I’d like to start the sermon by asking if you love ice cream.
You love ice cream? Did you know that there’s a 100,000-dollar ice cream? I think it’s the most expensive ice cream and the reason why it is expensive because the ingredients are expensive. It is, it has chocolate bars, I think around 30 to 40 chocolate bars and every chocolate bar, lahat ng chocolate bar doon ay galing sa South America. 500 each, 500- dollar each bar. Mahal yung isang bar. Meron ding mga, may mga strawberries din na ingredients; lahat galing Japan. And it has a 99-year old grape juice in that ice cream that costs twenty thousand dollars. It has peaches worth 500 dollars, caramel sauce 3,000 dollars, butterscotch made from a 50-year old apple juice that costs 45,000 dollars. But even that, it doesn’t compare to the most expensive food that existed in the world. And I’m referring to the lentil stew of Jacob.
Esau was so hungry that he bought this stew not with money, but with his birthright. All for a bowl of stew. turn with me to Genesis chapter 25 verses 27 to 34. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful 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. Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.
And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
If you remember in the past verses, God told Rebekah and we can definitely assume that Isaac also knew because he, he was the head of the family. God told Rebekah that the older shall serve the younger.
Now it’s not just a prophecy wherein God was telling them, or this, this is what’s going to happen in the future, no. It’s something that Isaac also must make sure that will happen in their family. That it will be Esau, the older who shall serve the younger, Jacob. This means also that the birthright, by the way, if you were the firstborn in their time, you automatically possess that birthright, okay. So this means that the birthright must be given to Jacob, the younger. And the one, who must make that pronouncement in their family, is on other than the head, the patriarch of the family, the patriarch himself, Isaac. He must have pronounced that. But obviously in our passage today, they’re, they’re older now, the question is, who still possessed the birthright? It’s still Esau. We can clearly see in verse 28 it says Isaac loved Esau, there’s a reason. Because he ate of his game. Yung game po ay parang quail ang hitsura, hayop siya at niluluto, kinakain, okay. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game and Rebekah loved Jacob. And then if you read in Genesis chapter 27, we read this a while ago, when Isaac was about to die, who did he want to bless as well? Genesis chapter 27 verse 4 it says and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” Again, many times, when they were uh, when they were babies, even before they were born actually, God made that oracle. God said the older shall serve the younger. It was, it was uh the responsibility of the patriarch to make that happen. However, we come now to verse 27 onwards in the same chapter, chapter 25, the birthright is still possessed by Esau and then you jump in Genesis chapter 27. Looks like Isaac still want to bless Esau, right. Ultimately, this falls under the responsibility of the head of the family, the man of the house, the patriarch, Isaac. Now, again, what is this birthright? We mentioned before that the firstborn always had the birthright, meaning will have a double portion of the inheritance, okay. Malaking bagay ito. He has the right to special honour. If you, if you were the firstborn during that time. But, when we speak of the birthright in the line of Isaac, firstly in the line of Abraham, in the line of Isaac, it meant even more. It meant even more, it meant that the one who has the birthright will be the next patriarch, the one who will continue the line of Isaac, the one who will keep the covenant of God, the one who will stay in the land of promise, the one who will be used by God to multiply descendants. That’s what it meant. Again, very general, every firstborn, every firstborn shall have the birthright, but in, specifically in their family, we’re talking about God’s covenant with Abraham, continuing on to the next in line. If you were the heir, just as Isaac was the heir, we know that the firstborn was Ishmael, but the, but the promised son was Isaac, so technically, Isaac had the birthright. And now they have kambal, they have twins, right and the second, yung pangalawa, si Jacob the firstborn was uh sorry, the firstborn was Esau and the second one was Jacob and yet God was saying oh, the, the birthright must be given to Jacob. Again, Isaac did not take that responsibility, that’s a problem. When we speak of the birthright, it speaks of the promise of God. You’re gonna be the one assigned in the family to make sure that the promise of God must continue. So this birthright is what Isaac in disobedience to God, did not grant to Jacob.
