Richvale Church
Sunday, September 5 2021
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  • Good morning, we have been in a sermon series entitled, The Journey... …

    Today we are going to be looking at... How we can Trust God with the Big Things.
    There have big some big things happening around us recently … This past week we saw the damage of hurricane Ida..as it hit the east coat.. I was reading that it could cost up to 95 billion to clean up all the damage
    We have the Dixie fires have now burned over 800 000 acres of land and is only 55% contained..
    We still dealing the uptick of Covid Delta variant..
    we have unrest oversees in Afghanistan..
    And on top of this we have regular life.. it adds up doesn’t it?

    Over the past several weeks we have been looking at life of Jacob...

    Jacob is one of those characters in the Bible that we can relate too…

    He has been called the Bible’s “everyman”… because every man can relate to his struggles..

    If you remember .... His mother Rebekah had this unusual pregnancy where babies were literally wrestling within her... It got so bad that she ask the— Lord to explain what is happening inside of her... and so...God tells Rebekah that there are two nation within her.... and the older son will server the younger...

    it was an unusual pregnancy was followed by an unusual birth... When the twins are born Jacob is latching onto the heal of his brother Esau...

    Isaac and Rebekah name Esau... Red head.. because of his physical appearance and they name Jacob supplanter or heal grabber..

    Jacob lived up to his name... His whole life is spent wrestling for the blessing and the affirmation of his father..

    Jacob was a schemer and the only way that Jacob is able to get his Father's blessing is by pretending to be his older brother… When that moment came where Isaac is in old age… and short of sight … Rebekah and Jacob together pull of with out a hitch this plan to deceive Isaac… Immediately after blessing Esau arrived.

    Esau is visibly upset and vows revenge and threatens to kill Jacob... Isaac and Rebekah send Jacob to find refuge with Laban--- (Rebekah brother).. For The next 20 years Jacob works for Laban.. during this time .. Laban deceived Jacob into marrying Leah instead than Rachael…and changed his wages multiple times…Jacob‘s Journey of transformation is not a straight line.. his path is marked by these movement of back and forward form control, manipulation and deception…

    In-spite of all this mess… God blesses Jacob during this with a huge flock that surpasses side of Laban's herds…We are told that Jacob’s heart is changed towards Jacob.. and they set up an altar — and make a covenant…

    The agreement was that they would go their separate ways..Both parties would not cross over the boundary lines into each other territories… Basically, Laban and Jacob go there separate ways.

    God had spoken to Jacob and told him that it was time to head back to his family in Canaan… … Jacob finds himself in this place of being between a rock and a hard place… His predicament… is that Laban is behind him and his brother Esau in front of Him… the last thing he had heard from Esau was that he was going exercise revenge --

    Jacob has to trust God with some Big things.. Jacob knows that the only way is forward…

    Faith is not the absences of uncertainty — faith holds on to the belief that even though we might face turbulence…

    ….God goes before us… He is not only in our todays but he is also in our tomorrows....

    How do we trust God with the Big Things?
    We nee d to …

    1. Deepen the Foundations of our Faith

    In 1889, American journalist and humorist Edgar Nye introduced the phrase

    "A mile wide and an inch deep."

    He was referring to a river found in the Midwestern, called the Platte River.
    The Platte is a muddy, wide, shallow, meandering stream with a swampy bottom, these characteristics made it too difficult to ever be used as a major navigation route.
    If our Faith in Jesus is a mile wide and only an inch deep.. it is not going to survive the storms of life…
    Solid foundations are built on the Bed Rock… In the middle east you can go down as far as 30 Feet before hitting...bed Rock...

    Jacob leaves Laban and heads towards his family in Canaan and the angels of God met him…

    Genesis 32:1–2 ESV
    Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

    Let’s stop and contemplate this for a moment...

    We need to remember there are angels with us.... they exist… we are not alone..

    The puritan John Owen pointed out that God created two family… humans and angels… angels have their role and place...

