- Sermon Notes
The blessing Abraham received from God was given to Isaac, whom Sarah bore to him in her old age.But who would be next to receive that blessing?Isaac married Rebekah and eventually she became pregnant with twins.
But in the womb they struggled together, and Rebekah inquired of the Lord as to what was happening. “There are two nations within you,” the Lord said, “and the older will serve the younger, and one nation will be stronger than the other.” In other words, the covenant of blessing that God gave to Abraham and then to Isaac would be passed to the younger of the twins.This was not customary in that culture, but this is what God had decided.
When Rebekah was giving birth to the twins.The first that arrived was covered with hair, so they call him Harry.Well, actually, they called him Esau, which means hairy.And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding onto Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob, which means heel snatcher, or supplanter, or, in other words, one who catches others by the heel to trip them up.
Jacob lived up to his name.One day when Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stew, for I’m famished.”But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”And Esau responded, “I am so hungry I’m about to die; so what use then is the birthright to me?”And Jacob said, “First swear to me.”So Esau sold his birthright to Jacob.
When we come to chapter 27, Isaac is 137 years old, his eyes are dim from age and he doesn’t know how much time he has left to live, so he decided it was time to give the blessing that would normally belong to the eldest son.
The problem is that Isaac favored Esau over Jacob.Esau was ruddy and an outdoorsman.He was an archer and a hunter and Isaac had a taste for wild game.Rebekah favored Jacob.Perhaps because she knew that he was to receive the blessing handed down from Abraham or perhaps it was because he was a peaceful man, living in tents.
One day Rebekah overheard Isaac telling Esau to hunt some wild game and prepare his favorite stew after which Isaac would give the blessing to Esau.This wasn’t right.She knew this was not God’s plan, but rather than trusting that God would somehow fulfill His promise, she took matters into her own hands and hatched a plan to deceive Isaac into giving the blessing to Jacob.
Isaac wasn’t trusting God’s plan either. Notice the secrecy. Notice the conspiracy.Normally the father’s blessing would be given before the entire family because it was like a will distributing the family wealth and headship.
Isaac knew that God had determined that the older would serve the younger.He knew that Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob and he also knew that Esau had disqualified himself from spiritual leadership when he took two Canaanite women as wives, yet he resisted God’s plan.
There are many lessons from this story, but they’re not lessons we learn from their excellent character; we learn from their poor example. God allows the reality of who they are to be seen because we can learn many lessons about character in our own lives as well lessons about the faithfulness of God in spite of our weakness and failures.
I. Don’t Resist God’s Plan
- Isaac knew what God had said to Rebekah, that the older would serve the younger, but he decided to resist God’s plan.
- It’s never a good idea to resist God’s plan, it always ends badly.I could give example after biblical example, but I’m sure there are many in this
room who have experienced that themselves and know that it is true.
A.Without vision; people perish
- Isaac’s eyes are too dim to see. This is true physically, but I submit it was true spiritually as well. He didn’t see the spiritual consequences of
resisting God’s will for the boys.
- He favored Esau because he was a man’s man and brought venison and game that he enjoyed. Isaac ignored God’s Word and did what he wanted.
- But what he couldn’t see is that ignoring God’s Word has long term consequences. God knows what is best for our lives and the best thing we can do
is to live in agreement with what God says is right.
- When we think of having vision we often think of what might be possible in our lives.
- But having vision also means seeing that when we sow to the Spirit we reap from the Spirit and when we sow to the flesh we reap from the flesh.
Genesis 47:8-9, Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?” So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life,”
B. Worldly ways lack power
- Rebekah is not trusting God in this story. She knows what God said, but when she overhears Isaac’s plan, she took matters in her own hands.
- The result is that the brothers struggle once again as they did in her womb. In fact, at the end of all this, Esau makes it known that once their father
Isaac is dead, he will kill his brother Jacob.
- There are so many biblical examples of what happens when we try to live by own cleverness, conniving, or fleshly efforts.