This also, this birthright was something that Esau had because he was the firstborn, and yet was so ready to give up. And this birthright was what Jacob achieved on his own by scheming. This was the sin of Isaac’s family. It’s like they have no idea what this birthright is all about. That this was God’s blessing, that it points to the covenant of God. And you know, this is what sin does. It makes one forget all these things.
Nakalimutan na ba ni Isaac everything that God has done in the family of Abraham? Di ba alam nina Jacob and Esau what God, what the wonders of God in the time of Abraham? This is what sin does. It makes one forget all these things. It made Isaac forget that God was faithful to his father Abraham, who has faithfully given the birthright to Isaac and made him the heir and not to Ishmael. It made Jacob and Esau forget the grace of God in the family of Abraham all through the years.
My message this afternoon is simple. SIN MAKES US FORGET ALL THESE THINGS, SIN MAKES US FORGET GOD AND HIS FAITHFULNESS SIN BLURS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS AND GRACE.
Nagiging malabo ang pagkakaunawa natin sa katapatan ng grasya ng Panginoon dahil sa kasalanan. And today, we’re gonna specifically look at the two sons of Isaac and how sin does blur God’s faithfulness and grace in our minds.
First ,we’ll consider Jacob, The Sly Opportunist. and then secondly, Esau The Birthright Despiser. Let’s consider Jacob, the sly opportunist. Now, some would say that Jacob didn’t do anything wrong here. Teka, di naman warranted ng Scripture yan. Wala naman sinasabi, so we let’s become Jacob, right. Let’s be like Jacob, very, kumbaga, smart, right. Very smart si Jacob dito. But see, Moses wrote the account, remember when Moses was writing Genesis, he was writing the accounts of the Patriarchs also to show us their repetitive sins. We’ve read of Abraham giving away Sarah how many times? Twice. And then later on, Isaac will give away his wife, Rebekah. Now Jacob, in this passage, manipulates and takes advantage of the hungry brother, Esau to get the birthright. And then in Genesis chapter 27, we read that long passage a while ago. We see, we see the same thing. Jacob with the help of his mother Rebekah, manipulates this time, the old and almost blind, Isaac just to get the blessing. You know the story, right. Rebekah was, was listening to, to Isaac and Esau talking. Isaac was blind and Isaac wanted to bless his son, Esau and so he asked, he commanded Esau to get, to get a game and and magluto para sa kanya so that he will bless uh Esau. And then when Rebekah heard that, oh, they schemed, right. Rebekah cooked and then we have here Jacob getting goat skins, kasi mabuhok si Esau, he’s a hairy dude, man, sorry, it’s the same thing. So nilagay nya yun sa kanyang neck, sa kanyang katawan just so when Isaac touches him, so he can bless him, he would think that it was Esau. And then, come Genesis chapter 27 verse 36 ,we read this a while ago, Esau when he found out, ang sabi ni Esau, verse 36 oh, he has cheated me, how many times? two times. He took away my birthright and behold, now he has taken away my blessing, two times. The first time was when? This passage. When Jacob asked Esau to sell his birthright, the skilful hunter, Esau fell prey to a more manipulative scheming hunter, Jacob. Of course we can say that ultimately, it was Isaac, who was supposed to make such pronouncement to his family, but still Jacob capitalised in this situation. Instead of just feeding a hungry brother, ikaw ba naman lumapit sayo ang kapatid mo, gutom na gutom na ako, paluto naman, mamamatay na ako, I’m gonna die. O, di ibenta mo muna sa akin ang ari-arian mo, sell me everything first. Sorry, I had to translate that to English. See, kapatid, brother. Jacob said, verse 31, sell me your birthright now, oh, I’m gonna die, what use is a birthright to me? And then Jacob said verse 33, swear to me now. See Jacob should have trusted God. That God made that promise that it is the younger brother who, who will be served by the older brother, meaning he will have more blessing, it means that he will indeed have the birthright, and yet he intervened. He manipulated the situation and took it by his own terms. Just like in the time of Abraham when God promised Abraham that He will give him a son, yet it took a long time, ano’ng ginawa ni Abraham and Sarah? We have a good idea, that’s Hagar. But God said we will have a son. Oh go and be with Hagar, our own terms. That’s a great idea Sarah to have a son with Hagar instead and not to wait for God since God promised it. Will we not trust that