Saturday, January 14, 2012
ISAAC, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 1/14/2012
THE REALITIES OF A PILGRIM’S LIFE, Part 1b, Continued From Yesterday!
V. 14b-22 IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PROBLEMS
Even Isaac’s life wasn’t filled with all blessings and glories. He fought some real battles and so will you! Let’s look at a couple of the battles Isaac was required to fight.
V. 14b-16 He Faced Problems With The World - The Bible tells us that the Philistines were jealous of Isaac. Why? Because they could see the hand of God on his life! He was prospering while they were struggling! Because they were jealous, they tried to make his life hard by plugging up the wells that had been dug by his father Abraham. Their king even kicked Isaac out of the country! Just as it was with Isaac, the Lord’s pilgrims should never expect to be accepted and understood by the world. The fact of the matter is this: the Lord tells us clearly that those who live for Him will be persecuted as they pass through this world, (2 Tim. 3:12). Of course, some of the same tactics the Philistines used against Isaac are still being employed against the people of God! They become jealous when they can’t explain or understand our peace and joy under trials. They do their best to rob us of the blessings we have as children of God when they see us walking by faith through this world. They will seek to stop up the wells from which we are drawing through discouragement, intimidation and personal attacks. Yet, the Lord said it would be this way and He tells us to rejoice when this kind of situation arises in our lives, (Matt. 5:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:12-16). So, when the world turns on you, don’t be surprised or don’t get upset. Instead, rejoice in the Lord. It will make them worse, but God will be honored and He will see you through!
V. 17-22 He Faced Problems With His Wells - We already know that the Philistines plugged up the wells of Abraham, but they even fought with Isaac over the new well he was digging in the wilderness. Why all this fascination with wells? There are several reasons. The primary one being the fact that men and animals must have water to survive. In that country, being semi-desert, water was as valuable as oil is today! In those days, all waste lands were called “God’s lands”. If any man could live in a desert place, provide for his family and flocks and open a well, then that land was considered to be his land! In other words, a well was a statement of ownership! To fill in a well was an act of war! These Philistines hated Isaac so much that they declared war on him by trying to seize his lands and drive him away from that which was his! Notice the fights he had to undertake.
V. 18 He Had To Clean Out The Old Wells - Many years before, his father Abraham had passed through the land and he had dug some wells of water. He dug those wells to meet needs in his day and to pass them down to his son Isaac so that needs could be met in his days as well. The Philistines had come along and had plugged these wells to prevent Isaac from suing them. Notice that the Philistines didn’t want them for themselves, they just didn’t want Isaac to have them. He had to take the time to reopen those wells! These old wells speak to us of the spiritual resources that were uncovered and proclaimed by our spiritual fathers in days gone by. If we are not careful, the world will destroy everything that we have been given! Many of the wells from which our fathers drank have already been stopped! Think of it, there used to be a day when God’s people drank deeply from the well of praise and worship! The world has stopped that well by telling us that we should not be fanatics about Jesus. Our fathers opened for us the wells of Scripture, of salvation, of sanctification, of service, of the great fundamental doctrines of the faith! And the world has come along a tried to stop them up. Liberalism has tried to change our beliefs! There is a need right now for God’s people to re-dig the wells that the world has tried to stop up! We must contend for the old ways, if we do not, the old ways will die when we do!
V. 19-22 He Had To Contend For The New Wells - As he moved along in his pilgrimage, Isaac was always in the business of digging new wells. Every time he opened a well, his enemies tried to take it away from him. The water from the old wells were cool and refreshing, but more water was needed now. Therefore, new wells were dug! Three of those wells are mentioned here by name: 1. Esek - This word means “Contention”. 2. Sitnah - This word means “strife or hatred”. It has the idea of “laying in wait to ensnare someone”. The name Satan comes from the same root word. 3. Rehoboth - This word means “a wide open place”. It was at Rehoboth that the Philistines finally left Isaac alone! Everywhere the man went, he faced a fight! The Philistines tried to take that for which he had labored. The same is true in the world today. Look at the world, and you will see that they tried to take everything that belongs to the people of faith. They have highjacked Christmas and Easter. They even steal our language by talking about God in unspiritual and unscriptural ways . But, we must contend for the faith, (Jude 3). If we do not, then there will be not faith to pass down to the next generation, (2 Tim. 2:2), “Commit thou” means “to set before, or to set a table”.
