What God Has Given Us As Parents

What God Has Graciously Given Us

Genesis 33:5

Audio MP3

July 13, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (James 1:17)


A.    I wonder just how we see our families?


1.      How do we see all those that take up so much of our lives?

2.      As just people, children, infants, teenagers, elderly?


a.       Maybe as YOUR accomplishment?

b.      Or, as a burden? Or as an interference? Or even as a curse?


B.     As we prepare to dedicate two beautiful new babies unto the Lord of heaven…

C.     Let’s see if we can learn from an old man in the Bible, named Jacob

D.    Who discovered what his family actually was, and where they actually came from

E.     And how to raise them!


II.    Background


A.    Jacob


1.      A very famous Bible character

2.      He was the son of Isaac, and the grandson of Abraham!


B.     A Self-Made Man


1.      A natural born hustler – everything he wanted, he got – by hook, or by crook – he got what he wanted!


a.       A beautiful wife named Rachel

b.      He had 12 children – 11 boys and 1 beautiful daughter


2.      For 96 years Lived by his own wits and by his own abilities!!!

3.      Much successes and wealth


C.    Never had much time for God


1.      The God of Abraham and Isaac would show up in Jacob’s life from time to time, to remind him to trust in HIM, and to follow HIM

2.      But, to Jacob, God had never done much for him

3.      Jacob always had “conditions” to his relationship with God – “If you this, or IF you that…” (Gen 28:20-21)


a.       And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and [IF GOD] will keep me in this way that I go, and [IF GOD] will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

b.      So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:


D.    Finally, it all came to a head, one long, lonely night in Genesis 32:24-31


1.      Everything seemed to be going just fine, until one day, when everything came crashing down around him – like it usually does!

2.      You see, he made loads of enemies along the way


a.       He robbed his twin brother, Esau of both the birthright, and the spiritual blessing handed down from Abraham, and Isaac.

b.      Took advantage of his uncle Laban

c.       Upset his father, Isaac, for lying to him, and tricking him into giving his blessing that was intended for Esau


3.      And NOW, his own twin brother was coming, with 400 armed men – to pay Jacob back for all the wrongs he had done against him (32:6-8)

4.      Things he had done years before were now catching up with him

5.      Jacob was backed into a corner – God does that from time to time – THANK GOD!

6.      About to lose everything, especially his own life

7.      With everything now at risk, he remembers God, and finally grabs a hold of HIM (32:9-12, 24-31)


a.       Wrestles with God

b.      All night

c.       All alone

d.      He couldn’t face tomorrow without GOD’s blessing


8.      Discovers that Faith alone, in God alone, is the only life changing faith that works!


E.     It was THEN as we shall see, that Jacob realised


1.      Just how much he needed God

2.      What great wealth he had all along

3.      And WHERE all his wealth actually came from!


4.      Some of you have great abilities – and like Jacob, you can take the bull by the horns, so to speak – but you have never admitted to where all your successes came from, and you forget the wealth that God has graciously given to someone like YOU!

5.      This morning, we need to do some wrestling with our pride, and allow God to back us into a corner, and cause us to SEE just how wealthy we really are in Christ!


III. Message – What HAS God Graciously Given Us? As Parents, and As People


A.    The Riches of a Walk with God (32:31) – THE most important GIFT God gives anyone


1.      It was an open invitation – always has been!

2.      Finally, after 96 years of stubbornness, Jacob finally learned how to do it right

3.      It was not something Jacob did by nature

4.      No more rituals, no more fake prayers, no more outward shows and performances

5.      Jacob learned to walk with God


a.       Desperately (32:24-26)

b.      Humbly (32:31)

c.       Prayerfully – by spending time with God

d.      If you are a parent, you a busy – but you need time with God!


B.     The Gift of Humility (Genesis 33:1-3)


1.      No one could break Jacob’s pride and stubbornness and arrogance and self-centeredness

2.      Except God

3.      7 times Jacob bowed himself, publically to the earth in front of his brother – honouring Esau!