God will indeed provide a son? And if God said that Jacob will indeed have the birthright, should I do it in own terms by scheming? Is that the right thing to do? If God promised, God will see it, God will see to it that it will come to pass. Jacob did not to commit a sin just so that it will happen. Again, sin blurs our understanding of the faithfulness of God. I’m sure Jacob already knew what God has done in the life of Abraham and even Isaac and yet he took the matter into his own hands. But here’s the thing, despite of the wrong that Jacob did, God used it to accomplish His purpose. That even though Jacob had that serious flaw, he still became the next patriarch. He had the birthright, he was still blessed by Isaac. That Jacob would still inherit all the the riches and the land of promise and he would be the heir of God’s descendants and most importantly, this is how we know that God indeed even used that sin in order to fulfill His ultimate promise, most importantly through Jacob, God fulfilled His promise of sending the son of God. Through Jacob, a better and a greater Jacob will come. One who also inherits not just a physical land and also the descendants but scripture tells us that the inheritance of all things was a guarantee to this greater Jacob, by virtue of just being the son of God. And unlike Jacob who has attained his birthright by being cunning, this greater Jacob, Jesus Christ was also able to accomplish everything, the spiritual blessings that we all enjoy through His perfect life, sacrificial death on the cross and His victorious resurrection. Because of who He is, what He has done, those who have faith in Christ will also have this inherited birthright status. That all that Christ inherits, we also inherit. So if you are in Christ, there is a reason to rejoice, kasi hindi nakasalalay sa atin to accomplish these things; nakasalalay kay Kristo lamang. And if you are not in Christ, the Bible calls you to repent of your sins, and trust Christ for you to be able to enjoy such inheritance as well, spiritual blessings, salvation of your sins, from our sins, redemption of ours souls, escape from the wrath of God, these things are to be enjoyed if you are in Christ. See God is working in history, again despite of the sin of Jacob, God is working in history to still fulfill His promise. He is able to accomplish His purposes despite of the sins of men. And all Jacob needed to do was to trust the ways of God by having faith in Him and by abiding to His will and not sin and get things his way. And isn’t this the usual impulse of humanity? It’s the sin of autonomy. God’s not doing anything, I’ll just do it, I’ll do it. Even though He said He will do it, I’ll do it, I’m not seeing it. It’s my way. I’m sure Jacob was saying that. And you would say that the world, that’s the usual mantra of the world —it’s my way. In fact, the unbelievers would say, oh we do not believe the ways of God. We want it our way. Jacob did it in his own terms. How many songs do we have in this world that tells us that they’ve accomplished things their way and they’re proud of it? Frank Sinatra, My Way, sabi nila pag kinanta mo raw yun, mamamatay ka, although hindi yun totoo, of course. Backstreet Boys, I Want It That Way. When we sin, we tend to do things our way.
So I guess ang challenge sa atin to fully depend on the ways of God fully depend on the ways of God. The Christian Life is a life of a continuous casting off of all self-reliance when it comes to salvation, when it comes to prayer, when it comes to discipleship, when it comes to family life, it is a continuous life of casting off of all self dependence, self-reliance. We are to live our lives knowing we are to be faithful and responsible christians. It’s not a passive life, but an active one knowing that God indeed is working in history to accomplish His purposes in each and everyone’s life. It’s like when we proclaim the gospel to our loved ones, we depend on God’s Ways by obeying Him and sharing the gospel to the lost because we’re commanded. But at the same time depending on the mercy and the grace of God that it is Him alone who saves. It’s like when we pray as well, we pray because God says we pray. We must pray and yet we depend on Him who hears and listens to us. We depend on Christ that our prayers reach to God because of Christ’s mediation.
When we battle sin, we fully depend on the ways of God by mortifying sin and at the same time we depend on the ways of God that it is a Spirit who enables us. When we suffer, when we are afflicted, we fully depend on God’s ways by knowing that God uses it to find our faith.