For Isaac, the pilgrimage here was one fight after another! I can guarantee you that your journey through this world will not come without a fight as well. But, take a moment to look around you at the children. Then think outside the walls of this world about those who do not know the Lord Jesus. Remember, you are fighting for them! Every time we reopen a well the world has closed; every time we dig a new well for the needs of today; every time we defend the wells we have, we are serving the Lord, the lost and the little ones! It is a ministry that must be performed at all costs! If it isn’t soon, there will be nothing left to defend and nothing at all to pass down! We may have to fight for what our fathers believed and we may have to fight for what we believe, but the Lord watches over the whole matter and like he did for Isaac, He will make a place for you!
V. 23-25 IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PRIVILEGES
Isaac enjoyed the Lord’s provisions in his life and he also experienced some problems as well. But, these last few verses in our text let us in on the fact that pilgrim life is also marked by its privileges.
V. 24 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Words - The Lord appeared to Isaac and renewed His promises once again! There is no greater privilege than that of experiencing the Lord’s presence and hearing His voice. We have been given His Word to speak to our hearts, (Ps. 119:105), but we have also been given His Spirit and He speaks to us as well, (John 16:13). It was the voice of God that got the attention of Elijah (1 Kings 19:12). When He speaks, His sheep know Him, (John 10:3-4). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God ( Rom 10:17).
V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Worship - Isaac prepared an altar and went before his God in worship! This is a privilege enjoyed by those who know the Lord! What an honor it is to be able to enter into His presence to worship Him and to love Him, (John 4:23-24, Heb. 4:16)! When we stop to think of what we were before He found us...we bow in worship Him.
V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s World - Isaac was able to pitch his tent in the place God had marked off for him and he dwelt there. He was enjoying the blessings of God even while journeying through a hostile land. It is becoming increasingly clear that God’s true church is not wanted in this world. This is not our home and the natives of this world do not like us being here. But, the Lord has a way of bringing His best into our lives as we travel along. While our hearts beat for Heaven, and our feet walk through this foreign land, our Father attends our way with His blessings and He makes the pilgrimage glorious!
V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Water - Isaac and his servants dug a final well and enjoyed the water that flowed from it. After all the work unstopping Abraham’s well and after all the fighting over the new wells, Isaac is given a well of water that is all his. God has a way of giving us exactly what we need just when we need it. As you pass through this world, look for you a well! The Lord said that when He save you, He placed a well within you, (John 4:14). It is a spiritual well that will never run dry. Still, we need to find ourselves drinking from a spiritual well that never runs dry. Take the time, as you pass through this world, to avail yourself of the spiritual refreshment the Lord had placed within easy reach. I’m talking about the Word of God and prayer! Those two things will refresh the soul quicker than anything else! Are you drinking from the well?
Conc: So, pilgrims, keep marching! Keep heading toward that city that captured the hearts of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, (Heb. 11:10). One day we will take the last faltering step down here and we will set foot on the shores of home. Until then, keep looking to Him for your provisions. Keep trusting Him through all the problems. And, keep thanking Him for all the privileges you enjoy as His child. There may be days when the journey is rough, but there will never be a day when it isn’t worthwhile! “We are pilgrims, not settlers; this earth is our inn, not our home.“-( J. H. Vincent). So, let’s not settle down. Rather, let’s settle in for whether our journey be long or short, it will be glorious!
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah Lyrics
Written by- William Williams
Guide me O Thou great Jehovah, pilgrim thro' this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou are mighty, hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more,
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain, whence the healing waters flow;
let the fiery, cloudy pillar lead me all my journey thro';
Strong Deliverer, be Thou still my strength and shield,
Strong Deliverer, be Thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid, my anxious fears subside;
bear me thro' the swelling current. land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises I will ever give to Thee;
songs of praises I will ever give to Thee.
