Choosing God

Genesis: Stories that Define  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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You can't always control your curcumstances, but you can choose faithfulness to God in all circumstances.


Faithful Patience

Genesis 25:19-34
Old Camel Knees. James, the brother of Jesus - author of the book.
People who pray so much they develop calluses . Deep devotion to God.
Abraham vs. Isaac
Abraham has exciting, dynamic walk with God —> transformative story
Isaac seems very different
2nd generation immigrant
Very little detail by comparison (and vs. Jacob) —> seems boring, yet Isaac & Rebekah = faithful

Both stories tells us: You can’t always control your circumstances, but you can choose faithfulness to God in all circumstances.

Understanding Isaac means knowing the Covenant. Genesis 15:4-5
Abe & Sarah waited (25 yrs)…took things unto themselves
Based on Abraham & Isaac’s experience, What kind of expectations might Isaac have had regarding his part in the Covenant?
He could have assumed/believed that he would struggle…or...
He could have believed that a flock of kids would be born. What is the evidence?
Isaac’s faithfulness to God expressed a belief that God could deliver on his promises
Isaac showed faithfulness by going to God in difficult moments. Genesis 25:20-21.
40 when we started praying - 60 when the kids were born
The only way an Isaac can persist w/ such patient prayer is through is belief that God can
God = Adonai. Lord - we live under his almighty power & care. Isaac believed, do you believe God can?
What is something you would commit to Adonai more often if you if you started by believing that God can?
Rebekah showed faithfulness by seeking God for clarity when she faced chaos
Genesis 25:22. A fascinating verse, let’s see some translations (NIV - KJV - Complete Jewish Bible)
Genesis 25:22 NIV
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
Genesis 25:22 KJV 1900
And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.
Genesis 25:22 CJB: “The children fought with each other inside her so much that she said, “If it’s going to be like this, why go on living?” So she went to inquire of Adonai,”
She inquired & God clarified. Two babies & a little trouble ahead
Isaac & Rebekah both believed God can: How has Adonai exceeded your expectations through answered prayer?
The word Rebekah receives is troubling
Two nations - older serve the younger
Inheritance: Older = double portion (2/3 to 1/3 in this case) —> will be reversed >> all goes crazy from here...

Entitled & Resigned

2016 Welcome to Gather - Alice Cooper? - Grew up Church of Christ - went as far away as possible - nearly died and returned back to Jesus and his Church.
A glaring contrast between Isaac/Rebekah and Esau/Jacob. Important principal: God has no grandchildren
Galatians 3:26 / Romans 8:15 (also 23)
Galatians 3:26 NIV
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Romans 8:15 NIV
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

You are not a child of God by birth but by adoption

The Esau Dilemma (Jacob later…)
The situation: Remote camp - hunting + hunger - sell birthright...
Q: Could Esau sell his birthright? No
What is the actual point we are to learn here?
Esau’s character revealed that he was impulsive and interested in short-term gratification
≠ faithful, patient, persistent in prayer to stay true to God’s Covenant promise
Esau was not fit to the be divine means by which the Covenant would be upheld
He did not have the transformation of Abraham, the faith of Rebekah, the persistent patience of Isaac
What if I’m like Esau?
For some of us, we have grown up in and around the church, but never really chosen Jesus
For some of us we know about Jesus, but we have also never chosen to live into the power Adonai has given through Jesus. Galatians 4:1-7
For some, we know Jesus, follow Jesus, but sometimes we forget that God can, we lose the eternal for the now:
"…I think most of us have had Esau moments, where we would be willing to sell our spiritual birthright in Christ for a bowl of soup. After all, following Christ does not lead to immediate gratification like a good bowl of soup or a steak does when you are hungry. The Christian life is deeply meaningful and brings significance to our lives, but if we understand the 'abundant life' it offers as a perfectly happy, suffering-free life, then we will be quickly let down and be susceptible to the less than spiritual joys of what offers themselves to us in the present." Longman, Genesis, 337
You can’t always control your circumstances, but you can choose faithfulness to God in all circumstances.
We must choose to become a follower of Jesus, an heir of the Covenant, looking faithfully to what God will do
Putting our hope in God’s hands like Isaac when we can’t see hope fulfilled
Going to God on our knees when we face chaos like Rebekah
Never selling our hope in Christ for a promise that is less that God’s salvation through Jesus
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