God is with Jacob
August 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
I had the opportunity and privilege to preach at Household of Faith a couple weeks ago. The sermon audio is available for download on the churches website or you can access the link from our sermons page.
Here is part of the introduction to my sermon:
The word Genesis means beginning and the book of Genesis is all about beginnings. In the first 11 chapters we’ve seen the beginning of the universe (which is good), the beginning of night and day (which is good), the beginning of creatures (which is good), and the beginning of man (which is good)…
…But then in chapter 12 we see another beginning, the beginning of God’s people. And the rest of the book of Genesis is 38 chapters devoted to one family and four generations. And really within those 4 generations, the focus is on the 4 men of the family, Abraham and his son Isaac and his son Jacob and his son Joseph. The remainder of Genesis is divided amongst these four guys. We begin to see how God deals with his people. We learn so much of God’s character in the book of Genesis…
…There are several themes recur as we follow the story of this one family for four generations. Some of the themes that present themselves include:
- God’s sovereign election of his people. God exercises sovereign grace. This means that God wields and all might and all rights over all things. Because God is God and because he is the Creator of all things and he is infinite in the glory of all his attributes, he has all the rights and privileges to do as he wills. And not only does he have the rights and privileges to do all that he wills he has the power and the might to do all that he wills. God’s grace cannot be manipulated. That is, he is not bound to save one and not save another.
- God does not treat his people as they deserve to be treated.
- God gives covenant promise. He tells us how he is going to deal with us and then does it. He always upholds his part of the deal.
The themes happen to all four men (Abram Isaac Jacob and Joseph) continuously. But there are also themes that recur in these men’s lives that reveal their humanity. These men, who are all saved by God, are still men and they still make mistakes.
There is a pattern that occurs in all their lives. They are all sinners. They all make mistakes. So when we look at their lives I don’t think that it’s very helpful for us to be looking at these men as examples. That is not the intention of the text. The point is not for us to look and see how these men act and then pattern our lives after them. The point is God. God is the main character in Genesis. The point is that despite these men’s sinful tendencies, God is with them. God has sovereignly chosen these men.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all sojourn at some point during their life. Abraham goes to Egypt, Isaac went to Gerar, Jacob goes to Paddan-aram, and Joseph goes to Egypt. During all of their sojourns, God told them that he would be with them while they were away (Genesis 12:1-3; 26:3; 28:15; 39:21), and they all fail to trust God in their sojourn. Let’s look at Jacob’s sojourn in Paddan-aram and see how God deals with his people.