Sermon #24 Genesis Sermons
Title: Jacob - An Object of Grace - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 28:15
Subject: God’s Grace Upon Jacob
Date: Tuesday Evening - January 14, 1992
The title of my message tonight is Jacob - An Object of Grace. I want us to look at four different passages of Scripture which reveal the grace of God in the life of Jacob.
As we look at these four passages of Holy Scripture and see the grace of God in the life of Jacob, I want us who are the sons of Jacob to appropriate each text to ourselves and see the hand of God’s grace in our own lives.
1. Grace is the present heritage of every believer (Gen. 28:15).
2. Whatever else the future holds for us, it holds grace, rich, free, abundant grace in Christ (Gen. 31:3).
3. Every believer’s life is, from beginning to end, an unceasing experience of God’s grace (Gen. 31:5).
4. The grace we have received and experienced at the hand of our God shall be transmitted to the generation that succeeds us (Gen. 48:21).
I. Let’s begin at Genesis 28:15 - HERE IS PRESENT GRACE. The Lord God says to his servant Jacob, “Behold, I am with thee,” right now, presently. Grace is the present heritage of every believer.
· We rejoice to know that grace is eternal (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9).
· We rejoice in the fact that Christ has by his blood purchased for us all the inheritance of grace and glory. In Christ, grace is our purchased possession (Eph. 1:11).
· And we thank God for past experiences of grace. Regeneration, conversion, restorations, etc.
But we cannot live on yesterday’s bread. We must have some bread today. And we cannot feed our souls on yesterday’s grace. We must have grace today. I want you to see that grace is ours this very hour. God says to Jacob, “Behold, I am with thee!”
A. Jacob was the son of a long line of men chosen by God; and he too was chosen as the object of God’s grace (v. 13).
His father Isaac and his mother Rebecca were believers. His grandfather Abraham and his grandmother Sarah were believers. What a blessing! To have for your father and mother, for your grandfather and grandmother, men and women who walked with God is the most distinguished hereditary honor in the world. Well might Jacob rejoice to hear the God of his fathers say to him, as he had said to them, “Behold, I am with thee.”
1. You who are the believing sons and daughters of believing parents, see that you honor your heritage.
2. Yet, let no one foolishly imagine that grace is a matter of heredity, passed on from father to son (John 1:11-13).
B. Notice that this word of grace, “Behold, I am with thee,” come to Jacob at a time when he greatly needed it.
· He had just left his father’s house.
· He was about to be faced with a very great trial - 20 years of Laban!
· At that moment when Jacob was totally alone, a family outcast, friendless, and a pilgrim in a strange land, God almighty spoke to him and said, “Behold, I am with thee!” I defy anyone to measure the height or depth, length or breadth of that infinite blessing. What more could God say than this - “I am with thee”?
1. When God is with you that guarantees infinite love, mercy, and grace!
God will not dwell with those he hates. He is not with those to whom he is not merciful. He does not abide where he does not dispense grace. But to each of his people, he says, “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine…I have loved thee…Fear not: for I am with thee” (Isa. 43:1-5).
As am man delights to be with his friends, so our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, delights to be with those whom he has chosen, redeemed, and called.
2. “I am with thee” means I will help you (Isa. 41:10).
“Whatever we undertake, God is with us in the undertaking; whatever we endure, God is with us in the enduring; whitersoever we wander, God is with us in our wandering.” (C. H. Spurgeon).
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” If God is with us, what can we not do, or endure, or overcome? Paul was exactly right when he said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Can you imagine what I am saying? God is with you, my brother, my sister, so with you that he is in you. The whole Godhead is with you, in the entirety of his Being!
3. When God says, “I am with thee,” he promises, with his presence, his sympathy.
Our Savior is so touched with the feeling of our infirmities he feels what we feel, suffers what we suffer, and endures what we endure. If we have a load to bear, he is with us. If we have a work to do, he is with us.
How precious, rich, and full this word of grace must have seemed to Jacob as he lay under the stars in the wilderness. His bed was the cold earth. His curtains were the bushes around him. The heavens were his canopy. His pillow was a rock. He was alone, afraid, and helpless until the Lord God appeared to him and said, “Behold, I am with thee!”
C. Is God with you tonight?
I might put the question another way: Can God be with you? Some people come to the house of God after having a fuss with their husbands or wives, or their children. God is not with bitter, bickering men and women. People who pursue wickedness and live in pleasure cannot expect God to be with them. “Can two walk together except they are agreed?”
But if you are a believer, if you are washed in the blood of Christ and born again by the Spirit of God, you are one of Jacob’s sons; and God says, “Behold, I am with thee.” That is God’s present assurance of grace.
II. Next, turn to Genesis 31:3. HERE IS THE PROMISE OF FUTURE GRACE. “I will be with thee.” Whatever else the future may hold for us, let every believer be assured of this, it holds grace, rich, free, abundant grace in Christ.
Were it not for the weakness of our flesh this promise would be unnecessary. When God says, “I am with thee,” you can count on it, he will be with you. God does not change, and he never forsakes his people (Heb. 13:5). Some people believe in a god who loves today and hates tomorrow, who pardons one day and condemns the next. Such a god is not my God! Our God is the God of Jacob, who changes not (Mal. 3:6).
Jacob had been living with Laban for twenty years. In those years he had endured many troubles. It was now time for him to leave Laban and return to his home in Canaan. He needed the word of grace renewed to his heart, so the Lord God said to him, “I will be with thee.”
· Jacob had begun to take root among the worldlings. So God called him away. Then he forced him to obey.
· Laban had begun to despise him (v. 2).