Zechariah 4:6, Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Psalm 127:1-2, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for it is He who gives to his beloved even while he sleeps.
II.Desire the Blessing Even Now
- Esau didn’t value his birthright and gave it away because of his fleshly hunger.
- But now he desperately wants the blessing that goes with his birthright because he now understands the value of it.
- There is a lot of personal application in this part of the story because we all need God’s blessing.
A. Ask God to be your father
- Isaac is not your model father in this story. He is plotting to do something he knows God doesn’t want. He’s putting his entire family against each other because of this decision. They all have a part in what went wrong here, but it started with the father’s decision to go his own way instead of listening to God.
- The importance and power of a father is clearly seen in Isaac’s poor example.
- Many people struggle in their lives because they lacked the blessing of having a good father, but there is still hope for those who carry these wounds.
Illus – Recently I spoke about my own father and the troubles he had in his life being an alcoholic and clearly not invested in our lives.
That came to a crisis for me when I was 21 years old, in fact it was my birthday. I was a student at Oregon State and I began to see the consequences of not having a good father and I became very angry.
But all that changed when I received a word from God that completely changed my life. “I will be the Father to you that you never had. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will bless you and put My hand on you and I guide your steps.”
Illus – When I went to OSU my grades were bad, but later, when I went to Multnomah University, everything changed. I began to see the blessing of my Heavenly Father on my life.
Illus – God promised David that He would be Solomon’s Father…
2 Samuel 7:14-15, “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him... but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him,”
2 Corinthians 6:16-18, For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God and they shall be my people… “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Illus – Jacob had to run for his life because of the hatred and vengeance of Esau, but on the way he had an encounter with God that transformed him and Jacob began to live under the hand of God.
Genesis 28:15, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go; and I will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
A.Be a blessing in return
- When you come to the realization that God will be your Father and will bless you and heal the hurts and wounds of living in a broken world…
- When you have received so much from God, what do you do in response?
Illus – When God provided miraculously for me to be able to go to Multnomah, I had to respond by pouring my whole heart into it.
- If God has so blessed you; can you not then also be used of God to bless others?
- If you are a father – bless your children with the blessing of a father, but there is a blessing that can come from a mother as well. There is also
a blessing of a grandparent that will make a tremendous difference in the life of the grandchildren.
- We must realize the importance of being a blessing to those that God puts in our life.
App- What is the blessing that Isaac gave?
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
Illus – Jewish families believe that they are the chosen of God and convince their children from birth. What a contrast to what the children in Palestinian
Arab families are taught.
- If you don’t understand the power of God in your life, you will be on the wrong course.
Matthew 22:29, But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the scriptures nor the power of God.”
Illus – When God had healed me from the wounds of growing up without the blessing of a good father, He allowed me to be used in my father’s life to be a blessing to him, even leading him to faith in Christ.
A.Receive the blessing even now
- When Esau came in from hunting game and prepared the dish as Isaac had requested, he came to his father and presented the ‘savory food’ and asked for
- Isaac was shocked and trembled violently, “Who was it that came in with savory food and I blessed him? Indeed; he will be blessed.”
- Of course, it was Jacob. He had taken the birthright by conniving and now he had taken the blessing as well. “Do you have a blessing for me? Is it too late?” Esau cried. “It’s too late,” Isaac basically said, “You will have a difficult life. But when you can’t take it anymore you will break his yoke from your neck.”
- This is where the application for us must be understood. You can receive a blessing even now from your father in heaven. It’s not too late.
Illus – A few years ago our church had an outreach service with Luis Palau. Those who came forward and responded to the gospel went into the fellowship hall for prayer, Jordi and I stood at the door to make sure everyone had the opportunity for prayer without interruption when a young gal came up to us and asked, “Is it too late?”
- Of course it’s not too late! God will bless you even if you asked Him on your death bed.
Illus – Jesus gave a parable of men who were waiting in the square of the city to be hired.
Matthew 20:1-16 The parable of laborers in the vineyard.
