Sin Separates

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Our deceptions cause heartache.

Genesis(71) (Part of the Origins(69) series)
by Stuart Johns(187) on July 24, 2022 (Sunday Morning(266))

Consequences(1), Deception(4), God's Plan(18), Honesty(2)

Origins

Sin Separates

(Genesis 27:30-45)

 

INTRODUCTION

“The cashier had already rung up Keri Wooster's items when she realized she didn't have her wallet. She dashed to her car and returned empty-handed to face the line of fidgeting customers she had kept waiting, a cell phone pressed to her ear. ‘Jordan, did you take my wallet out of my purse?’ she asked in parental exasperation, as she made her way back to the checkout counter. ‘I'm holding up this line! You need to put things back where you find them.’

 

Wooster, who has no children, was not actually talking to a Jordan or indeed to anyone at all. But her monologue served its purpose, earning her sympathetic looks from the frustrated crowd at her local Wal-Mart.

 

Call Wooster a cellphony. She is a part of a growing number of people who are using their cell phones to carry on fake conversations to deceive or manipulate those around them. Some cellphonies use their cell phones to avoid contact with annoying coworkers or supervisors. Some pretend to be finishing a call when they arrive late for a meeting. The fake phone call has a technique all its own. Inexperienced cellphonies risk exposure with their limited repertoire of ‘uh-huhs.’ Sophisticated simulators achieve authenticity by re-enacting their side of an actual dialogue. Or they call voice-activated phone trees, so it sounds as if someone is talking on the other end.”

 

Source: Amy Harmon, "Cellphonies Know How to Fake It," Dallas Morning News (4-25-05).

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2005/may/15933.html].

 

BODY

  • ME

    • Credit card fraud

    • Amazon account deception

        • Personally – text message

        • Parent’s-in-law

 

  • WE

    • Have you experienced fraud?

    • Have you experienced deception?

    • How did it make you feel?

 

Esau returns from hunting and prepares the meal his father asked him to prepare, only to find out that his father has already eaten and given his blessing to a deceiver. ​​ Both Isaac and Esau experienced heartache when the deception was revealed. ​​ This sin of deception caused heartache for everyone involved and was going to separate the whole family. ​​ This is true for us also. ​​ We will learn today that . . .

 

BIG IDEA – Our deceptions cause heartache.

 

Let’s pray

 

  • GOD (Genesis 27:30-45)

    • Revealed (vv. 30-40)

        • Almost caught (v. 30)

          • We are not told how long it took Esau to successfully catch some wild game

          • We are also not told how long it took Rebekah to prepare the kind of tasty food that Isaac liked

          • What we are told is that Jacob was almost caught in his deception

          • Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence when Esau arrived back from the hunt

            • How would Jacob explain the goatskins covering his hands and neck?

            • What would Jacob say to Esau concerning the reason he was wearing his best clothes?

          • It was a close call, but somehow Jacob eluded Esau’s attention when he returned

          • How many of us can relate to Jacob’s stress at this point?

            • He had already questioned his mother about tricking his father

            • He did not want to be cursed by his father instead of blessed

            • When we do something wrong or deceptive, we are hyper aware of our surroundings and who may be watching (with cameras on cell phones today, it is inevitable that someone is watching)

            • We do not want to get caught and exposed for doing something wrong or being deceptive

            • While we are acting deceptively, we experience a great deal of stress

            • Perhaps every one of us can recall a time when we almost got caught – when we experienced a close call

          • Jacob almost got caught, but fortunately Esau was focusing on completing the task that his father had given him

        • Completed task (v. 31)

          • Esau brought the wild game back and immediately began to prepare it, just the way his father liked

          • He then took it to his father and had him sit up, so he could eat some of his game and then bless Esau

          • Isaac was confused at this point, because he had just ate and had blessed, whom he thought was Esau

        • Confusion (v. 32)

          • So, when Esau brings a second meal, Isaac asks him who he is

          • If you remember, Isaac had asked Jacob to come near to him so he could touch him

            • He was confused with the first meal, because Jacob felt hairy, like Esau

            • Isaac could tell the difference between their voices, but the body hair made Esau distinct

            • Isaac knew that the voice sounded like Jacob’s, but he could not deny the hairy hands – what he was feeling

          • Esau responds to his father’s inquiry by telling him, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”

        • Heartache (vv. 33-34)

          • Isaac

            • “Isaac trembled a great trembling exceedingly.” ​​ [Mathews, The New American Commentary, Volume 1B, Genesis 11:27-50:26, 434]

              • He wanted to know who had hunted game and brought it to him, if it was not Esau

                • Perhaps Isaac was trembling violently out of anger that he had been deceived and his plan had failed

                • Maybe Isaac was trembling violently out of fear, knowing that he had tried to overrule God’s plan

              • What had been planned in secret was now being revealed

              • Our deceptions cause heartache.

