Title: “I HAVE ENOUGH.”
Text: Genesis 33:1-11
Reading: Genesis 32:1-32
Subject: Contentment of the Reprobate and of Believers
Date: Sunday Morning - February 8, 1998
Rescue Baptist Church - Rescue, CA
Tape # U-46
Turn with me to Genesis 33. Let me give you the background while you are turning. You will recall that when Isaac was about to die he called Esau and told him to go out, kill a deer, and make a batch of his favorite stew, and promised when he returned that he would pass along to him the patriarchal blessing, the blessing of God’s covenant. But Esau had already sold his birthright and the blessing of it to Jacob.
Rebekah overheard the conversation between Isaac and Esau. Therefore she called Jacob and urged him to pretend to be Esau that he might deceive Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau. Because Isaac was an old man and nearly blind, their scheme worked. By the time Esau returned to Isaac, Jacob had already obtained the blessing.
Esau was so angry that he swore he would kill Jacob as soon as Isaac died. So Jacob fled from his brother and took refuge under the roof of Rebekah’s brother Laban. Laban was probably the only man living more conniving than Jacob. But that is another story. Jacob spent fourteen years serving his uncle Laban, married his daughters Leah and Rachel, and was greatly blessed of God in everything he touched. The Lord gave him a huge family, tremendous herds of sheep and cattle, and great wealth.
After serving Laban for fourteen years, Jacob said, “I’ve had enough of this” and resolved to return to the land of his fathers. Always the schemer, on his way home, he began to make plans to appease Esau. He sent huge presents, one on the heels of another. Yet, when he heard that Esau was coming with four hundred men to meet him, he was scared to death.
Now let’s read Genesis 33:1-11 together.
I call your attention to the fact that both Esau and Jacob declare themselves content with that which they possessed. What a rare sight this is. Seldom in my life have met with men or women who were content, who had enough to satisfy them. Here are two men who were content. More than that, these two men were brothers. Yet, the only thing in the characters of these two men which they had in common was the fact that they were content with what they possessed. In every other way, these two brothers were as unalike as two brothers could be. Both said, “I have enough.” I want us to look at these two content men and ask God the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher, as we do.
Proposition: I want to show you that there is a contentment to be dreaded and an contentment to be desired, the contentment of damnation and the contentment of faith.
Divisions: The title of my message is “I HAVE ENOUGH”. Here are the divisions of my message.
1. Esau was a lost, reprobate man, but a content man.
2. Jacob was a believing man who was content.
3. What was the difference between Jacob and Esau?
I. ESAU WAS A LOST, REPROBATE MAN, BUT A CONTENT MAN.
Esau had many faults, but greed was not one of them. He was a content man. When Jacob brought all the droves of gifts to him to appease his anger and wrath, Esau said, You keep all these things. I have enough. There are some important lessons for us to learn here.
A. Moral excellence and spiritual grace are not the same things.
Esau was a moral man, in many respects far more moral in his behavior than Jacob. That is sometimes the case. Men and women who do not know God at all are sometimes very moral, very respectable, and very impressive.
That is not usually the case. We are living in a society that is striving hard to redefine morality. These days fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are considered matters of individual preference. We are hearing from the news media everyday that it is all right to commit adultery, as long as a person doesn’t lie about it! Yet, it does sometimes happen that lost, unregenerate men and women are very moral in their behavior. When that is the case, morality itself is a commendable thing.
1. Morality promotes charity, philanthropy, and works of compassion for the sick, the needy, and the impoverished.
2. Morality helps to preserve society.
3. A sense of moral responsibility keeps people from abusing and misusing one another.
B. Yet, morality does have its evil side.
I have known some very moral men and women whose morality was positively abominable because their morality was utter self-righteousness. They made the mistake of imagining that since they lived in a moral manner, they were indeed good.
Do not be so foolish! “The Lord looketh upon the heart!” You, my friends, who are very moral outwardly, are yet as corrupt within as the rest of us. Your heart is a cesspool of iniquity. Your heart, like mine, is deceitful above all things. I am here to tell you that there is no goodness in you, none. The sooner you learn it, the better.
Esau learned many things which made him a man of exemplary moral character. He learned contentment. He learned to forgive injuries done to him. He learned to be a man of a magnanimous spirit. He not only forgave Jacob, he did everything he could to help and benefit him. Read the rest of this chapter, and you will see that Esau was a man of magnanimous character. I have known few like him. But Esau did not know the Lord! He was a lost, unregenerate, reprobate man, a an whom God had left to himself! He was content without Christ!
I have said all that to say this…
C. It is absolutely impossible for any man to know the heart and spiritual condition of another man.
There is a terrible tendency in us all to presume that we are smarter than God and that we really can discern between wheat and tares, that we really can distinguish sheep from goats. We cannot do so. We must make no efforts to do so. We need to quit trying to determine who is saved and who is lost, and seek to know the Lord ourselves.
I have said all that to say this as well…
D. You will have to have something better than your own morality and righteousness to find acceptance with the immaculately, infinitely holy Lord God (Matt. 5:20).