    Even though Angels aren’t the main thing they have supporting roles in creation..

    We are told that the “angels of God”… met Jacob.. . it carries with it … military overtones.. It speaks of heaven host of angels that come along side …to protect and defend..Jacob...

    You may Remember when the King of Aram got so mad at Elijah and he sent a whole army capture him…When Elijah servant woke up in the morning he saw chariots and horses surrounding the city.. He feared and he said to Elijah…What shall we do… And Elijah answered —Those who are with us an more than those who are with them.. Elijah prayed that his servants eyes were opened.. and when the servant looked again… He saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha..

    We need to be reminded when we face the Big things that God’s own angels have your back…
    Psalm 91:11 ESV
    11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

    This is not the first time that God pulled back the curtain … to the angelic world...Remember when Jacob that awesome vision of the staircase with angels ascending and descending Jacob says this Bethel … the house of God…

    Jacob once again has this Theophany this appearance of God… this angelic visitation and he declares.. this place the camp of God…then he name the place Mahanaim.. which mean Two camps…

    This significant… because Jacob recognizes there is his camp ...and then there is God’s camp..

    There is the camp of Fear and there is the camp of Faith..

    We Deepen our Foundations of Faith…

    a. Identify areas where we are living out of fear...

    When we are living out fear.. we are no longer trusting God with the big things.

    Genesis 32:3–7 ESV
    And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’ ” And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,

    Jacob sends messengers before him to Esau.. to the land of Edom.

    Jacob is anxious about meeting his brother... He also knows its unavoidable..

    The message is that I have been with Laban this whole time...I have oxen, donkeys, and servants… if you need anything… I can give it to you... The messengers returned to Jacob and said... Esau is coming to meet you and he has about four hundred men with him...

    His servants report caused Jacob to become greatly distressed.. the reason is that 400 men… was the common size of a small militia.. there was a strong possibility that Esau has plans to attack.. his family..

    There is the camp of Fear.... where we live out lives by expecting the worst possible outcomes...

    We are told that Jacob looses his peace and he comes greatly distressed..

    The Hebrew phrase means... to be locked up, restricted, hampered, constricted, be depressed, worried...

    There are two Camps.. the camp of fear..and the camp of Faith..…

    The good news camps are not permanent fixtures…

    Jacob choses to live in fear… and so he divides his divides his family and possessions into two camps.. in order to make a quick escape...

    He is expecting the worst outcome… Faith is the opposite of Fear… Faith and fear can’t exist together…

    We need to remind ourselves when fear comes our way…

    2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
    7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
    The way that we handle fear is to....

    b. Identify Areas where God is Present

    Faith Looks for the faithfulness of God..
    When you think about God favor and grace on Jacob it is incredible… There are several times where you would imagine that Jacob would have been disqualified from the blessing....
    God is still saying Jacob I have chosen you… there is no plan B… you are It!!
    He has the Abrahamic Covenant.. God himself has blessed Him… Everywhere Jacob looked he could see God’s hand of favor...
    Jacob .. basically walked into Haran with the shirt on his back... He now has family, flocks servants.. He is affluent. remember Laban's son were jealous of him.. On top of this God had spoken to Jacob...
    If we look for God we will find him.
    How do we trust God with the Big Things?
    We need to …
    1. Deepen the Foundations of our Faith

    2. Devote ourselves to a Faith filled Prayer life

    When we talk about Faith filled Prayers — It is about seeing God for who he really is...
    There are two kinds of magnifying: microscope magnifying and telescope magnifying. The one makes a small thing look bigger than it is. The other makes a big thing begin to look as big as it really is.
    When David says, “I will magnify God with thanksgiving,” he does not mean, “I will make a small God look bigger than he is.” He means, “I will make a big God begin to look as big as he really is.”
    One thing that seems to repeat in history is that it often takes adversity to lead us to prayer. This is true in the case of Jacob… When Jacob is faced with a Big Issue…It brings him to place of prayer….
    If you were to look through Genesis at all the prayers…Noah, Abraham, Joseph… Whose prayer would have the most substance… be the most compelling… Well it is Jacob’s prayer…What makes Jacobs prayer so great is that it is prayer from the heart… by the way those are the best kind of prayers…
    His prayer is a Faith filled prayer..
    Genesis 32:9–12 ESV
    And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
    Lets look at few things about this prayer..

    a. JACOB’S Prayer Addressed the Sovereign God..

