1. Hello, listening friends.
2. What a joy for us to know that you have tuned in to this broadcast.
3. You know, there is a saying that goes something like this:
4. “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
5. It means that, without the grace of God, I would not be where I am;
6. and I believe this to be true in my life,
7. because God’s grace overruled all my past sins,
8. all of my past failures,
9. all of my past disobedience;
10. and that is why, today, I want to begin a new series of messages on the grace of God.
11. I’m calling this series of messages, “Portrait of Grace”.
12. I know for sure that it will tremendously encourage you.
13. Many of us parents are conscious of the fact that we may have failed in our parental responsibilities;
14. but God’s grace can overrule, even in the midst of blatant parental failure and sin.
15. If you allow the grace of God to flow through you,
16. regardless of the pain you experienced growing up,
17. regardless of the regret you are feeling,
18. you will learn to revel in the grace of God, instead of wallowing in your pain;
19. so let us begin at the beginning;
20. and we begin with the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
21. Isaac was the miracle son of Abraham and Sarah’s old age.
22. When Isaac was 37 years old,
23. through God’s supernatural intervention, he marries a lovely woman by the name of Rebekah;
24. but Rebekah, like her mother-in-law, Sarah, was barren.
25. Isaac cried to the Lord for children, and God answered his cry;
26. and God blessed Isaac and Rebekah with twin boys;
27. but the turmoil between those two boys begins in Rebekah’s womb.
28. The two boys, Jacob and Esau, were born fighting each other;
29. and we will see, throughout this series of messages, that the grace of God triumphed over all obstacles.
30. The grace of God brought good out of bad.
31. When Rebekah experienced this turmoil inside of her,
32. God graciously revealed to her what no doctor in the world could have done.
33. God revealed to her what was truly happening inside her womb.
34. Listen to Genesis 25, verse 23.
35. My listening friend, I want you to remember these words:
36. “…and the older will serve the younger.”
37. God wanted Rebekah and Isaac to know something very important.
38. that the fighting going on between Jacob and his brother, Esau, is more than just a brotherly squabble.
39. It is more than the regular kind of fighting that happens among the best of families.
40. This is going to be two future nations;
41. and God, in His sovereignty, had reversed the cultural norm in which the older usually rules over the younger.
42. Sibling rivalry is as old as creation itself;
43. and it is always associated with a prideful and sinful heart.
44. We see that striving between Cain and Abel.
45. We see it among the sons of Noah,
46. and between Isaac and Ishmael,
47. and between Joseph and his brothers.
48. When sin entered the world, brothers and sisters began to fight.
49. When sin entered this world, brothers and sisters began to blame each other;
50. and that is why, when the grace of God comes into a family,
51. even in the midst of sibling rivalry and squabble and strife, it is always followed by confession, forgiveness and restoration;
52. and, when the time came for Rebekah to deliver her two boys,
53. it happened exactly as God said.
54. The boys were not identical twins. They looked very different from each other;
55. and they also came out fighting.
56. Esau was born first, and Jacob came out grabbing for Esau’s heel.
57. This, indeed, was symbolic of the power struggle that would characterize their relationship for the rest of their lives;
58. so what was the parental failure here?
59. Where did Isaac and Rebekah fail in their parental responsibility?
60. I think that Isaac and Rebekah’s failure in their parental responsibility arose from a flaw that was already there.
61. It was, in fact, that they did not train their children in the Word of God.
62. You say, “Well, how do you know that?”
63. Well, look at God’s prophetic utterance in Genesis 25, verse 23.
64. Isaac and Rebekah were aware of God’s miraculous intervention in Abraham and Sarah’s life.
65. Isaac and Rebekah understood that Isaac is the son of promise.
66. Isaac and Rebekah understood that, through Isaac, the Messiah would come;
67. therefore, when God reversed the birth order in Jacob and Esau,
68. He made it known that the older would serve the younger.
69. The promise to Abraham shall be fulfilled through Jacob;
70. therefore, Isaac should have trained Esau to expect his blessing to come through his brother, Jacob.