· Laban’s sons were envious of him (v. 1).
Those upon whom he had relied turned against him. Those whose good he had served opposed him. Those who were most indebted to him were envious of him. Therefore, the Lord God said, “I will be with thee!”
The journey Jacob was about to take was a dangerous one, and he knew it.
· Laban would not willingly let him go.
· Esau was sworn to kill him.
· Such a journey with such a large family would be very difficult.
· But God called; and Jacob must obey.
Therefore, the Lord God said to him, no matter what you have to face, “I will be with thee” Your future is full of grace!
III. Thirdly, let’s look at Genesis 31:5. HERE IS GRACE EXPERIENCED AND ACKNOWLEDGED. “The God of my father hath been with me.” I want you to see that every believer’s life is, from beginning to end, an unceasing experience of God’s grace.
Right up to the time that he was about to leave Laban, Jacob said, “The God of my father hath been with me.”
A. Jacob had not been a very gracious man; but God was with him nonetheless (Psa. 89:30-33).
The Lord chastened and corrected him; and the Lord protected and blessed him. Though Laban cheated him out of his wages ten times, God blessed Jacob! Everything done against him worked good for him.
When we will we ever learn to believe God?
· He is faithful!
· His grace and his faithfulness are unconditional!
B. Poor Jacob, though he was a believer, though he had experienced so much grace, when he was fleeing from Laban and heard that Esau was coming after him, he was distressed and full of fear, yet the Lord was with him (Gen. 35:3).
Thank God, he does not leave his people because of their fears. If he did, we would have all been castaways long ago.
Illustration: Peter walking on the water.
C. On the night of his wrestling with the Lord, when he was humbled, broken, and made to confess his name, the Lord God was with him.
He says, “God was with me in the way which I went!”
· God was with him in his mother’s womb.
· God was with him in his youth.
· God was with him when he fled from his father’s house.
· God was with him when he broke his thigh and broke his spirit.
· God was with him in Laban’s house.
· God was with him when he returned home again.
D. And on his death bed, old Jacob confessed more fully than ever that the Lord God has been with him all his days (Gen. 48:15-16).
· He had lost Rachel; but God was with him.
· He had endured famine; but God fed him.
· He had lost Joseph; but the Lord God was with him.
At the time he said, “All things are against me;” but now he eats his words. He now realized that God had never been more fully for him! Now he says, “The Lord God redeemed me from all evil.”
· If you are al believer, this will be your verdict upon your life at the end of your days - “God was with me!” He hath “redeemed me from all evil”. Every believer’s life is from beginning to end, an unceasing experience of God’s grace!
IV. Now, look briefly at Genesis 48:21. HERE IS GRACE TRANSMITTED. “Behold, I die: but God shall be with you.” The grace we have received and experienced at the hand of our God shall be transmitted to the generation that succeeds us.
We all tend to fret and worry needlessly about the future. We fret about our children. We worry about the future of God’s church. We concern ourselves too much about what will become of those who depend upon us. God will not cease to be gracious when we die! H yet has an elect remnant. He will be gracious to them. He will be with them as he has been with us.
A. We can and must trust our sons and daughters to the sovereign goodness of our God.
As I have already told you, God’s grace does not run in bloodlines. We cannot save our children, or oblige God to save them. But we can believe God.
Long before my daughter was born, I gave her to my God. On the night she was born, as I gave thanks to God for her, I gave her back to him. On the day Shelby and I brought her home from the hospital, together we dedicated that child to our God and committed her to his hands. I have for twenty-one years trained her in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And God never has yet rejected a child given to him in faith.
· Hannah and Samuel.
· Monoah’s wife and Samson.
· Elizabeth and John the Baptist.
· Mrs. Newton and John.
NOTE: I do not say he has not cast away the children of believing parents (David - Eli). But I do say, he has not cast away any child given to him in faith.
This is what I am saying - I believe God. Anything we refuse to give to him he will take from us. Anything we give him for the honor of his name he will receive.
Illustration: The Canaanite woman (Matt. 15:22-28).
Jairus (Lk. 8:41-42, 49-56).
The man carried of four - “When he behelf
B. The time will come when your pastor will be taken away from his flock; but God will be with you.
The church of God does not depend upon the preacher. The cause of God, the truth of God, the kingdom of God does not depend upon any preacher, or any man, no matter how great, how gifted, or how useful he is in his day.
Someone asked Spurgeon one time, “What will become of the Tabernacle when you are gone?” Mr Spurgeon said, “It will probably be the greatest of blessings when it happens. Many good men have clung to their places longer than they should have done, and have pulled down much that they had built up. It is well when the Lord says to such, ‘Friend, come up higher’.”
George Muller was once asked what would become of the great orphanage he had built for homeless children when he was gone. Muller replied - “God will use George Muller as long as he likes, and when he chooses to put him aside, he will use somebody else.”
If Abraham dies, God will be with Isaac. When Isaac dies, God will be with Jacob. When Jacob dies, God will be with Joseph. When Joseph dies, God will be with Ephraim and Manasseh. And when we die, God will have a people to bear his name; and he will never lack a champion to bear his banner among them. And the Lord will be with them. When Elijah was taken up, Elisha picked up his mantle and cried, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And God was with him. “Behold, I die, but God shall be with you!”
1. Grace is ours now - God says, “I am with you!”
2. Grace shall be ours in the future. The Lord’s promise is, “I will be with you!”
3. Grace has been ours all the days of our lives. With Jacob we look over the days of our lives and say, “The God of our fathers hath been with us.”
4. And the grace of God shall be with those who follow us in faith - “God shall be with you.”