Friday, January 13, 2012
ISAAC, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 1/13/2012
THE REALITIES OF A PILGRIM’S LIFE, Part 1a
The Patriarch Isaac was a man who lived in the shadows. If you think about it, he lived his live first under the shadow of his great father Abraham, then he lived his live in the shadow of his great son Jacob. Abraham is the star of some 14 chapters of the book of Genesis and Jacob is the central figure of another 12 or so. But Isaac, is only featured in a handful of chapters. It is only here, in this 26th chapter of Genesis that we are allowed a glimpse into the life and work of this man.
Among the things we note about him is that he was a man of faith, (v. 2-5). In fact, he is listed in Hebrews 11:20 among the great heroes of the faithful. We can also see here that he, like the rest of us, was far from perfect, (v. 6-11), because he was guilty of committing some of the same sins that his father Abraham had committed. Another thing we notice about this man is the fact that he was a pilgrim. That is, he moved from place to place, like his father, not actually owning any of the land upon which he lived.
It is in his role as a pilgrim that Isaac pictures the child of God. If I may I remind you, the Bible teaches us very clearly that we are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world, (1 Pet. 2:11). The word “strangers” means “a stranger, a foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship”. And, the word “pilgrim” means, “sojourning in a strange place; a metaphor for one who sojourns on earth”. In fact, the Bible tells us that every saved person is a citizen of heaven, (Phil. 3:20, 1 Pet. 1:4-5).
Today, I want to examine the life of Isaac the pilgrim. Because in his pilgrimage through the world, encounters many of the same problems and he experiences many of the same blessings that cross paths with us as we journey toward glory. Let’s take a few minutes today to examine the life of this man, and as we do, I just want to point out The Realities Of A Pilgrim’s Life. There is help and hope in this passage today for everyone who is walking the pilgrim’s path!
V. 12-14a IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PROVISIONS
The Size Of The Provisions - We are told that Isaac enjoyed a 10,000% return on his investment! What makes this all the more astounding is the fact that this occurred during a time of famine, (v. 1). While everyone around him was going broke and starving to death, Isaac prospered. His crops flourished while the crops of others dried up. His flocks and herds grew while the flocks and herds of others starved and died of thirst. It seemed like Isaac had the golden touch.
The Source Of The Provisions - Some may have called it good luck, others may have looked upon Isaac and wondered how he did it, but the fact of the matter is this: God was just blessing him! Isaac wasn’t a better farmer than the other farmers. He didn’t know more about botany, horticulture or zoology than the other men around him. But, he did have an advantage, he knew God and that translated into blessings in his life when others were experiencing defeat! You see, when the famine arose, there was evidently a temptation within Isaac’s heart to flee to Egypt like Abraham had before him, (v. 2). However, in obedience to the Lord’s command, he stayed where he was, in the midst of that famine, and God honored his obedience! I would just like to point something out to every believer here today: the very fact that you know God in a personal way places you in a position to enjoy His wonderful provisions in your life! You may look at your situation today and say, “Friend, it sure doesn’t look like I’m receiving a 10,000% return on my investment! I’m saved, following the Lord and trying to be obedient, but I’m just about flat broke and everything is falling apart in my life!” Just because God isn’t paving your path with diamonds and giving you a new Rolls Royce every year doesn’t mean that He isn’t blessing you!
Look at it this way: you may have it as bad, or even worse, than those around you who aren’t saved, but you have something they do not have! You have a personal relationship with the Lord God of Heaven! What does that give you? Well, the list is almost endless, but a few of the benefits are:
1. Eternal salvation - never lost!
2. The presence of God in your life - never alone!
3. The power of God working in your life - never in a hopeless situation!
4. The promises of God active in your life - never without hope!
5. The Word of God to guide your life - never without direction!
The list could go on, but you think about it; if you are saved and your neighbor is not, who’s children have a better hope of heaven? What kind of a value do you on place on that? Would you rather have “money or the Master“? Well, if you have the Master, He will take care of all the real needs in your life anyway!