You and I can never be accepted of God until we are made perfectly righteous in Christ, made righteous by the work of God’s free grace, by…
II. JACOB WAS A BELIEVING MAN WHO WAS CONTENT.
As we shall see in just a minute, Jacob’s contentment was altogether different from Esau’s. But before I get to that, let me remind you that Jacob represents all of God’s elect. In fact, believers are frequently called “the sons of Jacob.”
· We are the sons of Jacob who are the redeemed of the Lord (Ps. 77:15).
· We are the sons of Jacob to whom the Word of the Lord has been sent (1 Kings 18:31).
· We are the sons of Jacob who are kept and preserved in grace and life and faith in Christ by the power and grace of our unchanging God (Mal. 3:6).
The word that Jacob used, when he said, “I have enough” and the word Esau used were two completely different words. When Jacob said, “I have enough”, he was referring to much more than his earthly, material riches. In fact, those things really had nothing at all to do with what he was talking about. If you have a marginal translation in the center column of your Bible, you will notice that Jacob said what Esau could never say. He said what every true believer can and should say, but it was something the unbeliever can never say. Jacob said, “ I have all things”. Truly, that person who has all things has enough!
John Gill, in his commentary says that Jacob’s words here mean I have “a sufficiency of all good things,…or ‘I have all things’, all kind of good things, everything that was necessary for him; the expression is stronger than Esau's; and indeed Jacob had besides a large share of temporal mercies, all spiritual ones; God was his covenant God and Father, Christ was his Redeemer, the Spirit his sanctifier; he had all grace bestowed on him, and was an heir of glory.”
My brother, whatever your outward circumstances may be, my sister, whatever your present condition is, I want you to understand that Jacob’s lot is your lot, and a good lot it is. Be sure you understand these two things. Oh, may God be pleased to seal them to our hearts!
A. “All things are of God” (2 Cor. 5:18).
Illustration: The Throne, The Rainbow, The Book, and The Lamb (Rev. 4, 5, and 10).
B. “All things are yours” (1 Cor. 3:21).
1. All Things Temporal - Good and Evil (Rom. 8:28; Pro. 12:21; Ps. 57:2-3).
2. All Things Spiritual (Eph. 1:3-6).
3. All Things Eternal (Rom. 8:16-17)
“The LORD is my poetion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
III. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JACOB AND ESAU?
When you understand the difference between Jacob and Esau, you will understand the difference between God’s elect and the unbeliever in all ages, ties, and circumstances.
A. Esau was a lost, unregenerate, reprobate man, a man who found everything he wanted in the world.
I understand the teachings of Holy Scripture regarding the sovereign, eternal, unalterable purpose of our God and rejoice in it. I will deal with that in a few minutes. For now, let me just say this - Esau was a lost man, not because God would not save him, but because he chose the world and the lusts of his flesh rather than Christ. And, my friend, if you perish in your sins, if you die without Christ, it will be your own fault alone, no one else’s. You will not be able to blame your eternal ruin on the purpose of God. If you are saved, that will be God’s fault and God’s fault alone. If you are lost, that will be your fault and your fault alone!
1. Esau despised Christ and the gospel of God’s free, saving grace in Christ.
That is what was represented in the birthright which he despised (Gen. 25:30-34).
2. God left Esau to himself.
Because Esau despised God’s birthright, because he despised God’s Son, because he counted Christ a common worthless thing, God left him to himself.
3. Moreover, the Lord God put the world in Esau’s heart to blind him (Ecc. 3:11).
B. Jacob was a man blessed of God as the everlasting object of his free grace in Christ.
I remind you, all that the Scripture says about Jacob as the object of God’s grace is true of all God’s elect. We are the sons of Jacob. As such, we gladly acknowledge that the only difference between Jacob and Esau is the difference that grace has made. “By the grace of God I am what am!” This is the difference between Jacob and Esau. This is the difference between you who believe and those who do not believe. See that you get it (1 Cor. 4:7).
1. God loved Jacob (Rom. 9:10-26).
2. The Lord chose Jacob (Ps. 135:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; John 15:16).
3. The Lord stopped Jacob in his way and revealed himself to him at Bethel.
You will recall that back in Genesis 28 Jacob was running away. But he ran smack into God! He ran into God because God put himself in the way! God met Jacob at Bethel (the house of God) and revealed himself, his grace, his mercy, and his glory in Christ. Oh, how I thank God that he crossed my path, stopped me in my mad rush to hell, and revealed his Son in me!
4. God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, wrestled with Jacob, made him confess who and what he was, and gave him a new name (Gen. 32:24-31)
· Beloved, now are we the sons of God.
· In Christ, all things are new. Christ has given us a new name, put us in a new family, and made us partakers of a new covenant!
5. The Lord God led Jacob all his life.
He said, “I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of!” Child of God, that is precisely God’s promise to us (1 Thess. 5:24; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 13:5).
1. This is your responsibility - You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You must choose him!
2. This is your only hope and mine - GRACE!
3. Here is the thankful testimony of every true believer. Every son of Jacob testifies, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”