Illus – Two men were being crucified with Jesus; and one asked for a blessing.
Luke 23:39-43, One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
- It’s not too late; be blessed of your Father in heaven. What turned my dad around is when he realized that he had wasted his life and wanted to make
the rest of years mean something.
- Ask God to be your father and know that He will be with you and will walk with you and will lay His hand on your life and will bless you.
The Power of a Blessing
The blessing that Abraham received is an absolutely amazing blessing that is affecting us actually today, was then handed to Isaac whom Sarah bore in her old age. She was 90 years old. This was like a miracle birth. But the question is, who then is going to receive that blessing next because it passes down to the next generation? Now, Isaac eventually married Rebecca, and we saw at the Wednesday service it was the hand of God that moved that brought that about. She became pregnant with twin boys.
Now, in the womb, these struggled together, the boys are struggling and fighting in the womb. So, she inquires of the Lord as to what this means, why is this happening, and the Lord speaks to her and says, "There are two nations within you. The older will serve the younger, and one nation will be stronger than other. In other words, that covenant of blessing that was given to Abraham and then passed down to Isaac is now going to be passed to the younger of the twins. Now, this is not usual, this is not customary, but this is what God had decided.
When Rebecca was giving birth to the boys, the twins, the first that arrived was covered with hair. Can you imagine a baby boy covered with hair? They gave him the name, Hairy. Now, that is exactly what they named him, because they gave him the name Esau. In Hebrew, it means hairy. The whole his life he's known as hairy.
Now, the next one after what his brother came forth and his hand, when he came out, his hand was holding onto Esau's heel. Thus, they named him Heel Snatcher, or Supplanter, or in another words, one who trips up other people while they are walking. The name Jacob means that very thing, heel snatcher, but the idea is tripping.
Remember when you were in junior high, because this is something junior highs would do. You're walking along and then somebody hits you as you're walking. They hit your heel, and then you trip. That is exactly what they called him, the one who trips other people. Now, Jacob, heel snatcher, lived up to his name.
One day when the boys had grown up, Jacob had cooked some stew and Esau had come in from the field and was famished and Esau said to Jacob, "Please let me have some of that red stew there, I'm famished" and Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright." Your birthright for a bowl of stew? But Esau responded, "I'm so hungry I'm about to die, what use is the birthright to me then?" Then Jacob responded, "Swear it" and he did, and he gave him his birthright. He supplanted, he heel snatched, he took the birthright. Of course, he sounds complacent in this. He gave it to him for a bowl of stew.
When you come to chapter 27, Isaac now, the father of the twins, is 137 years old. His eyes are dim from age and he doesn't know how much time he has left on this earth. He has decided that the time has come to give the blessing that would normally belong to the eldest son. But he knows what God said, he knows that God had said that the older is going to serve the younger. Here is the problem, the problem is that Isaac actually favored Esau over Jacob. Esau was ready, Esau was an outdoorsman, he was an archer, and he was a hunter and he would bring wild game and Isaac had a taste for wild games, so he favored Esau over Jacob.
Well, Rebecca favored Jacob. You can just see the family dynamics here. Maybe she favored Jacob because she knew that he was the one who would receive that blessing that would be handed down from Abraham to Isaac. Perhaps she favored him because he was the peaceful man living in tents, in other words, he was a mother's boy.
One day, Rebecca overheard Isaac, telling Esau to go hunt some wild game, prepare his favorite stew, after which Isaac would then give that blessing to Esau, even though he knew that is not what God said. He said, "Go get the game, prepare my stew, I'm going to give that blessing to you." Now, Rebecca overheard this, and this isn't right, she knew this wasn't God's plan, but rather than trusting that God is somehow going to bring about what he said, trusting at his promise, she takes matters into her own hands and she hatches a plan, and her plan is to deceive Isaac into giving the blessing to Jacob.
