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The Elder Shall Serve the Younger Lesson 1 September 26, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "The Elder Shall Serve the Younger Lesson 1 September 26, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Elder Shall Serve the Younger Lesson 1 September 26, 2010

2 A Model of Faith Famine – Isaac also passes his wife off as his sister Confrontation – The Philistines contend for water rights Barrenness – Isaac prays for his wife Striving at Birth Rebekah’s question and God’s answer The reason for discord – election Parental mistakes - favoritism Selling the Birthright Jacob’s scheming Esau despises his birthright

3 The Gospel in the Old Testament “…What is the special purpose of the Old Testament? Why was the revelation before Christ spread through such a long preparatory period? Why did God permit such a delay between the fall of man and the coming of his Son into this world for the work of redemption? Is it not the answer that the Old demonstrates at length and in detail that man is in a condition from which only a divine Savior can deliver him?...he (Lloyd-Jones) had access to medical notes and personal observations on kings and prime ministers. What did this experience and information reveal? Why, here was human nature precisely as depicted in the Word of God – arrogant, proud, unhappy, covetous, lustful, and dissatisfied. More than that, the testimony of the Old Testament Scripture had come powerfully in his own conscience. His was the heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. He was the fool who thought he could live without God. He was the restless unbeliever who wandered in the wilderness in the solitary way and found no city to dwell in. Then, when he at last cried unto God in his trouble, God intervened and brought him from darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (“Old Testament Evangelistic Sermons”, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, p. xvii, xx – from the forward by Iain Murray)

4 The Gospel in the Old Testament “The story is God’s story. It describes His work to rescue rebels from their folly, guilt, and ruin. And is His rescue operation, God always takes the initiative. When the apostle Paul reflects on the drama of God’s saving work, he says in awe ‘For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Rom 11:36)…God did not accomplish His purpose all at once. He did not send Christ to be born of Eve by the gates of Eden, nor did He inscribe the whole Bible on the tablets of stone given to Moses at Sinai. Rather, God showed Himself to the Lord of times and seasons (Acts 1:7). The story of God’s saving work is framed in epochs, in periods of history that God determines by His word of promise.” (“The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament”, by Edmund Clowney, p. 11, 12) “As Genesis sketches the beginnings of redemptive history, it teaches about God’s coming kingdom, God’s love for his creation and his creatures, God’s judgment of sin, God’s grace for sinners, God’s covenant faithfulness, God’s sovereign providence, and God’s presence with his people.” (“Preaching Christ From Genesis”, by Sidney Greidanus, p. 7)

5 “In Isaac’s replaying of Abraham’s experience we also see God’s faithfulness extended to a new generation. The promise to Abraham was valid for Isaac also…During his lifetime, Abraham was presented with that choice over and over again, and slowly he learned to make the right choice. He found that it was one thing to ‘believe God and have it credited to him as righteousness’ (Gen 15:6) but quite another to move that belief from his head into his heart and trust God completely in everyday life.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 2, 3 Trials for the new generation – with each generation God shows himself faithful and refines his servants through trials

6 God steps in and tells Isaac to remain in the promised land and not journey to Egypt, a land of plenty God again steps in and the truth is revealed to his neighbors before harm can be done – Jacob is also wrong about his neighbors “The irony is that the God whom he is so reluctant to trust with his life is the same god who provided a lamb to take his place on the altar of Mount Moriah…What is the answer for our self-protectiveness? The answer is the gospel. We need to remind ourselves over and over again of Jesus, the one who did not fear men, who did not economize on the truth to save himself.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 19, 21) Isaac still fears for his life and passes off his wife as his sister (lose your wife instead of your wife)

7 Prosperity can be as big a test as poverty Eventually he was at peace with his neighbors Rom 12: “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” “God had promised that the nations would come and find a blessing for themselves in Abraham and his descendants. There is a peace to be found in relationship to Abraham and his seed, a peace that foreshadows and points to the peace to be found in relationship to the ultimate son of Abraham, Jesus Christ. Supremely, it is to him that all must come to find peace.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 24, 25) The Philistines became jealous of Isaac’s prosperity and began to fill in his wells to drive him away The result was continual conflict, but Isaac persevered

8 “At that time, the greatest preacher there (Wales) was a man called Daniel Rowland, and Bishop Ryle ventures to say that he was possibly the greatest preacher since the apostles…one day, he went and listened to a preacher called Griffith Jones, and he was convinced and convicted of the truth of justification by faith only. And it was only a few months after seeing that truth, and realizing it, though he had not yet felt its power, that suddenly one day, as he was taking a communion service, the Holy Spirit came upon him, and filled him, and a great revival broke out in Wales in the eighteenth century…So I am urging that these are certain truths which are absolutely essential to revival…The Philistines keep on coming, and they throw in their earth, and their rubbish, and the water of life is hidden out of sight…It is no use saying, ‘Let’s pray for revival.’ There is something we have to do before that. The work of the Philistines must be cleared out…What revival reveals above everything else is the sovereignty of God, and the iniquity, the helplessness, the hopelessness, of man in sin.” (“Revival”, by Martyn Lloyd- Jones, p. 36, 37, 42 – messages on Gen 26:17, 18)