Isaac enjoyed the great blessings that he did because he was obedient to the command of God, (v. 2-4). The same thing holds true for you and me. If we will put God where He belongs: FIRST; then, He will see to the rest of our lives,( Matt. 6:33). No one said this life would be easy, in fact the Bible teaches the opposite, but, those who walk with God know that He is in control, “The unseen hand of providence“! What looks like the worst disaster you ever faced can be used of God to bring into your life some of the greatest blessings you have ever enjoyed, (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17).
TODAY”S HYMN and BLESSING!
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS by J. Oatman and E. Excell
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 1/12/2012
ABRAHAM GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE! Part 30b, Continued From Yesterday!
HOW HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE
In his life, Abraham was a wonderful example of what a believer should be, but even in his dying there are precious truths that can be seen in him that should mark all those who know the Lord Jesus!
He Laid It Down With Readiness - v. 8 - "He gave up the ghost" - There was not struggling to stay, but a simple releasing of life when it came time to go. He had lived a full and long life, 175 years, but when the time came to make the crossing out of this life into the next, Abraham did so with grace and serenity. Why? Because he had spent his life looking for a particular city. Not a city that can be found on this earth, but an everlasting city made by the hands of God in Heaven, (Heb. 11:10). Abraham knew that Sarah was waiting on him on the other side. He knew that the only way to reach that city and to be with Sarah again was to give up the ghost. That he did without fear, fretting or fighting. His deathbed scene was one of peace! Everyone in this room has looked beyond the years to a day when we too will make this crossing. It isn't something we discuss, but it does come to mind from time to time! I have noted that the passing years seem to bring the thought around more often. However, those who know the Lord have a great assurance when we look at the day of our departure! We have the Lord's promise concerning that day. For us, it will be a time of laying aside the temporary for the permanent, (2 Cor .5:1). It will be a time of leaving the land of the dying to enter the land of the living, (John 11:25-26). It will be a time of passing through the veil to stand in the presence of the Lord Himself, (2 Cor. 5:8). It will be nothing more that a "departure", (2 Tim. 4:6), from this life and an entrance into a new and better life in that same city Abraham looked for. Abraham knew it before there was even a Bible from which to read it! He knew it by faith and so do I! How about you?
He Laid It Down With Reassurance - The Bible tells us that he was "gathered to his people." This does not have reference to the grave! No, he was buried with Sarah in Canaan. His people had died in Haran and Ur. Abraham was gathered to those who had died before him in faith! He went to that place where those died in faith were waiting for him, (Luke 16:23)! They were all waiting for another One Who came into their midst with some glorious news one day! When Jesus died on the cross, He descended into Paradise with the glorious news that redemption had been purchased for all those who had died in faith! With that news, He lead them out of Paradise and into Heaven in a glorious parade of triumph and victory, (Eph. 4:8-10; 1 Pet. 3:19)! Somehow, Abraham knew this by faith! You and I have a better assurance that even Abraham had! He was to go to Paradise to stay until the price was paid. Neither he, nor anyone else, knew how long that would be! They were looking forward to that event. We look backward at that event today! It is finished! The way is opened and all those who died in faith are immediately gathered home to the presence of the Lord in Heaven!
HOW HE LOVED HIS LORD
A third characteristic of Abraham's life that is worthy of note is how he loved the Lord.
His Love Was Displayed - All through his life, he simply obeyed what the Lord told him to do! When the Lord said go, he went. When the Lord said do, he did. When the Lord said stay, he stayed. He obeyed even when the command was difficult and costly. He obeyed when every instinct within him told him to do the opposite. You see, the true essence of love for the Lord is that genuine love always manifests itself in obedience to God, regardless of what He says to do! This was a truth that became crystal clear because of the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, (John 14:15; 21). We can say anything we wish about the level of our love for Him, but the ultimate expression of our love for Jesus will be found in how we obey Him in whatever He tells us to do!