Now, Isaac isn't trusting God either in this thing. Notice the secrecy, notice the conspiracy. Normally, a father's blessing would be given in front of the entire family, because it's like a will that is distributing the family wealth and the headship, and the birthright of the oldest was so significant, he could double the inheritance, he becomes the inherited patriarch of the family. You've been given all these authorities as well as the blessing then that comes with the birthright
Isaac knew that God had determined the older will serve the younger. He knew that Esau had already sold his birthright to Jacob, and he also knew that Esau had disqualified himself from the spiritual leadership because he had taken two Canaanite women as wives, which was offensive to his parents and was offensive to God. There are a lot of lessons from this story, and they are not lessons that you learn from an excellent character. The lessons that you learn from the poor example.
One of the things I really appreciate about the Scriptures is that it's honest. It depicts people in their faulty, in their failures, and doesn't try to make everybody look like they are all perfect, because we are not all perfect. It makes us learn lessons of character when we see that, and then helps us to learn about the faithfulness of God in spite of our weaknesses and in spite of our failures.
I. Don’t Resist God’s Plan
Let's read the story, Genesis 27:1, "It came about when Isaac was old, that is his eyes were too dim to see, and so he called his oldest son Esau and said to him, "My son", and he said to him, "Here I am". So, Isaac said, "Behold now, I'm old and do not know the day of my death. Now then, please take your gear, your quiver, your bow and go out into the field and hunt game for me. Prepare a savory dish for me such as I love and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die."
Now, Rebecca was listening while Isaac spoke to his son, Esau. When Esau went out to the field to hunt for game to bring home, Rebecca said to her son, Jacob, "Behold, I heard your father speak thus to your brother, Esau, saying, "Bring me some game and prepare savory dish that I may eat, and I'll bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death". Now, therefore, my son, listen to me, and do as I command you, "Go now to the flock, bring me two choice kids, baby goats, that I may prepare them as a savory dish for your father just as he loves, then you shall bring it to your father that he may eat so that he may bless you before his death.".
Jacob answered his mother, Rebecca, "Behold, Esau, my brother, is a hairy man, and I'm a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me and then I shall be seen as a deceiver in his sight, and I will bring up upon myself a curse and not a blessing." But his mother said to him, "Your curse be upon me my son. Only obey my voice. You go and you get them for me." He went and he got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food just as his father loved.
Then Rebecca took the best garments of Esau, their elder son, which were with her in the house, and she put them on Jacob, the younger son. She put the skin of the baby goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob. Then he came to his father and he said, "My father, here I am." "Who are you my son?" Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau, your firstborn." That's just a straight out lie. He says, "I have done as you have told me, get up please, sit and eat of my game that you may bless me.".
Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have done this so quickly my son?" He said, "Well, because the Lord your God caused it to happen to me." Don't bring the Lord into it. But then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come close so that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." Jacob came close to Isaac his father and he felt him and he said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like his brother, Esau's hands. He blessed him and he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" and he said, "I am.". He said, "Bring it to me and I will eat it of my son's game that I may bless you." He brought it to him and he ate and he also brought him wine and he drank.
Then his father, Isaac, said to him, "Please come close and kiss me, my son." He came close and kissed him, and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and he said, "See the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed." Now, here he issues forth this proclamation, his declaration, his father's blessing over his son, "May God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and of the abundance of grain and new wine, and may people serve you, and may nations bow down to you, and may you be master of your brothers, and may your mother's sons about down to you."
Then he says this famous blessing that we should recognize, because this is the very same thing that God said to Abraham that is now being passed down to generation to generation, "Cursed are those who curse you, and blessed are those who bless you." This is important because we see, it was given to Abraham, given passed on to Isaac, then to Jacob, and then to the 12 sons which are the nation, the tribes of the nation of Israel, and thus, that blessing is the key for us because I believe that that statement, that blessing, that Word of God is still very much alive, and active, and true today, and thus, it should inform our public, our foreign policy as a nation.