4.      God gave Jacob this great gift of brokenness – meekness – humility

5.      THAT is what Christ will do to you, if you will LET HIM

6.      Jacob was a different man than Esau had ever seen before

7.      If God has NOT broken you yet, you have to wonder if Christ dwells within you!


a.       Oh that we would humble ourselves before GOD has to humble us

b.      And humble us HE WILL!


C.     The Riches of Forgiveness (Genesis 33:4, 8, 9)


1.      What a priceless gift that GOD gave him that late night in his tent, alone

2.      Because Jacob had finally broke down and admitted just how much he needed God, and how wrong he had been living without Him, God forgave him 96 years of stubborn, prideful sin!

3.      God CHANGED Jacob’s name – how he would be known from now on!


a.       God no longer called him Jacob, the trickster, the hustler, the schemer, the selfish jerk

b.      God changed his name to Israel – God’s Prince

c.       Only forgiveness restores our relationship with Almighty God


4.      Not only had God forgiven Jacob

5.      But even Esau had forgiven him too! Esau probably never really discovered HOW he was able to forgive his evil, twin brother

6.      But it was GOD who made it possible. He is the only one who can forgive sins – not your priest, or your church, or Mary, or some guru!


D.    The Riches of His Family (Genesis 33:5)


1.      He loved Rachel so much (love at first sight), but he didn’t love not much else

2.      At this point, Jacob had 11 boys, and 1 girl, through 4 women!

3.      But only one son, a six year old son named Joseph, was loved in that home

4.      But now, standing in front of Esau, Jacob points to EVERY single child and says, THESE ARE THE CHILDREN that GOD has given to ME of all people!

5.      Up until this point in his life, you never would have heard anything like THAT coming out of his mouth. He would have bragged on his flocks, his cattle, his wealth, his schemes

6.      As he stood then, leaning on his crutch, he smiled with great pleasure in the GIFTS of his children!!! Psalm 127:3  Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.


E.     The Ability to Trust God (32:11; 33:1-7)


1.      Before, now, Jacob was terrified (32:11) – constantly running away from problems


a.       Terrified of losing everything, especially his own life!

b.      The last thing Esau said before Jacob fled home 21 years earlier was, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.” (Gen 27:41,42)

c.       So he ran from home, from Esau; later he had to flee from his uncle Laban


2.      Yet, now, here was Jacob, able to PERFECTLY rest in God’s care, and provision (33:1-7)


a.       He wasn’t running, or hiding anymore

b.      He had even placed all of his family out in the open, right in front of Esau and his army

c.       And then Jacob races (hobbles hurriedly) up to the front and faces the greatest threat of his life – in perfect rest! All because he was no longer trusting his own wits, but God’s great will and wisdom!


3.      Ah, the wealth of just trusting God!


F.      The Ability to GIVE (33:8-11; 32:13-20)


1.      Jacob all his life had only taken, and collected his wealth, and schemed new ways to make more

2.      But he now discovered just how priceless it is to give things away!

3.      Jacob discovered a lot of wealth that morning


G.    Contentment – “I have enough” (33:8-11)


1.      Solomon never was able to say this

2.      By the time of his death in 1937, John D. Rockefeller's fortune, … was estimated at $1.4 billion, placing him among the very wealthiest persons in history. Not even Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates would even come close. When asked once, "How much money is enough money?" He replied, "Just a little bit more."

3.      Up until this moment, Jacob would have stood alongside Rockafeller, and Bill Gates, and always wanted more.

4.      But here he was, content, and happy with what he had! Even after giving away probably half of his belongings!

5.      When was the last time you looked around and said that? And actually MEANT IT?!


H.    It is ALL of Grace!


1.      The word GRACE doesn’t show up very often in the Old Testament, but it sure pops up here in THIS chapter


a.       Gen 33:5  And he (ESAU) lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he (JACOB) said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

b.      Gen 33:8  And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.

c.       Gen 33:11  Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.