            • Isaac’s plan was unraveling and he knew it

              • Several things were mentioned last week: ​​ [Baldwin, The Bible Speaks Today, The Message of Genesis 12-50, 114]

                • Isaac only invited Esau to the blessing ceremony and not Jacob

                • Isaac also tried to keep the legal transaction a secret instead of including the required witnesses

                • Isaac discounted the prophecy given to Rebekah that Jacob would be the chosen covenant carrier

                • Isaac also marginalized the fact that Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of red stew – Esau did not value his birthright

              • “At last the old man realized that the Heavenly Hunter had caught up with him to rebuke his coddling favoritism of the rebellious older son in spite of God’s promise to Rebekah, Esau’s denial of the birthright, and the agony of the Hittite wives.” ​​ [Gangel & Bramer, Holman Old Testament Commentary, Genesis, 230]

              • Isaac had tried to force his will on the matter, but God had already established and communicated His plan

            • Isaac explained to Esau that he had eaten the food right before he had come in and had blessed the imposter

              • Because the blessing was a legal transaction it would not be revoked

              • The blessing would stand, because it had been done in the presence of the Lord (Genesis 27:7)

              • The Lord did not reveal Jacob’s deception to Isaac, because it was His plan for Jacob to receive the blessing

            • Next we see Esau’s reaction to the fact that the blessing would stand

          • Esau

            • We see Esau’s heartache as he burst out with a loud and bitter cry

            • It can be literally translated as, “he cried a great and exceedingly bitter cry.” ​​ [Mathews, 434]

            • What had Esau so upset?

              • Hebrews 12:16-17, See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. ​​ Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. ​​ He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

              • “Esau’s tears were not tears of repentance for being an ungodly man; they were tears of regret because he had lost the covenant blessing. ​​ Esau wanted the blessing but he didn’t want to be the kind of man whom God could bless! ​​ We may forget our decisions, but our decisions don’t forget us.” ​​ [Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Pentateuch, 123]

              • Our deceptions cause heartache.

              • This is true of us also

                • I read a post this week that said we cry out to God to heal our land, but we don’t want to humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14)

                • We say we want to grow in our faith, but we aren’t willing to sacrifice other things in order to spend time studying God’s Word and praying

                • We say we want to see revival and the revitalization of the church, but we are unwilling to fall on our faces before the Lord in personal revival, we are unwilling to join in prayer efforts that can bring about revival and instead we justify the reasons why we can’t join in those prayer efforts, or why we can’t invite others to church or other special services

                • If we really want God to heal our land, to help us grow in our faith, and to revive individuals, and revitalize churches, then we have to be willing to do what He asks us to do in order to see that accomplished

                • We have to stop playing the “religious” game and genuinely pursue a transformed life

                • I want to invite everyone to sacrifice everything else to join us for two important times of prayer – Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm and Saturday mornings at 8:00 am

                • I want to challenge you to sign up to attend the Worship and Prayer night for the “God Loves You” Tour with Franklin Graham on August 16, 2022, 6:30 pm

                • I also want to challenge you to sign up for the “God Loves You” Tour on September 25, 2022, 4:00 pm and invite someone to join you

              • So, Esau was upset because he regretted losing the covenant blessing

            • He pleaded with his father to bless him too

          • Isaac was not able to do that, because the blessing had been accomplished

        • Accomplished blessing (vv. 35-38)

          • Isaac’s acknowledgement

            • Isaac acknowledged that Jacob received the blessing through deception, but again the blessing would stand, because it was God’s plan

            • PRINCIPLE #1 – God’s plans will ultimately succeed.

              • God is all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign, and eternal

              • He knows what is best for us individually and corporately

              • When we try to forge ahead with our plans instead of His, He will use any means necessary to get us back on track

              • “God may use human sin to affect his purposes . . .” ​​ [Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary, 381]

              • 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. ​​ No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. ​​ None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

              • Application

                • Are you fighting against God’s plan right now?

                • Perhaps it’s something individually

                • It may be something corporately, as a church, that you are fighting against

                • It may involve a personal preference that God may be asking you to give up

                • It may be an attitude of the heart that God wants to transform in you

                • Are you willing to let go and let God accomplish His plan and purpose in the situation?

                • #1 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Stop fighting against God’s plan and join Him in what He wants to accomplish individually and/or corporately.

            • Jacob had received the blessing through deception, which is why Esau says that he was living up to his name

          • Esau’s lament

            • The meaning of Jacob’s name

              • Literally “he grasps the heel”

              • Figuratively, “he deceives” (“You Jacobed me once, but never again.”)

              • After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, some people use his name as a verb – “You got Will Smithed!”

