Jacob believed that God would bring him back to the land God promised him based off of a dream God gave him. But the way Jacob sought to obey God showed he had some superstition mixed in with his faith. Do we have any blind spots like that?
Leah and Rachel, Jacob's two wives, were destined for failure because of how their father, Laban, treated them. They spent their lives trying to find significance in children, and they ended up disappointed. But in the middle of their fight for meaning, God was there giving His grace. He offers it to us as well and shows us how much we're worth to Him.
God providentially led Jacob to find Laban's daughter Rachel at what was perhaps the same well Rebekah met the messenger of Abraham at upon her betrothal. But what happened next surely caught Jacob off guard. God does the same thing in the lives of His children--He disciplines us for our good. This recording also contains Elsie Anderson's instruction for mothers on Mother's Day.
The point of this text is to show that the promises God gave to Abraham were transferred to Isaac. That can be seen in the similarities of their lives. But why is the author of Genesis showing us that these promises were transferred to Isaac? May God bless the preaching of His Word as you listen.
God does what He says He will do. After Sarah died and Abraham's life was drawing to an end, Isaac needed a wife for the promise of God blessing the world to continue. Would God provide? How would He do it? Pastor Jacob encourages us in this sermon to look for God's hand and keep following Him no matter what.
How Abraham obtained Sarah's burial plot appears like an obscure, irrelevant passage at first glance. However, upon further review, it shows us an example of how God graciously gives us little tastes of heaven while we wait for the fulfillment of the promises He's given us as Christians. We may be sojourners and exiles here on earth, but God will fulfill His promises. As we wait for them, enjoy the tastes we have now, and allow them to whet your appetite for greater things yet to come.
The promise God made 14 years prior to Abraham and Sarah finally came true. For Sarah, it brought a laughter of joy. For Ishmael, it bought a laughter of mockery. As Pastor Jacob preaches this text, consider how your heart responds to God and His work.
People familiar with the Bible often think of people like Abraham as heroes of the faith. While that sentiment is true in a way, Genesis 20 shows us that he was far from perfect. In fact, what God did through Abraham shows us that a life of faith is much more about God's faithfulness than ours.
We all know deep down that when someone does something wrong, justice should be done and there must be some kind of punishment. But is God just? Does He give people what they deserve? The account of Lot being delivered from Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of God's justice. The question we must consider is, do we trust God to do what is right in our lives?
If you're going to have a relationship with someone, you need to know how to interact with them. Couples have a DTR--define the relationship. Early in God's revelation of Himself, He showed Abraham and Sarah how to interact with Him. We can learn from those principles how we should embrace God's presence and His promises.
God increased His covenant to Abram and renamed him and his wife in Genesis 17. What do we learn about the promises God makes in His covenant? And what are our responsibilities toward Him if we are to receive this covenant?
Sometimes we have questions for God. Some of them are not very serious, but some of them are. Questions like, "How could you let that happen?" Or "Can you really hear me?" Abram had two questions for God in Genesis 15. God's response show us two foundations that we can stand on when we have questions for Him too.
Sometimes it appears that being faithful to God is not the best decision. Abram was faced with three situations like this. How are we faced with similar situations? And is faithfulness to God always the best decision even when it feels like a risk?
Nicodemus was a man who likely thought he was right with God because of who he was. He was a Jew and leader among the Jews--very respected among society. When we think that way, we believe God accepts us and condemns those not like us. But John 3:16-17 tell a different story. Jesus actually didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it.
There are two ways to look at the world. One is the way Lot looked at the world, and the other is the way Abram did. Which characteristics define us? How is that important? How can we see our lives the way God wants us to?
Not all of our Bible heroes were upright their entire lives. In Genesis 12:10-20, Abram showed a lack of faith in God's promises and substituted his wife for his own sake. How do we show a willingness to let others suffer so we can gain the benefit? And how can we become free from that tendency and desire?
Following Jesus involves cost. Sometimes we get scared about what it does cost to serve Him and find ourselves reclusive to go into the darkness to speak a word of truth or be Jesus' representatives. Abram wasn't that way though. How can we pursue obedience to God like Abram did?
We tend to find hard work and creativity as endearing characteristics. People like Michael Jordan draw us in and make us want to root for them because of their sheer will power and internal drive. But is there any danger to self-sufficiency? If so, what is it? We find the answer in the account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.