13th February 2023
13th February 2023
Read - Hebrews 11:21 and Genesis 25:12-28:9
Message Alan Burke
Every now and then I flick threw the news headlines on my phone just to see what is happening in the world. A couple of weeks ago now there was a headline that grabbed my attention mainly because I thought it was just daft, the headline was “'Elon Musk has made me embarrassed to drive my Tesla now’”. Like wise the bap, such a first world problem. We of course can all get reputations but for it to be “depressing, and sometimes embarrassing” to drive your car because of Elon Musk says more about you than him. We know that reputations matters, Proverbs reminds us that “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Prov 22:1). The proverbs of course is the wisdom of God and we know that a good name is to be esteemed. While Elon Musk’s reputation isn’t great today we look at a man who couldn’t be held up as a man who was trustworthy, a man of integrity, someone who was virtuous man, rather Jacob was a man of cunning, deceit and self centred ambition and what is wonderful for us who are sinners, altogether sinful although not as sinful as we could be that Jacob was one who we are told was commended for his faith, he lived ’By Faith’.
Most of us know the story of Jacob, today is really a character overview before we delve into the wonder of God’s grace later in the week. So Jacob, the second son of Isaac and Rebekah a twin to Esau although the two of them couldn’t have been more different. Family dynamics weren’t great to say the least, Jacob was the favourite of his mum and his bother Esau was the favourite of his dad and it led to an incredibly messy family situation. He acquire his brothers Esau’s birthright for a bowl of stew and with the help of his mother, when his father Isaac was old and his eyesight had faded, thinking that he was at deaths door, Jacob deceived him, obtaining the blessing due to his brother (Gen 25:12 - 28:9). It’s not surprising that Esau was angry, he had been swindled by his brother and he wanted revenge, vowing to kill his brother Jacob as soon as the period of mourning for his fathers death was over. Before he had the chance though, Rebekah discovered the desire of Esau’s heart, that he planned to kill his brother Jacob and she desired to save his life, she warned Jacob and had Issac send him to his uncle Laban to find a wife.
With no where else to go, no other course of action, he went, fleeing for his life, towards Haran, retracing the long arduous route though the wilderness that his grandfather Abraham had traveled about one hundred and twenty five years earlier, but the situation that Jacob was in was even more perilous that Abrahams was. Abraham had gone on this journey as he answering the call of God, Jacob was instead fleeing because of his sin, original sin had distorted him, actual sin distracted him, and indwelling sin had manipulated him, fleeing because he had allowed sin to rule his life and his decisions. The marks of this man were not trustworthiness, integrity or any virtues that are commendable, rather Jacob was a man of cunning, deceit and self centred ambition. He ended up having to flee from his own to save his life. The situation all because of his own making he was a man who had brought this on himself.
Yet he is a man who is listed among the heroes of the faith. And once more we are reminded as we look Jacob that the message of Hebrews 11 isn’t be like those listed there, rather the message for all of us is to us is to trust in the promises of God. The promise of God of the Christ that would come and bruise the head of the serpent that Jacob looked to, whom would bless all the nations through Abraham’s seed, Jacob was looking to the Christ the Messiah, the holy one of God, Jesus our saviour! It is Him that we must look to, it doesn’t matter if you have A good name that is more desirable than great riches; and esteemed or if you are more akin to Jacob, the only way that any of us are saved is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Q75 What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour’ s wealth or outward estate. (Prov. 21:17, Prov. 23:20–21, Prov. 28:19, Eph. 4:28)
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