When we consider the United States relationship to Israel, we should recognize that those who bless Israel are blessed, and thus, we should support Israel. It's important that we declare it and make it very known, we support Israel. Now, having said that, there's so much for us to learn from these verses that we can apply to our lives, starting with this, don't resist God's plan. Isaac knew what God's plan was, he knew what God has said to Rebekah, that the older would serve the younger, but he decided to resist God's plan, and it's never a good idea to resist God's plan because it's going to end badly.
A. Without vision; people perish
I could give you example after example after Biblical example, but I think, actually, there are people in this room with their own testimony, who can say, 'I can tell you this one, if you don't do what God says, if you resist God's will, it will end badly," let's do a show of hands, shall we? See, this is such a key lesson, we know this is the truth. Let's capture it this way, without vision, people perish, this is what it means. Isaac's eyes are too dim to see, okay it's true physically, but I submit that it's true spiritually. He didn't see the spiritual consequences of resisting God's will, because it's going to break this family, it's going divide these boys.
Okay, he favored Esau because he was a man's man and he brought venison and game, and Isaac had a taste for game, that's not a good reason. He's ignoring God's word to do what he wants to do that he couldn't see that ignoring God's Word is going to have long-term consequences. See, if we can only grasp that great lesson, God knows what he's doing, God knows what's best. If we could just live in agreement with what God says, it would really be a great blessing to our lives. Maybe the principle that we could apply could it be this way, always move with the permission of God.
I want God's permission before I do that thing, before I buy that thing, before I take that position, before I do that thing, I want God's permission. God, you are the one who directs my steps, and I want your blessing. Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keepeth the word of God, happy is he, blessed is he." When we think of vision, we think of the word vision, we often think of what might be possible, he's got vision. But having vision means seeing spiritually. If you sow to the spirit, you'll reap spiritual things, if you sow to the flesh, you're going to reap fleshly things, it's the principle of the harvest, it's a very key principle in Scripture.
It's found in Galatians 6:7-8. Listen to these words, what a strong opener to a verse. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked," that's just wrong. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, this, he will also reap. For the one who sows to his flesh, will, from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the spirit, will of the spirit reap life, even eternal life." That is a principle. We know that we can reap spiritual by sowing spiritual. Here's an example, you look at Jacob, Jacob the deceiver, the heel snatcher, the Supplanter in the story. When you come to Genesis 47, we'll get there in the story.
B.Worldly ways lack power
In Genesis 47, Jacob has, in the conversation with the Pharaoh of Egypt, and this is interesting, Pharaoh says to Jacob, "How many years have you lived?", Now, Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourning are 130. Few and unpleasant have been the years of my life." Wouldn't it be just a tragedy to look back on your life and then say the years of my life had been most unpleasant? That's just a tragedy. When God would tell us the principle, "You sow to the spirit, you're going to reap from the spirit, life, spiritual life, because here is we get to see, the contrast, because worldly ways lack power, there is no power in them.
Rebecca is not trusting God in this story. She knows what God said, but when she overhears Isaac's plan, she takes matters into our own hands using deception. The result is that the brothers struggle once again, just like they did in the womb, to the end that when this is all said and done, Isaac makes it known that when our father Isaac is dead, I want to kill my brother. Now, he argue means it, and this is breaking this family right in half. There are so many Biblical examples of what happens when we try to live by our own methods, our own cleverness, our own conniving, our own fleshly efforts.
Moses, he was raised in Pharaoh's house, but he knew he was a Hebrew, and one day, he sees a Hebrew being mistreated and so he takes action on his own. He tries to take the matter into his own hands and he ends up killing the Egyptian and he has to run for his life, ends up spending 40 years in the desert. Sarah, she knew the promises of God, but she tried to fulfill them on her own by using Hagar, the Egyptian maid, to bring forth a child for Abraham, and the world is suffering for it today because their son Ishmael, became the father of the Arab nation, and the conflict in the Middle East is traced right to this. If we could only see the power is by the Spirit, if we could live by that power, it would change everything.