    Jacob address the God of Abraham.. the God of Isaac… And His God…God is a Sovereign God IS IN CONTROL AND who speaks.... When you think that—JACOB’S FATHER IN LAW.. Laban had idols… in his tent… those where his gods...— who he prayed too…regularly… but that did not make a difference.. There are some problems idol worship...
    They are Powerless.
    When Jacob and his family fled from Haran.. Rachael actually took Laban’s idols as souvenirs
    listen — there is a problem here...
    Any God that you pack up and take with you is way too small…The second problem is that
    2. Idols are mute..
    They don’t hear when you spoken too … and or will they answer you..… Paul told the Christians in Corinth… that when they became Christians they were delivered from mute idols…
    There a huge difference between when a Christian prays and anyone else prays… Do you know what is?
    We pray to the living God.. who hears and answers prayer… God’s phone number is
    Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
    3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
    Jacob says your are the God who said it is time to leave your family..
    Secondly his

    b . Prayer focused on Promises

    Jacob reminds God of the promises at Bethel.. Where God says that He is going to give the land to Jacob and his off spring…

    Jacob reminds God of his word…

    The only way that this promise can be fulfilled is if they are alive..

    If Esau destroys Jacob and his family as Jacob fears, then God will have broken His promise

    c . Prayer declares God's faithfulness

    Jacob in this prayer expresses his deep gratitude to God. Steadfastness and faithfulness...

    Faithfulness looks back to past action of what God has done…Jacob looks over the past 20 years of his life. He sees the grace of God..
    Genesis 32:10 ESV
    10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.
    Jacob sees “Gods deeds of faithful love.” We all have experienced “God’s deeds of faithful love”

    When moved to the States we had 5 suite cases… 3 Children and boat load of faith… I remember driving a U-haul to our house in Charlotte… first all wondering how they ever gave me the keys to drive this rig… massive truck.. by the way their certain roads you can’t drive on — in upstate New York… I nearly took out a 200 year old bridge…

    I remember thinking how did we ever accumulate so much stuff… God provided for us… God was faithful… when we step out in faith...

    The fact that Jacob had nothing when he arrived in Haran and was now able to divide his camp into two camps.. is a testament to e God’s faithfulness.

    At the close of 1 Thessalonians where Paul talks has been talking about second coming of Jesus.. He says

    1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV
    24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
    Let that sink in —God who has call you to himself in Salvation — will be faithful… He will surely do it...
    lastly Jacob

    d . Prays for deliverance

    JACOB PRAYS that he is DELIVERED FROM THE HAND OF ESAU.... It is a petition… He says “Please deliver me from the hand of my brother..”
    THE hand —Speak s power or possession of controlling influence...
    The reason this is a powerful prayer.. is because it is heartfelt… it is full of faith ...
    We need … I prayers should be heart felt.. he says… I am fearful that Esau will come and attack me and my family.... BUT YOU SAID.. "I will surely do you good make your offspring as the sands of the sea that can not be numbered...
    When we prayer we need to believe.. Jesus said in
    Mark 11:24 ESV
    24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
    Prayer needs to be accompanied with faith...
    George Mueller, a great man of faith and prayer - He ran an orphanage in England and experience many miracles..
    Mueller was once asked what was the most important part of prayer. He replied: “The 15 minutes after I have said, ‘Amen.’ ”
    Prayer need to accompanied with Faith...
    How do trust God with the big things.
    We need to …
    1. Deepen the Foundations of our Faith
    2. Devote ourselves to a Faith filled Prayer life

    3. Desire Our hearts to be Transformed

    When it comes to walking by Faith… I would say that Jacob has his training wheels on… He is still trying figure it our and learning what this means… to trust God with everything.... You and I do the same things… There are certain things we say God you’ve got that… then there other things that we have not surrendered over too him…Maybe you have laid it down at the altar — but you always seem to pick up...

