamation) of the gospel, and it is very, very good news – all fulfilled in Jesus, the seed of the woman!

Message

Outline

• A Christmas series!
• The unfolding story to grasp…
• What a text to begin with!
• See how the text tells of …

  1. A sober reminder of humanity’s undoing
  2. The original setting for conflict unfolding
  3. The certain promise of Messiah winning

There is hope here…
There is good news here!

‘God’s saints in tight spots’ #1: Joseph (Genesis 39:1-23)

There’s something about the story of Joseph in the Old Testament that is so fascinating and insightful. In Genesis 39:1-23, the Scriptures tell us about what might be the lowest spot in Joseph’s bright life. And yet, when his story is taken as a vital part of the outworking of Genesis 3:15 in God’s plan of salvation, the story of Joseph is far more than the story of a ‘dreamer’ with a ‘coloured coat’, but of a man who points us all to Jesus and who shows us God’s purpose in suffering is that we become more like Him.

Full service

00:00 Introduction
00:40 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise; see also Big Picture Bible Crafts #12)
Song: The Lord is King
06:34 Saints in tight spots
Hymn: Praise my soul
08:42 Prayer
14:59 Bible reading: Genesis 39
Song: Christ is mine forever more
19:13 Sermon: Joseph (Genesis 39)
Hymn: Teach me your way
42:51 Benediction
Song: Press on Mums

‘Abraham: Final steps’ (Genesis 23:1-20 and 25:1-11)

The record of Sarah’s death and, then eventually, Abraham’s death, is found in Genesis 23:1-20 and Genesis 25:1-11. The Bible gives great honour to Sarah, recording her age at death and the details concerning her burial. The same honour is given to Abraham, who the grand age of 175 was ‘gathered to his people’. However, the death of Abraham is not the end of the story. His greatest Son, Jesus, whose story ends with an empty grave, brings God’s people a real and living hope.

‘Abraham: Extreme steps’ (Genesis 22:1-19)

The account of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22:1-19 is surely the climactic point in the development of the faith of Abraham. After all that he had been through in relation to the promises of God that he would have a son, it must have been heart breaking for him to have to do what the Lord entreated him and offer Isaac as a burnt sacrifice. What would he do? Obey God and so prove the genuineness of his faith.

‘Abraham: Worshipping steps’ (Genesis 21:22-34)

The account of Genesis 21:22-34 records the development of an unusual working relationship between Abraham and King Abimelech of Gerar. After Abraham’s last encounter with Abimelech in Genesis 20 which didn’t go so well, this time, their interaction – particularly from Abraham’s point of view – went so much better! The section of text is interesting on another level too, in that it provides us with an understanding of covenants in Old Testament times, leading us to remember the God who makes covenants with His people.

‘Abraham: Faithful steps’ (Genesis 21:1-21)

The text of Genesis 21:1-21 tells us that God’s promises to Abraham and Sarah were eventually fulfilled in the birth of the promised son, Isaac. While the story has been concerned with Abraham’s struggle to believe the Lord’s promises, on the other hand, the story also emphasizes the certainty of God’s faithfulness. He did not fail to accomplish what He promised. Although the birth of Isaac created issues for Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael, God’s mercy and grace were still not out of the picture.

‘Abraham: Forgetful steps’ (Genesis 20:1-18)

After the heights of Abraham’s intercessory prayer before the Lord in chapter 18, the next we read of Abraham is in Genesis 20:1-18 where he fell for the ‘same old story’ of a previous incident recorded in chapter 12. Passing Sarah off as his sister (although she was actually his half-sister) before Abimelech almost resulted in disaster for all concerned. But with this repeat offence, God intervened, and by His grace, not only rescued the situation but also used it for Abraham’s (and our) blessing.