All along i thought that CHC would be asking lots of questions about food specifically about dinuguan, but it looks like we are more interested about wars. Now to continue our conversation about wars, we will look at two brothers, in Genesis chapter 25, that produced two nations, that also points to a perpetual conflict that we see in the bible. So, turn with me to Genesis chapter 25 verses 19 to 28. Genesis chapter 25 verses 19
These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of
Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren.
And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful 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.
We will tackle the rest of the verses from verse 29 onwards next week. But we will focus specifically on verses 19 to 28, the passages that we read. And as we read, Rebekah has the same problem as Sarah. Rebekah too was barren. And so Isaac prayed to the Lord and the Lord heard him and the Lord granted Isaac’s prayer. Rebekah became pregnant..not one, but two, they were twins. Not identical twins, but they are twins. So if last week we identified. We talked about Isaac. We identified that it was Isaac who was the rightful heir of Abraham. Now Isaac had two sons as well. Who will be the right, the rightful heir of Isaac? You know, it should be the firstborn, it should be the firstborn..or is it the firstborn?
In this case, is it the firstborn whose name was ‘hairy’? That’s what his name meant, ‘hairy.’ Not Harry, hairy..mabuhok. Esau, that’s Esau. Siya ba dapat? Should he be the rightful heir because he’s the firstborn? Or the second one whose name means ‘heel grabber.’ That’s Jacob, the shepherd who dwells within, uh, in the tents? Now, again, usually it is the firstborn who will be the heir, but this time around, God made it
clear to Rebekah that it’s the other way around. God said – no, the older will serve the younger. The younger one is Jacob, just like Isaac who was the younger one, Jacob the younger one also will be the heir. So we see here two opposing brothers just like Isaac and Ishmael. Now we have here Jacob and Esau. Just like before them, Ishmael, Isaac, now, the sons of Isaac…Jacob and Esau. And God is saying here, they’re not just two opposing individuals… they are two nations. Two groups of people will come from them, and who will be against each other. First, the covenant community of God, that’s the nation of Israel, they come from the line of Jacob and the other, those who are outside of God’s covenant, the Edomites. They come from the line of Esau. And so while we think that this ONLY points to the Israelites and Edomites who are against one another..oh, this only points to Esau and Jacob, two brothers who will be opposed to one another or this ultimately refers as well to the true people of God, the true Israel, which is His church against also the world. And that is my message today and that is something that we would want to uh, to explain our message this afternoon. Let me share to you our message. That there only two kinds of people: those who are God’s, those who are in the covenant community of God, those who are in Christ and those who are not. Very simple message for all of us.
Dalawa lang ang klase ng tao mayroon dito sa mundo: yung mga kay Kristo, at yung wala sa Kanya. What do we learn from these two groups of people? Firstly, that there are Two Opposing Nations..that’s my first point.Secondly, we learned there is One Electing Love. Let’s consider my first point. Two Opposing Nations. So again, just like Isaac and Ishmael, two sons who were against each other, so too the sons of Isaac.. Esau and Jacob. In fact, in verse 22, again opposing, two opposing people ito. In fact, even inside the womb, they’re already struggling, verse 22 – The children struggled together within her..naglalaban doon pa lamang sa tiyan. E kaya naman talagang..talagang nag-inquire si Rebekah to the Lord , right. When Childbearing is already difficult and painful, add to that, the fact that the twins were in fact “fighting” inside the womb. If you ask me how that looks like, I don’t know. Maybe they’re fighting whatever, if Rebekah eats something, they want that foo..I don’t know. So it gave Rebekah a really hard time that she asked God ‘why is this happening to me?” I’m not scaring those, uh, our sisters who are pregnant. Verse 22 it says – So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
And so it’s not just Esau and Jacob who will be divided. This also includes their descendants. Jacob’s descendants again are the Israelites. Esau’s descendants are the Edomites. And yes, they will be against be another if we read Psalm 137 verse 7. We see the Edomites rejoicing when Israel was being destroyed by Babylon. It says – Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites, the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!” So they want Israel to be destroyed.