His Love Was Declared - As you read the Bible, you see the love of Abraham declared. But, it is never declared by Abraham! Isn't that strange? There are lots of people who want to tell us how much they love the Lord. Abraham didn't talk about it, he just did it! There is a big difference! However, the love of Abraham is declared in the Bible. It is mentioned by a man named Jehoshahat in (2 Chr. 20:7). God Himself talks of this man Abraham and his love for the Lord in (Isa. 41:8). Both of these references refer to Abraham as being a "friend" of the Lord. This means "one well beloved by another." You may wonder how I can make to leap from Abraham being called a friend of God to his love for the Lord. The answer lies in what Jesus said in John 15:14 and John 14:15. Taken together, those two passages tell us that one who is God's friend in one who is obedient to the Lord. And, those who walk in obedience are those who really love Him!
Conc: As you consider these characteristics from the life of Abraham, I wonder how your life measures up. How is your life being lived? Are you ready to lay it down the right way when the time comes? Do you really love the Lord this evening? These are extremely important questions that need to be addressed in your life and mine today. I don't want to be Abraham, but I do want to look at those areas in my life that could be changed to line up more clearly with what God found pleasing in his life. We should all want to glean the best of Abraham's characteristics and make them true in our own lives as well!
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“THERE IS A HABITATION”
Words: L. H. Jameson Music: J. H. Rosecrans
There is a habitation Built by the living God For all of ev’ry nation Who seek that grand abode.
O Zion, Zion, I long thy gates to see O Zion, Zion, when shall I dwell in thee?
A city with foundations Firm as th’eternal throne Nor wars nor desolations Shall ever move a stone.
No night is there, no sorrow No death, and no decay No yesterday, no morrow But one eternal day.
Within its pearly portals Angelic armies sing With glorified immortals The praises of its King.
TOMORROW WE WILL MOVE ON IN OUR STORIES TO ISAAC, THAN JACOB and JOSEPH!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 1/11/2012
ABRAHAM GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE! Part 30a
These verses record the end of a great life! Abraham was taken from among a pagan people and make the Father of the Faithful. He was taught the harsh lessons of faith and obedience. He suffered for God and he enjoyed the best God had to offer. In the end, his life is concluded by the words "and was gathered to his people."
As I consider the life of this great man, I realize that there are certain characteristics that were present in his life that need to be found in me as well today. I would like to point out just a few of those characteristics as we conclude our study of this great man of faith. As we come to the end of this study and to the end of Abraham's life, I see some similarities with what could have been said about him and what might be said about us when we too leave this world. These similarities are made clear by the characteristics I want to point out. So, while we have this time to look into the Word of God, let's consider this thought, "Abraham: Gathered To His People."
When someone dies, three things usually come up at some point during a discussion of the deceased individual's life. Those three things are: 1.) How they lived their life; 2.) Some of the events surrounding their death; and 3.) Where did they stand with the Lord. These are the three characteristics I want us to consider.
HOW HE LIVED HIS LIFE
It Was A Life Of Faith - One of the clearest and most striking things about Abraham's life is how he lived everyday and took every step by faith in God. His faith was not declared by him, but it was declared years later by the writer of the book of Hebrews - (Heb. 11:8). This is the kind of life that God wants everyone of His children to live - (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23; Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). If the people of God could ever learn to let go of their lives and leave them in the hands of the Lord, it would revolutionize our lives and forever end the struggles we have with worry and fear, (Phil. 4:6-7). Faith is not just for the super saint, it is for all believers. Even you!
It Was A Life Of Following - Heb. 11:9 tells us that the life of Abraham was one lived in the acts of following. Wherever the Lord pointed him, that was the direction he took. It would seem that Abraham had no life of his own, but that his life was one totally given over to the will of the Lord. A life spent following the Lord is a life that will always end up in the right place! Why? Ps. 37:23 teaches us that when God leads, the destination is assured!
It Was A Life Of Favor - Because Abraham walked in faith and followed the Lord regardless of where He led him, God abundantly blessed the life of this amazing man. He blessed him financially, militarily, physically, spiritually and He blessed Abraham's family as well. Of course, this had been the oft repeated promise that Abraham had been given by the Lord, (Gen. 12:2-3; 17:16; 22:17). God had promised to bless him and God did just that! I can guarantee you that a life lived for the Lord is a life that will not lack blessing! He may not bless you in the ways you want Him too, but I can guarantee you that He will bless your life in the ways that matter the most (Eph. 1:3). It is worthy of noting how the life of Abraham fleshed out the list of graces that are to characterize those who believe in the Lord (2 Peter 1:5-11). He had all of these great attributes in his life and it proved that a work of grace had been done in his heart! By the way, we are to be abounding in these things as well! Why? When we have them in our lives in abundance, they make us fruitful,(v. 8); they give us assurance of our salvation, (v. 9); they help prevent us from falling, (v. 10); they give us a glorious entrance into the kingdom, (v. 11).