    Jacob is still trying to fix the problem… and so he assembled more than 550 animals that he arranged into five groups of goats, sheep, camels (and some calves), cattle, and donkeys.

    We told...
    That night Jacob and the he sends gifts to his brother with clear instructions...
    Genesis 32:16–17 ESV
    16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’
    Jacob deploys a strategic plan.. he instructs his servants that when they meet Jacob... don't say anything until he asks... Rather wait until he is reponds…
    He wanted to Overwhelm Esau…with the size of this huge flock...
    JACOB says don's say anything... but wait for him to respond... let him ask who do you belong? and where are you going?.. only then reveal who you are...
    Jacob staged the gift ON PURPOSE.. HE space them in herd/droves… so that Esau would have just enough time to admire on set of animals and interact with the servants - receive the gift… just before the next group arrived
    Genesis 32:20 ESV
    20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”
    The goal was to appease the anger of Esau..soften any hard feeling before he arrived… each said your brother Jacob is coming..
    The Hebrew word used here, _kaphar_—”let me appease him”… literally MEANS “to cover over” The same phrase is often used in the OT to describe atonement—the covering over of sin.. Jacob is trying to atone for his own sins…
    That night Jacob sends his family accross the ford of Jabbok "he sends them accross the stream" -- he is left alone..
    Jacob was alone and we told that a man appeared and wrestled with him until day break..
    Jacob wrestles with the mysterious man and he was not going to give up in the struggle... The angel could not prevail against Jacob.. An s o he touched his hip socket and pulled it out of joint as he wrestled with him..
    When Ryan was in High School he tried wrestling as a sport... I never knew that there were so many injuries.. and dislocating a shoulder actually.. normal... I am told that the pain of dislocating any joint is excruciateing pain..
    The angel said to Jacob... let me go because it is daybreak..and he said I will not let go unless you bless me... Jacob would not let go.... Then the man said your name should no longer be called Jacob but Israel... because you have striven with God and have prevailed...
    Jacob ask what is your name? We are not given an answer... but rather a response.. Jacob says... I have seen God face to face and my life has been delivered... Who is this man... there are various time where we see images of God incarnate and this one of those times...
    There is this discovery in this verse we mustn't miss out on.. We are told that Jacob wrestles with a man.. it is kind is vague...is it a man an angel.. Jacob himself was uncertain at first.. but as the the night continued Jacob realizes that this was extraordinary -- He becomes convinced that his opponent was God himself... That this was God in human form.... now we not sure... if this is preincarnate Christ... who appears in human form... or whether it is an antitype...anticipating the the incarnation of Christ..
    At this point the Lord blesses Jacob... the whole time he was seeking affirmation and "God the Father affirms. him.
    Then Jacob names the place Penuel... the face of God...because in that place Jacob saw God face to face and he was spared... the sun came up and Jacob walked away with a limp.. **from tht day Jacob walked with a limp...**
    When you think about Jacob his whole life was seeking the approval of his father Isaac.. He never got the affirmation that he longed for from his father... So he spends his whole life wrestling... for blessing...

    c. Depend on God..

    This event is the Climax of a life time of struggling.. Throughout Jacobs life... he fought for everything... He strove... He pushed to get ahead.. He pushed to succeed... He held on... regardless of the cost.. The only way that God could get his attention is to literally pull his leg out of joint... Every step... he now took he would remember that he needs God... Finally --He learned the secret to let go... being blessed is not holding on its letting go... Jacob names this place.. Peniel... because here he saw the God... the face of God is to be understood as a figure of speech..to describe a personal encounter...