Edomites wanted Israelites.. Israel to be destroyed. Also, if you read the entire book of Obadiah, we’ve studied that I think two years ago. We see how Edomites were to be destroyed because of their rebellion against God and their rebellion against God’s people. So they were against Israelites. And ofcourse, this also culminated in the coming of Christ who comes, Jesus Christ who comes from the tribe, from the line of Jacob. Who is being hunted down by an Idumean. We talked about that early in the morning worship the Herod, Herod the king was an Idumean, an Edomite. So we see that, ‘no..even in the time of christ, there is that opposition. See the people of God is opposed by the enemies of God. And again, we’re not just talking about Israel being the people of God. Because Paul says in Romans chapter 9 verse 6, he says – For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel Not all Israel are really true Israel. Meaning, not all Israelites are from the True Israel. Not all who are part of the covenant community of God really believe in God. Not all of them are of God’s. That’s what Paul was saying. Not all Israelites are from the true Israel. Not all Israelites believe in the promise of a Savior. For those who BELIEVE, are the ones who are truly part of the community of God. They are the true Israel of the church.
And if you are part of the true Israel, there will be oppositions. If the physical Israel already was opposed by many nations that foreshadows, that prefigures what we will experience in life. Here on earth as the true Israel, there will be oppositions. In fact, it was prophesied by none other than God in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15. It was God who imposed that opposition God cursed, in fact satan, this was a curse to satan. He said = I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your offspring (Satan’s offspring, the unbelieving naion, the unbelieving community against) and her offspring (God’s people).
This was the curse of God to Satan.. that the unbelievers will be in enmity with the believers. The opposition of the unbelieving is a curse given by God. And since we still live in this cursed world, believers will still face, definitely face oppositions whatever shape or form. The question is, which side are you on? Which one are you in? Which one do you want to be in? There are only two sides… God’s or Satan’s.Jacob’s
or Esau’s. There are only two cities..Jerusalem above or Babylon. Two sides. The people of God or the people of the enemy. One receives mercy and grace, the other receives wrath. In fact, while the other one lives here, habang nabubuhay pa ‘no, yung latter community, they are in fact storing up wrath waiting for the fullness of wrath to be poured out. One receives mercy, one receives, grace. And the other one, the other side receives wrath. The one escapes the wrath, the other receives it in full. The one escapes the wrath, because there’s another one who received the fullness of the wrath of God on the cross for them. That is none other than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So if you are on the side of Esau, REPENT NOW AND BE ON THE OTHER SIDE, Jacob’s side, Christ’s. BELIEVE IN THE LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. His provision
of His life and death on that cross, and you will be saved. And you will be in the side of God. But if you are in Christ, remember that the world hates Christ so the world will hate you too. And so the challenge for us here, I mean, knowing that it is a known fact that we will be opposed by the world, and by world, we mean, it may mean close relationships. It can even mean that. But that’s the reality. Because we believe in our Lord and Saviour and the world hates our Lord and Saviour. Oh, definitely, you will be hated as well. You will be opposed. And so the challenge here, for us is to endure it. Endure the antagonism of the world to the Christian faith! Endure, brethren. In fact, remember what Christ said in Matthew chapter 6 verse 22 which will help us in, while we are enduring the antagonism of the world. Look at Matthew chapter 6 verse 22 – Blessed are you, this is God speaking, Jesus Christ saying it is a blessing if people hate you on the account of Christ. He says Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! And as you endure, Jesus Christ also continues by saying Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Is it going to be an easy life for a christian? Of course not. Will we live on earth without oppositions because of our faith? We won’t. There will always be oppositions. So face your life knowing that there will be oppositions! But the problem here is, if because of the pressures of the world, we would compromise, and not endure. We’d rather compromise, compromise our belief, compromise our faith, compromise worship, compromise the gospel. Look at what the apostles did.When the apostles were charged not to speak about Jesus anymore, beforethey left the council in the book of Acts chapter 5, before they left, they were beaten. Binugbog sila. Acts chapter 5 verse 41, it says – Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing. Sino sa atin yung after bugbugin because fo the gospel, you would rejoice? Sino dito yung after you were,
you heard a lot of demeaning words because of your faith, and yet afterwards, you will rejoice? And yet the apostles were just obeying or heeding the call of Christ in Matthew chapter 6 to rejoice. It says, they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. For the name of Christ. Did it stop them to proclaim Jesus Christ? Did it stop, did it, nag-compromise ba sila ng faith nila? No! In verse 42, it says And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. What did, ang ginawa nito for them is that it all, that it affirmed that they were indeed doing the work of Christ. It affirmed that they were indeed on the side of Christ because they were beaten by the world. They were opposed by the world. And for that reason, we have all the reasons to rejoice because that affirms kung kanino tayo allied. At tama ang ating pino-proclaim. So are you receiving any opposition because of your faith? Marahil, sasabihin ninyo, grabe naman yung nangyari sa apostles.