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“OH, THAT WILL BE GLORY”
Lyrics and Music: Charles H. Gabriel
When all my labors and trials are o’er, And I am safe on that beautiful shore, Just to be near the dear Lord I adore, Will through the ages be glory for me.
O, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.
When, by the gift of His infinite grace, I am accorded in heaven a place, Just to be there and to look on His face, Will through the ages be glory for me. Refrain:
Friends will be there I have loved long ago; Joy like a river around me will flow; Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know, Will through the ages be glory for me. Refrain:
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps of Faith, 1/10/2011
WILT THOU GO WITH THIS MAN, Part 29
Abraham the old patriarch is dying. Before he does, he wants to find a bride for his son, Isaac. He sends a nameless servant to his relatives home to find this bride. The servant does what he was sent to do. He finds a bride for Isaac and succeeds in his mission returning home with a bride for his master’s son, Isaac. For Rebekah, her encounter with Abraham’s servant came down to one important question, “Wilt thou go with this man?”, (v. 58). She said, “I will go” and this response changed her life forever!
From a spiritual viewpoint, everything boils down to the very same question. You see, in this story, Abraham is a picture of God the Father. The Servant represents the Holy Spirit. Rebekah represents the church, or those saved by grace, and Isaac is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father has sent His Holy Spirit into this world to call out a bride for Jesus Christ, (John 16:7-11). Like Abraham’s servant, the Holy Spirit does not promote Himself, but He talks about Jesus and calls lost people to come to Him for salvation, (John 16:13-14). Those who have Jesus revealed to their hearts by the Holy Spirit, and hear Him say, “Wilt thou go with this man?”, are brought face to face with the greatest question man will ever face! How you answer that question determines where you spend your eternity!
Today, I want to look at this passage from Rebekah’s perspective. I want to point out a few thought that should make saying “Yes!” the answer to the question: “Wilt thou go with this man?” a little easier.
I. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CLEAR TO REBEKAH
Isaac Is A Man Of Mystery - The name of this man is not even revealed to Rebekah! This servant had to travel over 500 miles to teach Rebekah about Isaac with his bag of riches. To a lost person, Jesus Christ can be mysterious and frightening. Lost people have all kinds of questions and fears The best way to learn about Jesus is to come to Him by faith. The Spirit of God will teach us all about Him as we journey toward home! The Holy Spirit is in the teaching business -( John 16:13-14). We will never get to know Jesus completely until we get home!
Isaac Is A Man Of Money - Everything Abraham owns is in the hand of the servant, (v. 35-36) and will belong to Isaac. Laban is very interested in this! Everything the Heavenly Father owns has been given to His son, (Rom. 8:17), and He shares all He has with His Bride (The Church). The scope of this thought is seen in Deut. 10:14; 1 Cor. 10:26. Look up and look around, everything you see belongs to Jesus and to us ( 1 Cor. 2:9)! He is well able to care for His bride!
Isaac Is A Man Of Matrimony - V. 4, 34-49 - Isaac is a man looking for a bride! It was every woman’s desire, in that day, to marry and have children. For Rebekah this must have been thrilling! Out of all the women this rich, eligible man could have chosen, God chose her to be Isaac‘s bride! Don’t take the call of God to be saved lightly! To be called to come to Him for salvation is an honor beyond compare! When you think of man’s lost condition,( Eph. 2:1-3; 12) and what the Lord wants to do for him, (Eph. 2:13-22), it is an honor to be called and chosen to come to him for salvation!
II. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CONCEALED TO REBEKAH
Her Road Is Concealed - She does not know what lies between where she is and where he is! There are many unknowns along the way, but the servant has all the necessary resources to make the journey successful! Some of the questions she might have had were known by the servant! None of us knows what will happen between here and Heaven! But, we can rest in the sure knowledge that God knows and plans the road ahead, (John 10:4; Ps. 37:25), and that He will go with us all the way home, (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)! Not a single one who begins the journey with Jesus will fail to make it home if they remain faithful and obedient! The road may be rough and it may be fraught with peril, but we are ALL be going through them with the help of the Lord!
Her Reception Is Concealed - When he sees her what will he think of her? Will she be accepted? Will she be loved? Notice that all her fears were in vain, (v. 67)! Friends, you need not wonder whether Jesus will have you or not. If you will come to Him, He will never turn you away, (John 6:37)! If you are already saved, you need not fear His rejection at the end of the journey!
Her Reward Is Concealed - What is in this for Rebekah? Is this offer for real? If I could answer her, I would tell her, “Rebekah, you get a new Father, a new Family, a new Faith, a new Fortune, a new Future, and a new Fame. Rebekah, you get more than you could ever imagine when you get Isaac!” The world, the flesh and the devil, will try to tell the believer that there is no payoff in serving God. But, you remember this: the rewards for coming to Jesus are without number and without limit, (1 Cor. 2:9; Rom. 8:32; Eph. 1:3).
III. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CERTAIN TO REBEKAH
She Is Willing To Choose - v. 58 - Even though she does not know all there is to know about Isaac, she knows that she wants to be with him. She doesn’t have all the information, but she has enough to choose! He sounds just like the man she wants to be married to. Salvation boils down to your wanting Jesus more than you want anything else in life. Being saved means coming to a place where you are willing to choose Jesus over your sins; Heaven over Hell; God over Satan. Salvation is about you reaching a place where you want to be free more than you want to be bound! Salvation is about you coming to a place of faith in Jesus Christ alone, (Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9). Rebekah looked around and said, “I want him more than anything I have here. I will go!” Salvation comes down to your being willing to make Jesus your choice, after He has made you His choice, (John 15:16)! Don’t allow anything to stand between you and your soul’s salvation! Nothing you can name in this world or in the world to come is more valuable than your being saved, (Mark 8:36-37; Mark 9:43-48)!
She Is Willing To Change - Rebekah has come to the place where she esteems Isaac as being more valuable than anything else in her life. She is willing to turn her back on everything to go be with Him. She is willing to live in a new place, in a new way, under new management! This is the essence of salvation. It is a total life change, because it is a new life… period, (John 3:3, 7; 2 Cor. 5:17). Coming to Christ means coming to the place where you are willing to turn your back on the old life forever and embrace a new way of living and walking (Eph 4:22-24). Many balk at this point, but a heart of repentance is a necessary component of salvation,( Luke 13:3)!
She Is Willing To Commit - Rebekah has reached the place where she is willing to commit the rest of her life to being Isaac’s wife. She is willing to give her all to him! Salvation is not about mere profession, it is about total commitment! There is no place in the church for so-called “easy-believism”. Salvation is a radical commitment to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of your life, with no reservations! Salvation comes when a lost sinner is convicted of his sins and is drawn to Christ. When that sinner believes the Gospel and repents of sin, confesses Jesus as Lord, and puts Him on in baptism, he or she is saved! Salvation is a total, radical, permanent commitment!
Conc: Rebekah made her decision to go to Isaac. As a result, she was loved, blessed and lived a happy, joyous life. It all happened because she said, “I will go!” when she heard the question, “Wilt thou go with this man?” What about you my friend? Jesus is calling, isn’t He? In your heart, you are hearing that same question asked today, “Wilt thou go with this man?” Well, will you? If you will come to Jesus, He will save you and change your life forever. You and you alone can decide what you will do with Jesus!
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
Jesus is standing at your heart's door. Standing and knocking, He's knocked before;This is the question we face once more: What will you do with Jesus? At your sad heart He is knocking still, Longing to enter your soul to thrill; You must accept or reject His will: What will you do with Jesus? Oh, will you leave Him alone outside? Or, will you choose Him whate'er betide? This is the question you must decide: What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; Someday your heart will be asking: What will He do with me?
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