When Israel was taken captive by Babylon and they went into the city of Babylon in exile, it was 70 years, after which God made it known that they could, through their king, be released to go back to rebuild the city and the temple. But when they arrived back, the city was in ruins and they saw a mountain of rubble. They became so discouraged, so downhearted, "Look at all the things that are wrong and there's a mountain of rubble, what will we do?" Then the Word of the Lord came through Zechariah the prophet, chapter 4 verse 6, this is now a very famous word.
"Then he said to me, this is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, that's the governor, saying this never might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts." That phrase, 'The Lord of hosts' is a very key phrase, it means captain of the armies of heaven, it means power. It's not by might. In fact, He goes on to say, "What are you, oh great mountain?" Speaking of all these obstacles, these rubbles, "What are you, oh great mountain before Zerubbabel, you'll become a plain and he will put forth the top stone with shouts of grace, grace to it." It's not by might, it's not by power, it's by my Spirit.
Which brings us to one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Psalm 127. I love to quote it, we should memorize it because the principles are so good. Psalm 127:1-2, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." The laborer is laboring, but God is the one who is watching over the building." You could apply that to so many things. Unless the Lord builds the church, unless the Lord builds the business, unless the Lord builds the family, they labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain." The watchman is watching, but unless God is watching, it's in vain.
II. Desire the Blessing Even Now
It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors, for it is He who gives to His beloved, even while he sleeps. You could be sleeping and the blessing of God, like you have no idea, God is blessing you, even while you're sleeping. The power of the Spirit is such.
A.Ask God to be your father
That's why, let's make it personal and say this, desire the blessing even now because there's an application to us spiritually. Esau didn't value his birthright and gave it away because of hunger. Now he desperately wants the blessing that goes with the birthright because he understands now the value of it. But see, there's so much in the story for us because we need God's blessing in our lives, and maybe we could say it this way, ask God to be your Father. Isaac is not your model father, in this story. He is planning to do something that he knows God doesn't want, and he's pinning his entire family against each other because of this.
Now, they all have a part in what went wrong, that's true, but it started with the father's decision to go his own way instead of God's way. The importance and the power of a father cannot be missed here, clearly seen in Isaac's poor example. Because many people struggle in their lives because they lack the blessing of having a good father. In fact, many people carry a deep wound because of not having a good father.
This last week, Pastor Matthew and I had the privilege and the honor of hosting the Georgene Rice Show because Georgene was in Washington DC for something and asked us that we would take her show, and it's always an honor to do that. We decided to speak on that very thing, the wounds that many people carry are healed of God when we recognize that He is in fact the Father that blesses.
I can speak, I mentioned recently about my own father and how difficult it was being raised with an alcoholic father who's difficult and cantankerous and all the yelling and the screaming and the dysfunction and the abuse of our mother. It came to a crisis for me when I was 21. I remember it was my 21st birthday. I was a student at Oregon State and I was doing poorly in life. I was not a good student. I was just failing on a number of areas, and I became frustrated because I blamed it all on not having a good father. It seemed like everybody had the advantage in life, but me, and I'm just angry with God. It all changed. I can tell you exactly where I was sitting, and I'm calling out to God. I'm angry and I have this word of the Lord that God speaks to my heart, a light, a revelation where I just feel like the Lord says, is speaking to me and says, "Stop this. Stop being a victim, stop blaming your father. I will be your Father now. I will be a Father to you and I will be a Father like no earthly father could ever be. I'll never leave you. I'll never forsake you. I will bless you. I'll put my hand on you and I'll guide your steps." Here's the thing, I believed it. That's why it was an encounter with God. I believed it. I took hold of that truth for me, for my life, and it was a healing moment for me.
When I was a student at Oregon state, my grades are bad, I was failing on so many levels. God gave me an opportunity to start over, you might say. I got an opportunity to go to the Multnomah University and to prepare to become a pastor. But now everything is changing. I can see that God is ordering my way, that God is ordering my steps, that He is in fact a Father to me.