We attended a conference last Friday of Mark Jones entitled Knowing Sin. He said and I quote “every sin is antinomianism.” end quote. What it means is that when we sin, we do not depend on the ways of God, when we sin, we do not abide by the will of God. It means every time we lie, we depend on our own subjective truth, we depend on our own ways, and we do not have faith in the ways of God. It means every time we don’t love, we depend on our own self, and we do not deny ourselves, and we don’t look to Christ’s love. It means every time we do not submit to any God-given authority here on earth, it means we depend on our own ways and not God’s. That’s what happens when we sit. He also said every sin is an implicit adoration of satan. It is antinomianism, he said. And yet, despite of our sin brethren, God forgives us because such sins have been punished on that cross. And so we depend on God by looking to Christ who was our substitute on that cross and is our Mediator. We depend on God knowing that He is faithful. And we can see His faithfulness in the gospel. So do you depend on God’s ways? Or is it “my way or the highway?” Is it I and not Christ Is it always me, me, me? Is the Bible clear about a certain thing and yet you have a higher regard on your own capabilities instead of God who is able to accomplish His purposes? Repent and always look to Christ, brethren.
Now that’s Jacob, but how about Esau?
Let’s consider my last point Birthright Despiser. So when Jacob told Esau to sell his birthright, Esau, without any hesitations, he said in verse 32 “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Now you might think, you may think that Esau maybe was just indifferent toward the birthright, baka wala naman siyang pakialam lang, baka ganun lang naman. I have no need of it now or later, maybe that’s what it what he meant. But verse 34 tells us his real heart toward the birthright verse 34 Thus Esau despised his birthright. Esau had contempt, he hates it. He hates his birthright. Now baka sabihin niyo rin, baka masyado pa nating ipagtanggol si Esau, maybe he hates the riches that he will inherit from possessing the birthright. But even, but even after this Esau was still rich. Genesis chapter 33 if you know the story of course, nag-away po sila sa simula and then Jacob was trying, was giving gifts to Esau. What was his response? Genesis chapter 33 verse 9 Esau said I have enough In other translations I have plenty my brother, keep what you have for yourself. Oh he was rich. So it’s not the riches that Esau despised. And no, it’s not that he loves lentil stew. Esau did not just despise the birthright, but we’re talking about the promise of God that continues in the line of Abraham and Isaac.. that birthright! Remember the uniqueness of the birthright in the line of Abraham. It comes with a promise that you will be the patriarch, you will be the head. The promise continues. God will use you to expand His kingdom of Israel and to make sure that the the Israelites will stay in that land, that’s what Esau hated. So if you despise the birthright, you despise the promise of God, oh you despise God. He thinks he’s gonna die, and he thinks that the stew can extend his life. And the very thing that truly gives life, the God who justifies the sinner, the God who faithfully promises salvation to those who believe in Christ is a very thing he despised. This is what sin does to us, brethren. It makes us depreciate the goodness of God Sin blurs our standing of the grace of God. In our time God has given us every spiritual blessing in Jesus Christ. All the promises of God find their yes and amen in Christ. We are motivated by the better promises, better privileges in Jesus Christ, and we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We’re not, we’re not looking forward to the land of Canaan, hindi iyon yung pino-promise sa atin ng gospel ngayon, that we will stay there in Israel now. No! We have better promises in the better Covenant of Christ. So if we translate that to our time, do we hate it just like Esau? Hate ba natin ang promise ng Panginoon, ang blessing that comes with it? Esau devalues, devalued that birthright.
A woman had a necklace and it was the only thing that her father has given her before the father passed away. And the woman loved her, loved her father so much that she really valued the necklace. One time it got lost. She didn’t know what to do. And when she found, when she found it under the bed, imagine how glad she was. Imagine that’s the only thing that is left, given to her by her deceased father. And then when she found it, overjoyed. Ano yung pakiramdam niya nung nawala iyon? Grabe din yung kaniyang grief. But see, she didn’t find her father, she found just a necklace, and yet she values it. Same thing for us christians, we have been given an inheritance in Jesus Christ. All that Christ inherits we inherit, all spiritual blessings Christ has accomplished, we have them by faith. We have been justified by faith, we are being sanctified by the Lord. We have this promise when Christ returns, we will be glorified with Him eternally. Yun yung promises ng Panginoon na pinanghahawakan nating mga kristiyano. Sa time ni Esau, oh he despised yung mga promises ng Panginoon na kasama dun sa birthright na yon.
