We all have a tendancy to focus more on this world than eternity and so we make things a priority that should not be and we put on hold the things we should make a priority. God does want to bless us, and He already has, but we have to be careful that those things do not become our focus rather than being on the relationship we have with God.
Read Genesis 22:1-14
1) Have your blessing from God become your god?
Abraham was being tested by God to see if this long awaited son was more important than God Himself. Isaac going with his father to make a sacrifice to God must have been a regular routine because Isaac knew that they did not have all the elements to properly worship God.
Abraham had to go against common sense and human affection in order to follow God. When you follow God sometimes the ways of the world make you doubt what God has asked you to do. Just like leaving the place of comfort in Ur, Abraham had to now trust God in what He was asking him to do.
In James 2 we know that Faith without works is dead and so you cannot say that you trust in God and then live a life that does not demonstrate it.
Now I know
How did God not Know something? Psalm 147:5 says God’s knowledge is infinite and in Isaiah 46:10 it says that God’s knowledge goes from the beginning to the end. And in Romans 8:29-30 says that God has foreknowledge of everything that will take place.
See also: Psalm 139:2-4; Jeremiah 17:10; Acts 1:24; and Hebrews 4:13
God knew what Abraham would do but now it was lived out. God is addressing Abraham in human terms and we have to remember God is greater than all human understanding. God was wondering up in Heaven what would take place but He was simply seeing the actions of Abraham because faith is not faith until it is lived out.
If a Math teacher says lets find the square root of 49. Then they will say in the midst of the problem, now that we know 7 is the square root then lets finish the problem. The math teacher knows the final result but they are walking the students through it so they experience what the math teacher already knows.
Abraham was willing to offer Isaac to God because God was his first priority. Abraham, we find out later, thought God was going to raise Isaac from the dead.
Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
The Parallels to what was demonstrated here with Isaac and what would come through Christ are many.
- Abraham was giving up his only son and so did God
- Isaac carried the wood on his back and Jesus carried the cross.
- It was the Fathers who were carrying out the sacrifice. (Gods Wrath was poured out)
- The provision was provided for Isaac and Jesus was the provision
Throughout the Old Testament God was showing that He would be providing the ultimate sacrifice for our sins to restore our relationship with Him.
This event had to have a major impact on the life of Isaac to see his father speak and trust in God. Isaac learned from Abraham to speak with God openly and honestly like you would in any close relationship you have.
Genesis 25:21-28 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?”[a] So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you[b] shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.[c] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
We see in Genesis 25:23 that God tells Rebekah that the older will serve the younger. God has determined the line of which the promise of Christ would come from although normally it was the older that would have carried with him certain rights. Although Isaac grew up under Abraham he struggled to pass on the same faith to his children.
2) Is your appetite for the world stronger than your appetite for God?
Genesis 25:29-34 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.[a]) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
We see in Genesis 25 that Esau sold his birthright which meant the majority of the fathers possessions to his brother for a pot of red stew. It also meant he was the head of the household when his father passed with the responsibility to take care of the whole family. The birthrightwas not just a title it was a responsibility.
Esau gave it away even though God had given him the right to it. Hebrews 12:16 says that Esau was unholy for doing such a thing because he gave the precious spirtitual promises of God for worldly hunger. His appetite for the world was stronger than his appetite for God.
Esau had every opportunity to know and follow God because of his family but he chose the ways of the world. We have to be careful that we do not take the things of God for granted and go after the things of the world. When you grow up in a Christian home or, as some believe, in a Christian Nation, you have a tendancy to take for granted the things of God. We do not realize how blessed we are to be surrounded by Christian parents or in America the access we have to the things of God.
3) Gods will not done Gods way leads to disaster
Deception seems to be a theme in this family. Jacob lied four times to his father in a single breathe and then lied some more. Now the Mom who knew that God told her that the older would serve the younger is going to deceive her husband instead of allowing God to handle it.
She hears that Isaac is going to give Esau the blessing and takes action to make sure it does not happen. She makes food that Isaac requested and made it taste like venison and dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes. Because Isaacs’s eyes were weak he could not discern between the two except his voice was different.
In the Old Testament the blessing was an event that the children would look forward to. It usually happened as the Father was nearing death and he would pass on a blessing to them. It was irretrievable and so once it was given there was no saying it again to another child even if there was a mistake. In the Old Testament it seemed to be prophetic.
The mother loved Jacob and knowing that God had already established that Jacob would rule the older brother she took action. She deceived her husband and by doing so destroyed her family. She sent Jacob away so that his brother would not kill him and she never saw him again.
As we have already said in previous weeks the end does not justify the means. God is concerned with how we act when it seems that His will is not being done and doing the will of God not His way is not acceptable.
Lying, deception and manipulation are common in our society and we sometimes think that if we do not do things the way the world does them then we will miss out. It really comes down that we do not believe that God is greater than the world.
Jacob would go through 20 years of training from God by being lied to and deceived himself. God had given His word and Rebekah thought she had to act a certain way in order to accomplish Gods will.
The Edomonites came from the line of Esau and they were at odds with the people of God throughout the Old Testament.If you think about the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s sometimes people do not even know why they hate each other because of things that happened so long ago.
Even churches are not immune to doing Godly things in ungodly ways. Churches by pass building codes and permits and sneak things in because they can get away with it and save a few dollars. We do the same things with our business because we do not trust God enough to see us through the times when business is not as good.
Have the things God has given you become your god (s)?
Are you longing more for the things in this world than the things of God?
What things are you doing that are cheating the system?
We need to learn that God is in control and He does not need us doing deceptive things in order to accomplish His will.
What is your Isaac? (The thing or person God gave you that now you are not willing to part with)
Have you lied and cheated others out of things in order to get ahead?
Are you Esau who has been cheated out of things and your bitterness is ruining you?
God has a plan and He will see it through you can trust Him by doing things the way God would want you to.