By Faith Isaac, Jacob, & Joseph

By Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Hebrews 11:20-22 “By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.”

What are we handing down, blessing or cursing?

Giving Your Blessing.
Learned early, I didn’t want permission, but blessing.
With my parents blessing, I knew they didn’t just approve of what I was doing, but would support, encourage and provide the means to achieve my goal.
The power of a Father’s Blessing.
The whole of the Christian life is rooted in the promise of God. He has spoken promises to be our God, to bless those who seek Him, to save those who look to Christ unto the very end.
When we bless, we bear witness to the promise of God, and pass God’s blessing to those around us.
What are we handing down, a blessing or a curse?
See I set before you blessing and cursing… what are we setting before our children?
The blessing of Godliness - Do we set before our children examples of what it means to follow Christ, to look to him, find our joy and security in the Lord - do we put before them the blessing of God?
The curse of worldliness - Or, while we confess our faith in God, are we following the ways of the world, looking to the worldly goods to secure our happiness - and put before our children the curse of worldliness?
Our passage: A faith that endures looks to the promises of God and speaks those promises over the next generation as a blessing.

The Patriarch’s Blessing.

The Blessings.

Isaac’s Blessing (Gen 27:27).

Blessing Jacob over Esau.
Isaac favored Esau, who provided him with stew. Rebecca favored Jacob. Esau forfeited his birthright, Jacob deceived Isaac to secure the blessing. The family was a mess. But in the midst of the mess, Isaac, according to God’s sovereign design, blessed Jacob.
Gen 25:23 “the older shall serve the younger.” Recalling Abraham’s promise from God.
Isaac owned none of the promised land. So what did he give as a blessing?
The dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, plenty of grain and wine, the nations would serve him… everyone who curses him would be cursed, and everyone who blessed him would be blessed.
Isaac drew upon the promise of God to Abraham in Gen 12, and Gen 15.

Jacob’s Blessing (Gen 48:16).

Blessing Ephraim and Manasseh while in Egypt.
Jacob blessed Joseph, but also spoke a blessing over his grandchildren.
He was including Ephraim and Manasseh as part of the 12 sons in the future distribution of the promised land.
Looking to the land God had promised.
Still had no possession in the promised land, they were even in exile. Rooted in the blessing he received from Isaac
He blessed them “bowing in worship over his staff.”
This picture of Jacob worshiping God as he leaned on his staff, near the end of his strength, presents a beautiful picture of faith. The staff was the sign of Jacob’s pilgrimage, and, in the face of death, Jacob laid claim to the future through the exercise of faith in the realization of the promises of God.”
A deathbed blessing - Gen 49 - Jacob blesses his sons, crawls into bed, and breathes his last.

Joseph’s Blessing (Gen 50:25).

Joseph had the wealth of the world, a prince of Egypt.
He didn’t look to his worldly power and security to bless this children of Israel, but looked to God’s promised deliverance.
Gen 15 - Abraham’s descendants would go to Egypt, and be enslaved for 400 years. Then God would deliver them up.
In planning his funeral he was looking to the time when they would finally possess the promise land.

What we learn.

To bless we don’t have to be perfect.

The families were a mess, and they didn’t always act consistent with their faith. But they continued to trust in, and rest in the promises of God.

The blessings were prayers of faith spoken over their children.

They did not just speak warm wishes. They prayed for the very thing that God had promised.

To bless we must simply trust in the promise, and point others to that promise.

Their blessing wasn’t in what they had, but what God promised.

We are called to bless the next generation.

We see the pattern: Isaac blessed his children, Jacob his grandchildren, Joseph the church (people of Israel).
They all were looking to God for spiritual blessings while they lived like pilgrims in this world, and they each showed a concern to pass on a spiritual inheritance to their children. We will be diligent to do the same if we possess the same faith.
This is the duty of parental ministry, to search the Scriptures and see what promises God has given to the righteous and to their children, and plead them before God.
The next generation will learn their faith from us, not just what we say, but how we live by faith. If we are frustrated with the faith, or lack of faith, in the next generation, look to what we’ve shown.
Almost Christian - Kenda Creasy Dean.
The issue is not whether young people can read the Bible (they can). The real issue is… why would they want to? What have they seen in the church that would suggest that the Bible is a source of power and wonder? When have they seen their parents derive life and joy from reading scripture?”
The blasé religiosity of most American teenagers is not the result of poor communication but the result of excellent communication of a watered-down gospel so devoid of God’s self-giving love in Jesus Christ that it might not be Christianity at all.

How to be a blessing?

Only the Blessed Can Bless

To bless others, we must first be blessed in Christ by coming to him in faith.
You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot share a promise that you don’t believe for yourself. Only the blessed can pass on the blessing.
Do you know the promise of God in Jesus Christ? Come to him, rest in Him, find your security, your peace, your joy, your hope in Him.

To bless others, like Isaac, we must speak God’s words of promise and blessing over our families

Sharing the promises of God with others, to bless is to speak God’s word of encouragement and promise.
Examples of the Promise from Scripture

To bless others, like Jacob, we must speak God’s blessings through the way we worship.

Show your faith in the way you worship - reading scripture, singing hymns with enthusiasm, praying with, for, and over them.
Give your children opportunities to do some sacred eavesdropping on us as we seek, delight, and trust in God’s presence with us.
Don’t wait till your deathbed - but make sure that when you’re gone, your children will know your love for Christ.

To bless others, like Joseph, we must continue to proclaim the gospel of God’s deliverance in Jesus Christ.

The greatest blessing we can give to the next generation is not land, money, or any other worldly resources, but the love and knowledge of God in Jesus Christ.
Peter and John in the temple to the lame man, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.”
The gospel is the greatest blessing we can give to others.
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