71. They should have instructed Esau that the promised Messiah will come through his brother, Jacob.
72. They should have been diligent in training the boys to understand the promises of God in the Word of God.
73. Jacob, on the other hand, should have been trained to be prepared for his role.
74. He should have been instructed in the fact that he would be the ancestors of God’s Messiah.
75. Jacob should have been trained that, in humility, he should accept his high calling.
76. Now, please don’t misunderstand me.
77. This is a unique prophecy for that family.
78. None of us are in that category;
79. but I know this fact:
80. whenever you find turmoil in families,
81. whenever you find disarray in families,
82. whenever you find tension and strife in a home,
83. you can be absolutely sure that, somehow, the Word of God is not dominating;
84. that the Word of God is not followed,
85. that the Word of God is not taught.
86. Now, this does not mean that believing families will not experience tension and conflict;
87. but, when the Word of God is ruling a family, tension and conflict will not dominate that family’s life;
88. so, instead of Isaac and Rebekah trying to train the two boys in the Word of God,
89. they allowed them to go their own ways.
90. Esau was a rugged individualist, an outdoorsman and a hunter.
91. He was ruddy in complexion and hairy.
92. Jacob, on the other hand, grew up a thinker and a planner. He was a strategist and a schemer.
93. He was a cook who spent a lot of time in his mama’s kitchen.
94. Jacob was always close to home, and that is why he found himself at the right place and at the right time.
95. Unfortunately, these differences in these two boys led to the sin of favoritism on the part of their parents.
96. Listen to Genesis 25, verse 28.
97. This verse should be a warning to all parents.
98. “Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau; but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
99. Blatant favoritism, on the part of parents, is a sin.
1. My listening friend, please listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
2. There is no doubt that a parent will find himself or herself relating to one or two of their children better than others;
3. but that is different from favoritism.
4. In fact, that should be more of a reason to double your efforts to be impartial toward all of your children.
5. Blatant favoritism is a terrible sin, and it causes terrible disaster.
6. The fact that the grace of God ultimately overruled in Isaac and Rebekah’s sin is not an excuse for us to duplicate their mistakes.
7. Blatant favoritism, in the case of Rebekah and Isaac, worsened the relationship between the two sons.
8. When parenting is exercised under the authority of the Word of God,
9. even when we make mistakes, the grace of God will overrule those mistakes and failures.
10. Now, let’s continue the story.
11. Esau was impetuous and cheapened the importance of his birth order.
12. He was willing to sell it for less than the price of a cup of soup.
13. Let me ask you, my friend.
14. how many people created shipwrecks of their lives and reputations for the sake of instant gratification?
15. For the sake of momentary satisfaction, they destroyed their lives.
16. On the other hand, if Jacob had trusted in God’s promises,
17. if Jacob had trusted in the Word of God,
18. he would not have had to scheme and buy his brother’s birthright.
19. It was already his.
20. God had promised it to him before he was born.
21. If Jacob had trusted in God’s promise,
22. he would not have had to scheme and deceive his father.
23. He would not have had to scheme and cheat his Uncle Laban later in life.
24. When we try to improve on God’s plan,
25. when we try to answer our own prayers,
26. when we act outside of God’s plan, the results are terrible.
27. Now, the problem with all of us is that we do not like to take the long view of things.
28. We make instant decisions based on current conditions;
29. but God sees the whole picture
30. and that is why it is ultimately far better to trust God to fulfill His promises, instead of you trying to fulfill them yourself.
31. Taking matters into our own hands may give us a sense of accomplishment and achievement;
32. however, getting ahead of God causes a whole lot of pain in the process.
33. My listening friend, we must learn to desire God above desiring what God can do for us.
34. The problem with many of us is this:
35. when we take things into our own hands,
36. when God takes a long time to respond,
37. and, when God does not immediately chastise us, we tend to think that we are right, or “I got away with it;
38. therefore, the way I want to do it must be the way God wants it done...”
39. but what we fail to realize is that the rope of God’s grace is very long.
40. His mercy is great;
41. but, eventually, it will reach its end.
42. All of Jacob’s scheming and plotting and manipulating;
43. they all came back to haunt him, as you will see in this series of messages.
44. My listening friend, as I conclude, I want to tell you this,
45. if you forget everything I said, remember this:
46. thank God for His grace, but do not test His patience.
47. Begin to change now.
48. Begin to surrender now.
49. Begin the submission now,
50. or, your sin will come back to haunt you.
51. Until next time, I wish you God’ richest blessing.