Lessons from Genesis 26:34-28:9

I promised in this past Sunday’s sermon (July 1, 2018) that I would post the ten lessons we saw from Genesis 26:34-28:9. Nine of them are lessons of warning. The tenth is a lesson of hope. For a fuller context for these, you may want to listen to the sermon!

  1. The apple does not fall far from the tree. What you see in Jacob and Esau is only a heightened example of their parents. Esau could not control his various appetites. It appears he learned that from his father well who loved his son because of his game. Jacob was a liar and deceiver just like his mother taught him to be. Be warned mothers and fathers that your sins are picked up very quickly by your children. They find out fast what you really worship.
  2. Teach your children early the type of people that they should marry. Esau picked wives that were a grief to his parents. How tragic that is and yet it has been replayed many millions of times over. Families are hurt deeply when children are not taught what they are to look for in a mate.  Who a person marries is often a reflection of their worship of God. Show your children this. 
  3. Young people, choose godly spouses. It is not just a matter of your parents, it is you who will choose your spouse one day. Esau chose the fleshly over the good. I am sure that those women were good looking and probably a lot of fun. The Hittites knew how to have a good time and a good party. But they were not good and godly people. And good looking and good parties are not the same as good and godly. Esau chose wrongly and Esau never could get over that – even when he tried to fix it later! Worship God and look for others who do the same.
  4. Fathers, don’t get satisfied with just pleasing your flesh. There are many men who look like Isaac as they age. They don’t care about much. They don’t want to be bothered. They just want to have a good meal and have their flesh satisfied. These are the men who just want their toys to play with, their wife to satisfy them, and their weekends for a good time. And they don’t think much beyond these things or about God’s will in their lives. You and your family will lose. God is bigger than your fleshly cravings. Worship Him.
  5. Make God important in your home by regularly and rightly talking about Him. In this text of Scripture, there is very little spoken about God. Isaac’s blessings to Jacob include right and good statements about God. However, much of the rest is poor. Jacob outright blasphemes God. And Rebekah did not rightly think about God when she used lies to try to achieve God’s will. A good Christian home is filled with parents who speak to their children regularly about God and they speak rightly about Him. Your worship of God will spill out in your speech.
  6. The end does not justify the means. Rebekah had convinced herself that she was doing God’s will. It was ok that she encourage her son to lie to her husband and his father. After all, God had said the older would serve the young. But the sorrow of this passage shows us that this is not the case. It often amazes me the shallow thinking among some Christian families in this regard. “I am skipping church to spend time with my family.” “I am going to cheat on my taxes so that I can support my family.” “I will tell a lie to my children to get them to obey.” In each of these cases, we are not really worshiping God in heaven but a God of our own making.
  7. Favoritism from parents to children has disastrous consequences. We will see this played out again in the life of Jacob with his children. And both there and here, the Scripture does not clearly point out the sin of Isaac and Rebekah’s choice or Jacob’s choice to play favorites with their children. But it doesn’t have to. You see, the stories themselves – true stories – show us the results. Hatred, envy, jealousy, bitterness, and revenge reek havoc in the family when this is done. God gives each of our children to us. Love them all for the glory of God the best that you can.
  8. Lies to family members bring serious wounds. I mentioned earlier that you do not see this whole family together in this passage of Scripture. And how could they? Two of them had conspired to lie against the other two. How could you sit down and have a meal together? What would their conversation actually look like? God can help us to overcome such sins, but the pain in doing so is like peeling a bandaid off your whole back. The process is not pleasant. Worship the God of truth and be truth tellers.
  9. If you are convicted by this passage, repent now while the work of God is in your life. Do not be like Esau and wait till it is to late.  Flee to Jesus  if you are not a Christian. Flee to Jesus if you are a Christian.
  10. God can still be glorified in your life even if you have failed in your family. Even though Isaac disobeyed the Lord by attempting to go against His will in giving the blessing to Esau, Isaac is mentioned as a man of faith in Hebrews 11:20. Specifically, his faith was seen in that gave blessings to Jacob and Esau. In the end, Isaac saw God’s will as greater than his own and believed and trusted it. Despite his failures, Isaac was still loved and cherished by God. Like Isaac, if you see what you have done wrong, cling to your God and follow Him. He forgives and He exalts.

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