It's interesting because God promised David that he would be a Father to David's son, Solomon. 2 Samuel 7:14-15, "I will be a Father to him, and he will be a son to me. And when he commits iniquity,
I'm going to correct him, but my love and kindness will not depart from him." Now, that's just a great word of God's speaking as that Father and as a great word because He speaks the same word to us.
Look and notice that in Corinthians 6, "We are the temple of the living God. Just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God. They will be my people, and I, He says, in a personal way, I will be a Father to you and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." That's a great word for us. Take hold of that because the consequences of that are so powerful.
Jacob, at the end of this story, he's got to run for his life because Esau is furious and he's going to kill his brother. Jacob has to run and he goes back to Mesopotamia where he's got some distant relatives. On the way, he has an encounter with God, and this encounter with God transforms him, and Jacob began to live under the hand of God.
Here's a great word. Genesis 28:15, God speaks to him, "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land for I will not leave you until I had done what I have promised you." That's just a great word that I think God would have us receive. I will not leave you. I will accomplish everything I promised to you. Then we see a response. Our response is this, be a blessing in return. When you come to the realization that God is in fact your Father, who bless you and heal the hurts and the wounds that you've been carrying all those years. When have received so much from God, what do you do in response? How do you respond to that?
When God made it possible for me to start over, go to Multnomah University and absolutely irrefutably miraculously made prevision financially for me to be able to go to Multnomah University to be able to prepare it and became a pastor, it was so clearly God's hand that moved that my response would be, was this, "God, if you did that for me, so miraculously did that for me, then I'm going to give this everything I got. I just have to say thanks by pouring my heart into it." I'm in the front row, I'm taking notes, I'm studying, I'm doing the work, I'm reading for the test, and I ended up being the Valedictorian but not because I tried to be, just because I wanted to say thank you God for all that you did for me. If you did this for me, I need to do this for you.
B.Be a blessing in return
If God has so blessed you, can you not then be used of God to bless others? If you were a father, bless your children with the blessing of a father. Because there is a blessing that can come from no one else. There's such a need in the heart to have a father. I remember growing up, my father, I told you the story, he's cantankerous, he's difficult, he's abusive, yelling and screaming, and all the drunkenness and alcoholism, and yet, and yet I wanted so badly just to go fishing, just to go for a walk. Can we just sit down and have a talk? Can you say you love me? Just once. Can you put your hand on my shoulder as a moment of affection? Just once. There's something inside the soul that just longs for my father.
If you are a father, recognize the power of who you are in their lives. Bless them, bless now. There's a blessing that comes from a mother, absolutely true, and there's a blessing that comes from a grandparent, absolutely true. You will make a tremendous difference in the life of your children. But don't minimize the impact of that blessing of a father. Blessing in what way? Blessed with the blessing of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 speaks to that blessing, "I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for welfare and not for calamity,to give you a future and a hope." Speak that blessing, that word. They need that. That's the power of what you have to say and the world that you have in their life. It's an interesting thing, because in Jewish families, Jewish families believe that they are God's chosen people. They speak that to their children from the earliest day of ages. Do you know who you are? You are God's chosen people. You arise to that young man, you arise to that young lady, and don't you doubt that for one moment. Do you know who you are? They teach that to their children from a young age. Can you imagine growing up with that word being spoken to you all the time?
In contrast, do you know what happens in the homes of Palestinian Arabs in the Middle East? Let me tell you, because I was in Israel this last February, March. Had the amazing opportunity to hear from a Palestinian Arab Muslim who supports Israel. In fact, I recorded the talk. One of our summer classes, we're going to present that for anyone who wants to hear that talk.
What an amazing and interesting perspective, Palestinian Arab Muslim who supports Israel, he says, "The safest place for me as a Muslim is right here in Israel." He says, "I will tell you the issue. I will tell you the problem." I can boil it down to one thing. It's what happens in their homes. From the earliest ages, the children are taught that the greatest honor, the greatest glory you can ever achieve is to take the life of a Jew. They are raised and bred on hatred from the earliest of ages.