    God shows weakness in order to rescue Jacob...
    This reminds of another occasion where God demonstrated weakness... God took on human weakness through the incarnation.... When Christ was on the cross....he took on weakness.. The reason that
    God was overcome by weakness so that you and I would be delivered from power of sin.. This is climax in the story of Jacob... His whole life he had been striving... God said let go...
    T/s How do trust God with the big things.
    We need to …
    1. Deepen the Foundations of our Faith
    2. Devote ourselves to a Faith filled Prayer life
    3. Desire Our hearts to be Transformed

    4. Develop an attitude of Humility.

    a. Jacob prepares his family

    Genesis 33:1–2 ESV
    And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.
    Jacob sees his brother on the distant horizon moving towards him… He plans for the encounter…. He divides his family --- he places his family behind him... servants... Leah and her children... then Rachael and Joseph... at the back...
    Jacob has done everything in his power.. --- He has divided up his family --- He has sent gifts ahead with his servants ---He has wrestled with the Lord. --- He Has gathered his family
    But some thing is Different..
    JACOB is now in the front of his family… He is taking responsibility.. He is before them... bowing down several times.. as he approaches Esau..
    In the ancient world..
    One way that a person showed respect for a superior was by bowing to the ground. To magnify the honor being given and the subservience of the person who bowed..
    Andrew Murray said that
    “Humility is perfect quietness of heart...It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.” Andrew Murray
    Jacob has moving from striving to surrendering… He is now facing life head on..

    b. Jacob no longer running

    Something amazing happens when we stop striving..
    Genesis 33:4–7 ESV
    But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down.
    Jacob is hoping that all his effort has paid off...
    The scripture says But Esau ran out to meet Jacob and embrace him.. and fell on his neck and kissed him... It is a very touching seen.. and they Wept... these are tears of reconciliation...
    When Esau looked up he saw all the woman and children who with Jacob... and he says who are these with you? Jacob response these are the Children that God has graciously blessed me with... Then the family came before Esau and introduced themselves to Esau...
    Esau then says ...What is it with this gift that you sent? What was the purpose of that? Jacob replies to find favor in your sight!! Esau says, "I have enough brother keep it for yourself"
    Esau had no use for Jacobs gift!!
    Jacob was trying to atone for his sin with his own gifts.. The bible tells us there is only one sacrifice that can atone for sin…and that is what Jesus accomplished on the cross..
    Hebrews 10:12 ESV
    12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
    Jacob says something amazing.. Please accept my gift.. because seeing your face is like seeing the face of God...and you have accepted... I have experienced grace... the gift is pale in comparison to what has been received.. Jacob recognizes that God has been gracious to him...
    The Journey of Jacob brings hims to the point of grace...
    Your and my journey bring brings us to to the place of Grace… Jacob learned there were two Camps… camp of trusting in himself and living in fear… In this camp you constantly striving and trying to hold on to what you have … or there is another camp of Faith… letting Go and trusting God...
    Jacob had these moment — where he encountered God and changed his life.. As I look back on my life and ministry.. I can tell you there have been these defining moments… where God has met me.. today could be one of those days for you...
      • Genesis 32:1–2ESV

      • Psalm 91:11ESV

      • Genesis 32:3–7ESV

      • 2 Timothy 1:7ESV

      • Genesis 32:9–12ESV

      • Jeremiah 33:3ESV

      • Genesis 32:10ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 5:24ESV

      • Mark 11:24ESV

      • Genesis 32:16–17ESV

      • Genesis 32:20ESV

      • Genesis 33:1–2ESV

      • Genesis 33:4–7ESV

      • Hebrews 10:12ESV

      • Download

        Church Online

        September 12, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        is transitioning

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