Binugbog sila, sa akin naman hindi naman ganoon. But if you’re a christian, it will happen. It may not like be, not like what happened to the apostles. It may happen in your home. But calling is the same. The challenge is the same. Endure, brethren. Endure, and rejoice. Because this affirms. What an honor it is to suffer for Christ. This was the heart of the apostles. Oh, I want to suffer for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Nagpapatunay lang, nagpapatunay lang kung saan tayo inilagay ng Panginoon. Kung ikaw ay ino-oppose ng kamunduhan, then definitely rejoice, praise God. Pero kung ikaw pala yung nag-o-oppose sa mga kristiyano din, baka nasa kabilang side po tayo. Endure, brethren, okay. You maybe in a situation wherein those who are in a close relationships with you, family members, close friends, have been persecuting, opposing you because of your faith. Endure, endure the antagonism of the world to the christian faith. So this opposition will always be present here on earth. That’s the truth, but this is because God has decreed it.
It’s something that God has decreed before the foundation of the world. Let us consider my last point. One Electing Love.
One Electing Love. And so the older one was Esau and the younger one was Jacob. In their time again, the one older has the right to special honor. The one older has the right and privilege to have the double portion of the inheritance.. that’s his birthright. Again, more about the birthright next week.Again, however, God here is telling Rebekah… that’s not, that’s not what’s gonna happen here. God tells Rebekah how sovereign He is, that even though it was Esau who was the firstborn, it will be Jacob who will be superior over the firstborn Esau. But why?
Bakit? What did Jacob do? Well, let’s go back to Isaac and Ishmael. Some may say that Ishmael was not chosen by God, Isaac was highly favored,
remember, some may say that Ishmael was not chosen by God because he wasn’t really a son of Sarah. Ishmael was half-Egyptian, right. Ang anak talaga ni Sarah ay si Isaac. We have an obvious reason why Ishmael was not ‘chosen’ – because he’s from Hagar and not Sarah. He wasn’t really a pure-blooded Jew. But now, with Esau and Jacob, they have the same mother, Rebekah. So they’re both pure-blooded Jews. So what can be the reason why God chose the other one? …aaah maybe Jacob’s the kinder one. Of course in the next passages, ah, hindi iyon ang makikita natin, right. Because there, they were still babies when God spoke to Rebekah. Which simply means, imagine, baby pa lang sila and God said, the older will serve the younger. It’s not because of what they did.
