Beautiful Blessings (Genesis 25)

Click here for audio: Beautiful Blessings_Genesis 25_August 7 2011

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Blessed beyond number…

EXAMINE                           Beautiful Blessings                             Genesis 25          

As we approach Genesis 25 we are continuing to see God’s goodness in creating a people for Himself to bless. In this chapter we can see 3 blessings of God toward His people.

 God was faithful to bless Abraham (Genesis 12:1-2; 25:1-11)

Abraham is nearing the end of his life. We saw in the last message that his wife Sarah had passed away and their son, Isaac, became married to Rebekah. Additionally, Abraham takes another wife and she bears him 6 more children. He lived to be 175 years, “died in a good old age, an old man and full of years”. In other words, Abraham had a wonderful life and was very blessed by God. This blessing stems from God’s spoken promise in Genesis 12.

Even Abraham’s death brings minor blessings. Abraham’s sons, Isaac & Ishmael, who were separated because of their dysfunctional family (Hagar was Abraham’s maidservant and mother of Ishmael yet Isaac was born to Abraham’s natural wife Sarah; cf Gen 16:12 for their hostility) became reconciled (for a time?) and buried their father with his deceased wife.

In reading the book of Genesis one could say that Abraham is the primary character of the book. His name is mentioned 193x, 14 chapters focus on his life and 9 more chapters refer to his life and faith. Furthermore, he is mentioned in Ex, Lev, Nu, Deut, Josh, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chron, Neh, Ps, Isa, Ez, Jer, Mic, Mt, Lk, Jn, Ac, Rom, 2Cor, Gal, Heb, Js, 1Pet (in 26 of 66 books or total of 312x). Abraham is a man mighty in faith and central inIsrael’s history.

 YET, the primary character and even the purpose of the book of Genesis is not Abraham. Nor is it Adam, Noah or even those after Abraham in Jacob or Joseph. It is God. The takeaway of reading Genesis is to see a faithful God.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”

Psalm 36:5 “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

God’s faithfulness means He is there.

In a day where:

–          family and friends abandon; God is faithful!

–          uncertain times with natural disaster, global economic crisis; God is faithful!

–          unimaginable tension and trial; God is faithful!

Whatever you are going through you can trust God’s faithfulness. Faithfulness is God’s essential character. He does not change but is a constant from throughout all eternity. God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness, nor our feelings. 2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.”  You see, in the course of a person’s life they may change their personality, preferences and priorities all change – but God never changes. The words to a friend or spouse, “You have changed” are primarily meant as a negative and that they have separated themselves from you. However, God never changes. He is always the same and always faithful. You can count on Him. When this truth sinks in your mind and heart, nothing can shake you. You cannot be moved because your trust is in an unchanging, faithful, all-powerful God.

Psalm 91:1-4 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.”

God was merciful to bless Ishmael (Genesis 17:20; 25:12-18).

As mentioned previously, Abraham’s first child Ishmael was sent away from the family. Because he was born outside of God’s intended plan with Hagar there became strife in the family. Ishmael mocked Isaac and Sarah (Gen 21:9). So, Sarah had him and Hagar sent away. However, God promised to still bless Ishmael and his future offspring (16:10, 21:13).

Today’s world of families has much in common with Biblical families. As there was adultery, children with extended families and step parents, broken homes, conflict, shady and selfish uncles, crazy cousins that no one wants to claim… you name it, we all have em’! Well, Ishmael represents the family that no one likes and everyone avoids.

YET… God is merciful.

“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made… the eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing” Psalm 145:9, 15-16

“For God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45  

Exodus 34:6 “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”

What is mercy? God’s grace and kindness upon those undeserving. This is seen in the question, “Why does God allow evil people to prosper?” When God allows good to happen to unbelievers or even evil individuals it is because He is merciful. He shows no partiality – no discrimination! He is doing so for the purpose of calling them to repentance and faith:

Romans 2:4-11 “do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.”

– You are not promised tomorrow. Allow God’s mercy to move you to faith.

God was generous to bless Isaac (Genesis 25:19-28).

Isaac had beautiful wife, but she was barren. Isaac learned from his father’s mistake and didn’t attempt his own plans for a child (Hagar & Ishmael). Instead, he prayed to the Lord for his wife to conceive. And God was so generous in answering the prayer that Rebekah has twins – Esau and Jacob.

God’s generosity is supplied in salvation
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”

God’s generosity is provided in presence
Philippians 4:13, 19 “I have learned the secret of contentment…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

God’s generosity is granted in gifts
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”
APPLY/THINK

ULTIMATELY – we are blessed because JESUS is faithful, merciful and generous towards us.

Hebrews 6: 13-20 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever

 

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