9 Gen 25: “These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” “The choice that faces us is essentially the same as that which faced the patriarchs: believe God, even when it doesn’t seem likely to work, or follow Satan’s shortcut. So how does Isaac respond to his testing situation? He is a model of faith. He prayed to the Lord for Rebekah; the Lord answered his prayer and she became pregnant…it sometimes turns out that the longest- delayed answers to prayer are the most faith-building.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 4)

10 Her initial joy turns to despair – ‘Why am I this way?’ God’s answers are not always what we imagined and she soon inquires of the Lord Gen 25:23 - “And the LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.’” She learns that the trouble she felt was the beginning of the conflict between two nations, where the elder would serve the younger (seen also in the accounts of Cain and Abel and Ishmael and Isaac)

11 Rom 9: “And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

12 “When a choice was made between the twin sons of Rebekah, …it was of grace (and not of works) that Jacob was chosen. We say it again: All is of grace. All that you are, all that you will become, all that you have, all that you will ever attain – all is due to God’s grace. Above all, salvation is due entirely to God’s grace, so that it depends on nothing in human beings...God’s sovereign grace is the only hope of success as we proclaim the gospel. If the heart and mind are opposed to God and his ways as the Bible declares them to be, and if God does not both choose the individual and then bring him or her to faith, what hope could we possibly have of saving that person? But on the other hand, if he is doing such a work and if the proclamation of the gospel is the means through which he does it, then we can speak boldly, knowing that all whom God has determined to save will come to him. We don not know who they are. The only way we know the elect is through their response to the gospel and their subsequent living of the Christian life. But we can evangelize boldly, knowing those who are called by God will come.” (“Genesis”, Vol 2, by James Montgomery Boice, p. 735, 736)

13 The children were valued for what they could do for the parents Gen 25:28 – “When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” The boys should have been trained for God’s calling – Jacob as the humble spiritual leader and Esau as finding his blessing in Jacob It is easy to love a child that is interested in the things that we are

14 Jacob had already been promised the birthright, but cannot wait for God to fulfill the promise “If you have to have it now, then beware. You are in danger of desiring the blessing more than you desire God, and when it happens you may be easy prey for Satan to offer you a shortcut. Invariably Satan’s shortcuts don’t work…Living by faith may not be the easy way, but it is ultimately the only way to live at peace with God.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 13) He takes Satan’s shortcut to by making the birthright the payment for a bowl of stew for a hungry man – it would be a long time before he would see that blessing.

15 A birthright had a material benefit (double the inheritance) and a responsibility as the spiritual leader of the family I Chron 5:1-2 – “The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph.” Israel’s Esau ate, drank, got up, and left – a pleasure hardly relished and almost instantly forgotten, a danger of nearly all material pleasures Surprisingly, he also seemed to think little of the material benefit of the birthright. We are left to guess why that is: perhaps he thought that a third of the inheritance was plenty, or that his father would give him the double inheritance

16 And Esau apparently thought less of the spiritual aspect of his birthright – a common danger for those raised in the church Heb 12:15-17 – “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” “In Hebrews, immediately following the reference to Esau, there is an appeal to press on to faith in Christ Jesus. It is couched in the image of Israel (after the Exodus from Egypt) trembling before the mountain upon which God had descended to give the Law through Moses. That was terrifying, says the author of Hebrews. But there is no cause for terror now. There is no excuse for failing to press on…Through this portion of Scripture, God is warning you now. See that you do not refuse the one who speaks. Hold onto your birthright and go on both to fullness of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your Savior to true service for him.” (“Genesis”, Vol 2, by James Montgomery Boice, p. 743)

17 “Which of these two should God chose to save? A neutral bystander would have to say neither…What more proof do we need that our salvation is all of grace? How can God save such great sinners? There is only one hope. He must send a savior who is unlike Jacob or Esau. He must send a savior who would regard his birthright, that of being equal with God and receiving the eternal praise of the heavenly hosts in heaven, as something he would not grasp greedily but would freely give up for others. He must send a savior who would happily don a servant’s towel and not only cook for his disciples but perform an even more menial task for them, that of washing their feet. He must send a savior who regarded the birthright of his chosen people, which we despised and trampled underfoot, as so precious that he would gladly purchase it at a price not measurable in gold or silver: the cost of his blood. Such is the Savior Jacob needs…Such is the Savior we need.” (“Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac and Jacob”, by Iain Duguid, p. 14)


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