There’s really NOTHING in Jacob that made God choose him over Esau. Romans chapter 9 verses 10 to 13 explains this to us. It says – And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, in order for you to understand, that it’s not because of what they have done, what they looks like..the other one is hairy, the other one is not, the other one is kinder, the other one is not, they’re both deserving of the damnation of God. Nothing in Jacob made God choose him. Not because of works but because of Him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” And see how his election is linked to His love. God didn’t just..’okay, teka, pipiliin kita.’ Hindi ganun heh. As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”He chose Jacob out of His love. God did not just choose Jacob to be the heir and so that he can possess the birthright. God chose Him before the foundation of the world to be saved. Same goes to anyone NOW who has been redeemed from their sins. God lovingly chose us before the foundation of the world. “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Ephesians chapter 1 verses 3 to 5, Paul tells us
– Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him (when?) before the foundation of the world, (what’s the purpose?) that we should be holy and blameless before Christ. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. In the very act of divine election by the Father, before the foundation of the world, He chose us in a way in which we were already contemplated as being joined to Christ. When we were chosen by God, He already loved us. So not because of our works. And no, we were not YET justified in eternity past, let me just make it clear.. but the Father chose some already to be in union with Christ, to be adopted into God’s family, having Christ as our brother. We have been chosen to be made holy like a Bride, having Christ as our bridegroom. And just like Jacob,
there is nothing in us that made God choose us. It was based on His sovereign pleasure alone. And this tells us, brethren, this tells us that when Christ lived and when Christ died for sinners, He wasnt just dying for some unnamed sinners. We can rest assured that when Christ was dying, He was dying literally for His people. For those whom the Father has chosen. For each and every one who believes. That we are on Christ’s heart, and on His mind, as one given to Him by the Father before time began. So behind every person’s redemption in history was God’s electing love in Christ before the world began. And brethren, the response to this great truth that God chose His people, is not ‘oh, it’s unfair!’ We focus immediately on “Esau I hated”, instead of “Jacob I Loved” Who are we to be loved by the Judge of all? I mean, we are like Esau…undeserving. Remember that even the elect does not deserve to be chosen because there’s nothing in them that made God choose them. What is the response as christians being reminded of this beautiful doctrine of election. John Stott says this doctrine – “the doctrine of election is a stimulus to humility” Friends, if we are, if we believe in the amazing grace of God, that nothing in us made God choose us if we believe that. It’s not because of our works. Then we must be the most humble people in the world. And that is the challenge today. Delight in the thought of God’s sovereign choice and respond in humility and praise! The one who truly understands election, truly understands what GRACE is. And when we are truly amazed by the grace of God.. its natural response is a life of humility and praise! Of course the contention of some is that again, it is unfair of God to choose some. But let me remind you, none of us are deserving. What we all deserve is damnation. Even the elect deserves condemnation. That is why it is called GRACE. It is by Grace that Christ died for us. It is by Grace that even before Christ died for us.. God loved us in eternity past.
Calvin said in his institutes and I quote – “We shall never feel persuaded as we ought that our salvation flows from the free mercy of God as its fountain, until we are made acquainted with his eternal election” In short, to really understand the free mercy of God, His amazing wonderful grace, oh yes, look at Christ, that’s true. Look at the cross. For Someone else died in, on your behalf. That is grace. That is mercy. Well you would understand the gravity of this grace Calvin was saying, if you are made acquainted with God’s eternal election. So if Christ died for you on the cross, then that means that the Father chose you before creation. If the Holy Spirit regenerated your soul, then that means that the Father chose you before creation. If you are being sanctified by His Spirit, you’re hating your sin. If you’re so willing to mortify your sin, then yes the Father
chose you before creation. If you are in Christ now, then yes the Father had you in His mind to be in Christ before time began.
Does this thought of God choosing us before we were even created despite of our sin humbles you? Does this make you humble, brethren? Does it make you fall down on your knees? That just as there was no merit in us, and yet God chose us. That we know too that we need the help of God in defeating sin in our lives? So brethren, there are only two kinds of people here in this chapel today. My prayer is that all of us would be part of God’s true Israel. But there’s that reality that it could be, that there may be two kinds of people in every chapel in the world. If you are in Christ, you will be opposed. If you’re not in Christ now, repent and believe in Him. If you are in Christ, remember also hat you have been chosen by God to be conformed to His Son. And your response as a christian is with humility and praise. So brothers and sisters, oppositions to the Christian faith will come, but our knowledge of God’s electing love assures us of the end of oppositions and the certainty of eternal life.
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, we thank You Lord for Your grace and mercy in our lives. Thank You Lord for the great reminder of Your work in eternity past. To choose the bride for Christ. Lord, may You enable us to live a life of humility and praise. Lord, may we live lives that are glorifying to you. And Lord, allow us to always look to Christ who Himself endured, who Himself was opposed. He was persecuted by men but He endured. Thank You Lord for His word, for the reminder that we are blessed when we are hated by the world. Allow us also to rejoice knowing that there is a, that Christ Himself has prepared a reward for us in heaven with Him.
Again we praise You, we thank You for Your ministry here in our church. We love you in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.