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Confronting the Inevitable

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1 Confronting the Inevitable
Genesis 33:1-15

2 Sooner or Later We must face Esau!
Genesis 33:1 “And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came and with him four hundred men” For 21 years Jacob had avoided a face-to-face encounter with Esau At the age of 40 Jacob left home to save his life His deceit and trickery stole the blessing of his father Esau hated Jacob and said in his heart that as soon as Isaac was dead, he would kill Jacob Rebekah sent Jacob to Padan Aram to live with his uncle Laban

3 Sooner or Later We must face Esau!
Jacob had become a very rich He had acquired two wives and their two handmaids, 11 sons and 2 daughters, and many men and women servants Now the confrontation is inevitable Jacob is on his way home to Beersheba from Padan Aram To get to Beersheba, Jacob must pass through Seir, the land of Esau It might take 21 Years or 21 Days - but sooner or later, we must face Esau!

4 Who is Esau? For Jacob, Esau was his twin brother - his mirror-image
So much alike and yet so different From the womb the two struggled Esau was an outdoorsman, a man who enjoyed hunting “And Isaac loved Esau” Jacob was a home- boy “Rebekah loved Jacob” Esau was stronger physically than Jacob, but Jacob was stronger mentally than Esau Jacob always out-thought and out smarted Esau to get what he wanted With his mind, he out smarted Esau with a bowl of stew With his mind, he deceived his father into believing he was Esau, and thus, stole the blessing of the first-born

5 Who is Esau? Esau was the consequence of Jacob’s character
Jacob’s stealing the blessing caused Esau’s hatred and desire to kill him Our Esau is of our own making Our Esau is the consequence of our character! The consequence of our character could be A person whom we wronged in the past Our past-life An abusive past, an alcohol or drug-filled past A life of greed, love of money, a lying past

6 Who is Esau? Eventually our past will catch up with us!
“Be sure your sin will find you out” Numbers 32:23 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” Galatians 6:7

7 Acknowledge the Reality of Esau’s Presence - Genesis 33:1-2
The Most Difficult Thing to Do “Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold Esau came ...” Acknowledge that Esau is real! 1st step of “12 Step Program” in AA We would rather deceive ourselves into believing that the Consequence of our Character is a figment of our imagination an imaginary vision

8 Acknowledge the Reality of Esau’s Presence - Genesis 33:1-2
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool”

9 Don’t Rationalize Away His Presence or Try to Forget
Some of us try to deal with the reality of Esau’s presence by rationalizing it away We come up with self-satisfying excuses for our sin But you have seen your own sin and you know what it is!! Some of us unconsciously try to forget, pretending that Esau is not real Some of us deliberately try to push the thought of sin’s presence into the back of our minds

10 We Can’t Rationalize Away What Is Real
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” Psalm 51:3 “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” We have to deal with the reality of sin’s presence Acknowledge the reality of past sins! Acknowledge the presence of a guilty conscious!

11 1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. It is important to acknowledge the reality of our sin!

12 Don’t Rely Totally on Human Resources - Genesis 32:3-21
Don’t Rely on Messengers Jacob relied on intercessory messengers to solve his Esau-problem - vv. 3-5 3 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; 5 I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.”’” Relying on messengers doesn’t work! - v. 6 6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him”

13 Don’t Rely on Human Reasoning Genesis 32:7-8
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.” Jacob reasoned that if he divided up his family, his livestock and his camels into two groups, and if Esau attacked one group and kill them, then the other group would escape Jacob had always relied on his ability to think and scheme his way out of any situation Can he rely on his intelligence alone? The lives of his wives and children are at stake! Human reasoning is useful, but to rely totally on it when the lives of your wife and children are at stake is a grave mistake. Human Reasoning is no match for the Esau (sin) problem!

14 Don’t Rely on Money Genesis 32:13-21
Jacob relied upon the human resource of money Jacob tried to deal with his Esau Problem by giving him a gift 200 she goats and 20 he goats, 200 sheep and 20 rams, 30 milk camels with their colts, 40 cows and 10 bulls, and 20 female donkeys and 10 foals He hoped that the gift would appease Esau But you cannot buy-off the Esau problem! Corporations, businesses, medical, educational, social, governmental and even religious institutions Settling law-suits out of court with large sums of money just so they don’t have to admit any guilt or wrong-doing! A gift without repentance will not deal with the Esau-problem!

15 Don’t Rely on Money Genesis 32:13-21
Compensation as a part of justice has its place After you repent of your sins, then correct the past injury or loss Zacchaeus making restitution - Luke 19:1-10 After his encounter with Jesus, he stood and said to the Lord: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

16 Do Use the Power Of Prayer Genesis 32:9-12
Jacob Prayed “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac” He called on the Lord “the Lord which said to me, Return unto your country and to your kinfolk, and I will deal well with you” He confessed his unworthiness - Verse 10 He asked for deliverance - Verse 11 He pleaded the promise of God - Verse 12

17 Don’t Resist God! Genesis 32:24-30
Wrestling - The Story of Jacob’s Life Wrestling in the Womb - Genesis 25:22-23 He grabbed Esau’s heel as he emerged from the Womb - Genesis 25:26 He strived with Esau for his birthright and blessing - Genesis 25:29-34 He contended over and over again with his uncle, Laban

18 Don’t Resist God! Genesis 32:24-30
Cling to God’s Grace “Prevailed not against him” “He touched the hollow of his thigh” The place where Jacob was most vulnerable v. 26: “Let me go ....” “I will not let you go” All Jacob can do now is to cling to him, to hold onto him Jacob has come to the point where he no longer relies on his own resources; but on the Grace of God

19 Don’t Resist God! Genesis 32:24-30
God changed Jacob’s name His name would no longer be called Jacob but Israel from the root meaning “Governor, Director, Ruler” Jacob would now be called, “He whom God Directs, Commands, Governs, Rules” The Consequence of Resisting God Going thru life walking with a limp!!!

20 Humble Yourself Genesis 33:3-11
Jacob Faces Esau - vv. 3-4 If Jacob had trusted God, he would have gone out to meet Esau all by himself Finally, Jacob “went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother” Jacob knew in his heart that he was God’s choice in fulfilling God’s covenant with Abraham But he also knew what he did and the way he did it was sinful and wrong

21 Humble Yourself Genesis 33:3-11
“Who Are These with You?” (v. 5-9) An incredible moment for both Esau and Jacob The two maidservants and their four sons approached Esau and bowed down before him Leah and her seven children Rachel and Joseph One‑on‑one reconciliation usually affects other people!

22 Humble Yourself Genesis 33:3-11
Seeing the Face of God - vv `No please!’ said Jacob. `If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. Please accept the present it was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have I need’

23 Humble Yourself Seeing the Face of God
Meeting Esau face‑to‑face and experiencing forgiveness was “like seeing the face of God” – v. 10 Spiritual Memories His experience with God’s grace at Bethel when he was running from Esau (28:10‑22) His protection when God appeared to Laban in a dream and told him not to harm Jacob when he was fleeing from his uncle (31:24) His encounter with the angels of God when he and Laban separated (32:1‑2) His prayer for deliverance from Esau (32:9‑12) His “face‑to‑face” encounter with God the very night before (32:22‑32)

24 Humble Yourself Seeing the Face of God
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ Jacob understood as never before God’s grace and forgiveness in his life Experiencing Esau’s forgiveness became a face‑to‑face reminder of what God had done for him all along when he was wandering in his own wilderness of sin and disobedience He had been forgiven – His heart was pure! Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God


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