            • Esau states that Jacob deceived him two times – once to get his birthright and once to get his blessing

            • Jacob definitely manipulated Esau to get his birthright by withholding food until Esau swore to give it to him

            • The text doesn’t seem to indicate that Jacob deceived Esau in order to get it (we said that Jacob didn’t value his birthright enough to sacrifice food to keep it)

            • It appears that Esau knew full-well what he was doing when he sold his birthright

          • Esau’s questions

            • “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

              • Esau was basically asking if Isaac had given all the blessing to Jacob

              • Isaac’s response reveals that he had given all the blessing to Jacob – there was none left

                • Isaac gave Jacob all authority as the head of the family – he would be the lord and everyone else would serve him

                • Isaac also gave all the blessing of resources to Jacob – both the field and vine would sustain him

              • Isaac asks Esau what he could possibly do for him

              • Esau wanted to clarify one more thing, so he asks another question

            • “Do you have only one blessing, my father?”

              • He pleaded again with Isaac to bless him too

              • Then he wept aloud again

          • What Isaac says next, in answering Esau’s second question, is not a blessing, but rather an anti-blessing

        • Anti-blessing (vv. 39-40)

          • His place of dwelling will be harsh

            • Jacob will experience heaven’s dew and the earth’s richness

            • Esau’s dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness and the dew of heaven

            • Esau’s territory was on the border of the desert, which made farming impossible [Baldwin, 115]

            • “This is generally the condition of the mountainous country of Edom, which, although not without its fertile slopes and valleys, especially in the eastern portion, is thoroughly waste and barren in the western; so that Seetzen says it consists of ‘the most desolate and barren mountains probably in the world.’” ​​ [Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 1, The Pentateuch, 178]

          • His daily living will be tumultuous

            • The Edomites remained at odds with the Israelites throughout history

            • Scholars are divided over when Esau’s descendants threw Jacob’s yoke off of their necks

              • Some say it happened during the reign of Jehoram (2 Kings 8:20-22)

              • Others say during the reign of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:6)

              • Still others believe it was later through Antipater and Herod when they created an Idumaean dynasty over Judea that lasted until the Jewish state was completely dissolved [Keil & Delitzsch, 179]

              • One scholar believes that it is when the “anti-christ rises to power and sets up his image in the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15).” ​​ [Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, Old Testament, Volume 1: Genesis-Job, 134]

              • Whenever it happened or will happen, we can trust that it did or will

        • None of this sits well with Esau, so he plans to kill Jacob

    • Retreat (vv. 41-45)

        • Esau’s grudge

          • It’s not hard to believe that Esau held a grudge against Jacob

            • When we are expecting something to happen a particular way and then it does not happen that way it is easy to hold a grudge

            • Story of a changed will

              • There was a husband and wife who had their wills done exactly the same

              • Both wills stated that when they passed away the farm and all the equipment would go to the only son in the family

              • The husband passed away around 25 years before the wife and during that time, the wife changed her will to say that the farm and all the equipment would be sold at an auction and the proceeds divided equally among her children

              • If there were any items the children wanted, they would have to purchase it at the auction

              • The only son was not happy with the change his mother had made in the will, so he asked the lawyer if they could return to his father’s will

              • The lawyer told him that if he contested his mother’s will, then the farm and all the equipment would be given to the State

              • Long story, short, the change in his mother’s will created feelings of anger and frustration and probably a grudge, because he believed that he would receive everything

          • Esau’s plan

            • He thought to himself, “I will wait until after the days of mourning are completed for my father’s death and then I will take revenge on my brother Jacob”

            • He would kill Jacob

            • Perhaps he thought that by killing Jacob, he would then assume the position of head of the family and by default receive everything that was given to Jacob in the blessing

          • PRINCIPLE #2 – There are consequences for deception/sin.

            • The consequence for Jacob was a death threat

            • The consequence for Esau was living with a grudge and hatred toward his brother

            • The stress of both of those things would have taken a toll on their bodies, physically

          • PRINCIPLE #3 – Deception divides families.

            • Death would permanently divide Jacob and Esau, without hope of reconciliation

          • Esau must have told someone in the family about his plan, because they told Rebekah

        • Rebekah’s plan

          • When she heard that Esau was planning to kill Jacob, she sent for Jacob

          • She told Jacob about Esau’s plan and then urged him to flee to Haran and stay with her brother Laban until Esau was no longer angry

          • She would send for Jacob when Esau had settled down

          • We know that a while turned into 20 plus years

          • In fact, Rebekah never sent for Jacob and she never saw Jacob again, because she died before he returned

          • PRINCIPLE #2 – There are consequences for deception/sin.

            • The consequence for Rebekah’s deception was that she never saw Jacob again

          • PRINCIPLE #3 – Deception divides families.