I remember there was an Iranian Muslim just came into the church one day, and he asked to speak to the pastor. I sat down and said, "What can I do for you?" He said, "I've lived all my life hearing about a God who hates. Tell me about a God who loves." The end result of that was that he came to faith in Jesus Christ and we baptized him right here. God has a better word. If you don't want to understand the power of God in your life, you're on the wrong course. The power of God is on the move. It's like this, when Jesus was challenged one day, Matthew 22:29, he was challenged. Jesus answered and He said to them, "You are mistaken, because you do not understand the Scriptures and you do not understand the power of God. If you not understand the power of God, then you're on the wrong course."
C. Receive the blessing even now
When God had healed me from the wounds of growing up, without the blessing of a good father, God had healed me from all the hurts and the wounds of that, God allowed me then, in a tremendous turn, to be able to be used of the Lord, to bring my father to faith in Jesus Christ, and I got to baptize him with my own hands. I'll tell you, it was a surreal moment. There we are. I remember very clearly standing there in the waters of baptism and I asked him if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God in Jesus. You believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins? Have you asked Him to forgive your sin? Have you believed that Jesus was raised from the third day? Yes, I believe, and I said, I baptize you now in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. When I lowered him down in the water, the most surreal, beautiful scene, his gray hair swirling. It was so beautiful. I just wanted to just like stand there and look at this so beautiful. Absolutely surreal.
God is now healing the family. God by his Holy Spirit is now healing the family. You look at Isaac and now what's happening with Jacob and Esau, it's splitting the family. But God by his Holy Spirit will use his healing in your life to bring about healing in your family. May I say, if we can close with this, receive that blessing even now.
When Esau came in from hunting the game, he prepared the dish as Isaac had said, and he brought it to his father and asked for the blessing. Isaac was shocked and trembled violently, "Who was it that came in and I blessed him. Indeed, he will be blessed." Of course it was Jacob. Esau was furious. He has supplanted me twice now. He's taken my birthright and now he's taken my blessing. Don't you have a blessing for me? Is it too late my father? It's too late, my son. This is where we have to understand the application, because for us, I tell you, that blessing that God received, that God would pour out, that we receive, we must understand it's not too late. It's not too late.
A few years ago, we had an outreach with Louis Palau here, and he presented the Gospel and invitation for people to come forward to receive Christ and many did. Afterward we brought them in the fellowship hall and we connected them with prayer counselors. My wife and I were standing in the lobby to make sure that everyone had a prayer counselor and there was no interruptions. While we're standing there, a girl came out of the doors quickly at the sanctuary, came out quickly and she came to us and she said, "Is it too late for me?" It was a beautiful moment. Is it too late for me? I said, it's never too late. We walked her in, we found her a prayer counselor to sit with her and pray with her. It's not too late.
When Jesus was on the cross, one of the thieves, one of the criminals being crucified with Him, asked for a blessing. Luke 23:39-43, "One of the criminals who were hung there was hurling abuse at Him. Are you not the Christ? Are you not the Messiah, then save yourself and save us. But the other answered and rebuking him. He said, do you not even fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation and we indeed are suffering justly for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds. But this Man, he's done nothing wrong. Then he was saying, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus said to him, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.' It's not too late. Be blessed of your Father.
Do you know what turned my dad around? What turned my dad around was when he came to the realization that he had wasted his life. He was old. I've wasted my life, but whatever I have left, whatever I have left, I want to use it. Use it for good. I'm asking for a relationship. Can I come back in your life? He you didn't come to my wedding. I said, "Yes, I welcome you back." He was turned around. It's not so late. Ask God to be your Father and know that He will walk with you. He'll lay His hand on your life and He'll bless you. You're not too old. You're not too young. Receive that blessing and He will transform your life.
Genesis 27:1-29 NASB
29 May peoples serve you,And nations bow down to you;Be master of your brothers,And may your mother's sons bow down to you.Cursed be those who curse you,And blessed be those who bless you."