Para ba tayong si Esau, mga kapatid? Ang challenge sa atin to VALUE THE BLESSINGS WE HAVE IN CHRIST.
We have been forgiven of our sins, brethren. We are being sanctified and conformed to the image of His son. And again, we will be glorified when the Son returns. And the problem is when we neglect the gifts of God and forfeit these important things in life over worthless earthly things, prublema po iyan mga kapatid. We sometimes value other things over what’s more important, the word of God, the fellowship of the saints, the preaching of the word. When we evaluate these things, our life, when we value our lives, where do these things fall in your weekly, daily schedule? We can, it’s easy to say, oh I value these blessings. But when we evaluate, really, do we, do we value these things? You see our life shows how we put value on what God has given us. Now I’m not just talking about God’s common grace, the daily common grace. Oh yes, you can you must count such blessings as well. But how about the the better blessings we have as christians? But we have been forgiven by the Father on the account of Christ’s life and death. At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves, do we need Christ? And the answer to that question is it always a resounding yes? Because of our sins, and if we need a gospel to always be communicated to us, then dwell richly in the word of God and value the blessings we have in Jesus Christ. Do you not appreciate it brethren? Do you not appreciate it that tonight we can go home sleep soundly, not knowing that God does not count our sins? Do you not appreciate that God remembers our sins no more? Appreciate this – that the record we have in God, the record we have in God is not simply that we have never sinned. The record that we have in God is that we have always obeyed. And that is because of Christ! Do you not appreciate it? Appreciate it brethren, that’s what you have in Christ. Value these things, rejoice! Put a higher value on what Christ has done for us. We need Christ, we need to be reminded of these things kasi every, lagi tayong na-o-overrun ng mga temptations. Nag-fa-fall tayo sa temptations and we need such reminders! We need such reminders of where we are, where we stand.
Nasaan na ba tayo sa standing ng Panginoon? ‘Cause when we sin, usually, the devil will, will be in our side, baka bubulungan tayo, o, nagkasala ka na naman, yan talaga, hindi ka naman talaga tinawag ng Diyos e. But when you are reminded, sa mata, ay nakita Niya ang obedience ng Panginoong Hesukristo, hindi ba’t tayo ay mas lalong mamo-motivate ng grasya Niya? Kailangan mo iyon, kapatid. You need it. You need the gospel! Value such blessings brethren. Put a higher value.
Now, practically how? Oh, worship! Worship God, dwell in His word, magpaka-lunod ka, lunod, lunod talaga sa salita ng Diyos, build up one another with the word of God, and when you go home, make sure that you are still engaged in the word of God. Marahil, maaari mong ayusin ang iyong schedule that you have to if, if you, if you agree with me that you, you do need the gospel everyday. Appreciate these things, put a higher value brethren on our blessings that Christ has accomplished for us. Be fully dependent firstly on God, knowing that He is faithful in His promises in the gospel. And put a higher value upon our spiritual blessings over present earthly things. May the word of God enrich our knowledge of Him and may it stir us to live in light of these truths. Let us pray.
Great God and gracious Father, thank You Lord for the reminder of what Christ has done and what He has accomplished for us. Lord, may we live lives knowing O Lord, that You have forgiven us, that there is now no more condemnation in Your eyes because You see the righteousness of Christ. We are clothed by His righteousness. Lord, may this motivate us to do good works, to love one another, to fully depend on Your ways oh Lord. May we dwell richly in Your word so that our minds are always renewed, so that we will know Your will and purposes for us. And Lord, may You use this motivation, grace that, that is uh this our desire oh Lord, to, to to love one another. May You use this O Lord to continue to, to edify the church, to grow and be conformed to our Head who is Christ. Again, we praise You O Lord for all the blessings. We commit to You this time. We pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.