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God is True to His Promises

This week we are heading into the second sermon of our “Beginnings” series. We are going to be taking a closer look at Jacob, the son of Isaac, and grandson of Abraham. As we prepare our hearts and minds for the teaching of Gods Word this Sunday, I want us to take a closer look at Genesis 28 where we find Isaac teaching his son Jacob to remember and believe in God’s promises.

 

Isaac said to Jacob, “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you become an assembly of peoples. May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham” (Genesis 28:3-4, HCSB).

 

These few sentences are filled with several beautiful parallels that we could (and should) meditate on. We should recognize the familiar language of Genesis 1 when God commands Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, or the use of the name “God Almighty,” which is the same name that God uses to identify Himself when He reaffirmed the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:1). But for now, I want to take a closer look at the latter part of these verses.

 

“May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”

 

At the time that Jacob is hearing these words generations have gone by since God gave this promise to Abraham. Not just a few days or weeks or even a year, but generations. Can you imagine? I mean we live in a world where we can have just about anything we want with the push of a few buttons, and we get a little annoyed if it takes longer than a few days to get here. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this, I love Amazon Prime as much as the next person, but I do think we should look to Isaac and Jacob as a reminder of what it looks like to faithfully wait on the Lord.

 

You see, the words in these verses give us some insight into Isaac’s thinking. His words tell us that even in the midst of waiting when they are living as foreigners in the land that God has promised them, they are faithfully trusting in the Lord. Their current circumstances did not deter them from the certainty of God’s promise. As a Christian, I want to wait faithfully for the Lord even when my circumstances don’t make sense. I want to trust His Word even when my feelings say otherwise.

 

So, what are some practical ways that we can faithfully wait on the Lord? I will give you three from Genesis 28.

 

  1. Remember His promises (28:3-4)

 

Recounting God’s past faithfulness encourages us to trust in His future promises. Isaac and Jacob only needed to consider their own lives to be reminded of this faithfulness. They were the outcome of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21:1-3). In God’s Word, He is repeatedly telling His people to remember because in the midst of darkness and uncertain circumstances we tend to become forgetful of all that God has done. So we should remind ourselves of His past faithfulness in our lives and as we do our confidence in Him and thankfulness for all He has already done will grow.

 

  1. Rely on God’s Sovereignty (28:15b)

 

Later on in chapter 28 Jacob has a dream, and in his dream, the Lord reaffirms the covenant. In doing so He says to Jacob, “Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (28:15). Did you notice who is doing the work of this promise? The Lord. He will fulfill all of the promises that He has made because He is our Sovereign Lord. Of course this doesn’t mean that we do nothing, because we are still called to be obedient (see Romans 1:5 for example), but it does remind us that God is faithful to His promises even when His people are unfaithful, and He does not rely on us to ensure that His Words are true.

 

  1. Worship Him in the waiting (28:22).

 

As we remember the Lord’s past faithfulness and trust in His sovereignty we should come to a place of worship. At the end of this chapter, we find Jacob in awe of the Lord, the God of Abraham, and his response is to worship Him. In a commentary by John MacArthur he says this, “We should see Jacob’s vow and offering as genuine worship based on confidence in God’s promise.”

 

So believer, are you faithfully waiting on the Lord and confidently trusting that His promises are true? I hope you will be encouraged as I was by our forefathers who believed that God was true to His promises and worshipped Him in the waiting.

Posted by Joey Tomlinson with