            • Rebekah probably had a strained relationship with her husband Isaac when he found out the part she played in the deception

            • Rebekah was separated from her favored son, Jacob, for the rest of her life

        • Rebekah’s concern

          • She did not want to lose both sons in one day

          • “She probably has in mind that after Esau killed Jacob, he would be killed by an avenger of blood or by judicial decree demanding his execution for taking an innocent life (cf. Gen. 4:14; 2 Sam. 7:14). ​​ Ironically, she suffers even more than she anticipates, at least socially if not physically. ​​ Her relationship (if any) with Esau must have been irrevocably damaged, and she never sends for Jacob from his exile in Paddan Aram. ​​ Finally, she even loses a memorial in Scripture (Gen. 35:8). ​​ Though Rebekah parries Esau’s violent resolve, nevertheless, she must taste the bitter consequences of her deception.” ​​ [Waltke, 381-82]

        • Application

          • Consequences for deception/sin

            • Perhaps you are experiencing the consequences of deception/sin in your life

              • Maybe a family member refuses to talk with you

              • A friend may not return your calls or text messages

              • It takes time to restore trust once it is broken, but don’t give up

              • Keep doing what is right and being open and honest with those family members and friends

            • #2 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Accept and embrace the consequences of my deception.

          • Deception divides families

            • Restoration is possible, but it takes humility on our part

              • We have to acknowledge our deception and sin

              • Then, we have to go to those individuals we have deceived and confess our sin and seek their forgiveness

            • #3 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Strive to be honest in every relationship and seek forgiveness from those I have deceived.

          • God can restore what is lost and broken, when we humble ourselves before Him

          • Here are some words of wisdom from Gangel & Bramer [pg. 232]

            • “Our past failures do not negate God’s future blessing.”

            • “Sinfulness does not mean hopelessness.”

            • “Our failures do not destroy God’s promises.”

            • “We must trust God for what we do not see even when we see a mess.”

            • “Faith looks forward, not backward.”

 

 

  • YOU

    • Are you trying to accomplish your own plans instead of God’s plan?

    • What consequences of deception do you need to accept and embrace?

    • Whom do you need to seek forgiveness from?

 

  • WE

    • What plan(s) does God want us to join Him in for Idaville Church?

    • What consequences of deception do we need to accept and embrace?

    • Whom do we need to seek forgiveness from?

 

CONCLUSION

Perhaps Esau was feeling what many young people feel today, as highlighted in this closing illustration. ​​ We know that Esau felt heartache at not being blessed by his father. ​​ Perhaps he felt grief, pain, loneliness, and rejection.

 

“In the BBC reality show Monastery, a group of five men from diverse backgrounds voluntarily join a Benedictine monastery for a span of forty days. The five men don't have to assent to Christian beliefs, but they do have to respect and follow the monks' communal requirements— a strict rhythm of meals, silence, prayer times, and so on.

 

One of the stories focused on a man named Tony, a producer of soft-core pornography. After some time in the monastery, Tony felt torn: he wanted to keep his job, but he didn't want to lose the peace he was experiencing in the monastery. With two days left at the monastery, he shared his concerns with Brother Francis:

 

Tony: No, I am not going to give up my job. I am not going to sit in church all day and read the Bible, I need to live. I need to keep my lifestyle. So I'm just a little bit worried. Part of me wants to keep the whole thing alive and carry it through. And I know the minute I get out, it will fade.

 

Brother Francis: I want to give you something that I think will help with what you've just described …. Vocation is about discovering who you really are and maybe what you should really be doing. And that is what we are trying to do here—discover who we really are. I want to give you this stone, this white stone. We have our Christian name, our family name. But we also have another name, and it's called our "white stone name." [Revelation 2:17] says, "Your new name is written on a white stone in heaven." I think our vocation is to find out what that name is, to find our white stone name.

 

After handing Tony the stone, Brother Francis places his hand on his head and speaks a word of blessing over him. Immediately after that exchange, the camera scans to a shot of Tony, outside in the dark, huddled on a bench, deeply affected by Brother Francis' fatherly words of hope and blessing.

 

Author John Sower comments on this scene from The Monastery:

 

I believe Brother Francis … speaks to the heart of the fatherless generation. These are the sons and daughters who don't know their true name. They are searching for who they really are. In their search, they bring this question of identity to anyone who will listen …. They are willing to look anywhere to find it.

 

Earlier in his book, John Sower had already described our crisis of fatherlessness:

 

We are a generation seriously searching for Dad. Fatherlessness has become the new cultural norm. This story is being written into the lives of my generation. A story that can be heard in our songs, seen in our movies, read in our blogs. A story of grief and pain, of loneliness and rejection. A story that desperately needs to be heard.”

 

Source: John Sower, Fatherless Generation (Zondervan, 2010), pp. 116-117, 12-13

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2011/june/2061311.html].

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