2.      Grace is getting what you do not deserve

3.      Up until this point, Jacob always believed that he deserved better


a.       That HE should be the firstborn, and not Esau

b.      That HE should be Daddy’s favourite, instead of Esau

c.       That HE should have the most beautiful wife, and not the one God gave him

d.      That HE should be the wealthiest man in the county, and not his uncle Laban


4.      Now, Jacob has experienced God’s GRACE


a.       Jacob saw absolutely EVERYTHING in his life as a GIFT from God – undeserving as he was!

b.      Jacob was enjoying that grace


5.      And Jacob was enjoying Esau’s grace!


a.       Remember, Esau was coming to kill Jacob and destroy everything he had

b.      And in the blink of an eye, Esau had forgiven Jacob, and loved him, and wept with him, and praised Jacob’s family!

c.       And not only that, but Esau felt like he needed to be there for his younger brother, and PROTECT him now (33:12)


6.      For the first time in his life, Jacob knew where it all came from! (see again James 1:17)


IV. Your Invitation


A.    So, How do YOU see your family? How do we see all those that take up so much of our lives?

B.     Are you just like Jacob?


1.      Jacob never saw them for what they really were… until that one day, when everything came crashing down around him – like it usually does!

2.      Are you a success in everything except in what matters?

3.      Do YOU never have much time for God?

4.      Is your family a mess, like Jacob’s?

5.      Some of you have great abilities – and like Jacob, you can take the bull by the horns, so to speak – but you have never admitted to where all your successes came from, and you forget the wealth that God has graciously given to someone like YOU!


C.    What Has GOD Had Given YOU as a Parent? RAISE YOUR CHILDREN THIS WAY


1.      The Riches of A Walk with God – an open invitation, but you must do it the right way


a.       Desperately

b.      Humbly

c.       Prayerfully – by spending time with God, every day, especially before starting the day!

d.      If you are a parent, then you ARE busy – but you need time with God!

e.       I pray you make the time before everything comes crashing down and you have nowhere else to turn but upward! Sometimes, that is TOO LATE!

f.       Without your own walk with God, ladies and gentlemen, your home is doomed!


2.      The Riches of Forgiveness


a.       Have you availed of it? Jesus Christ paid for it, so all you have to do is BELIEVE it, and accept it as a FREE GIFT!

b.      It may be the hardest struggle of your life to finally, totally repent and believe only on Jesus

c.       But THAT is the ONLY way to get forgiven!

d.      And forgiven you can be – there is NOTHING that Jesus did not die to forgive!

e.       Your home will need a LOT of forgiveness in it!

f.       And God has plenty – all paid for by His Son, Jesus!

g.      Don’t expect your children to be good, and believe in God’s great grace and forgiveness when you are stubborn and hard headed!

h.      Do you realise WHO is watching his father be forgiven that morning? Joseph! And it will make such an impact on his life, that some 30 years later, he is going to be able to forgive, and then forgive and then forgive some more his own, stubborn, hurtful brothers!


3.      The Riches of The Gift of Humility


a.       THAT is what Christ has been trying so long to give to you

b.      Oh that we would humble ourselves before GOD has to humble us

c.       And humble us HE WILL!


4.      The Riches of Your Family


a.       Could you, standing in front of everyone here, Point to your children and say, THESE ARE THE CHILDREN that GOD has given to ME of all people!

b.      Could you stand here in front of all these witnesses, and publically say, THAT IS MY WIFE, MY HUSBAND, that GOD has given to someone like ME!!!


5.      The Riches of The Ability to Trust God


a.       Are you able to rest in God’s care, and provision?

b.      Or, are running, and constantly hiding

c.       Able to face the greatest threat of life – in perfect rest!

d.      Ah, the wealth of just trusting God!


6.      The Ability to GIVE


a.       Are you one of those that all your life have only taken, and collected your wealth, and schemed new ways to make more?

b.      Or, will you now admit just how priceless it is to give things away?

c.       You will DESTROY your family as long as you hold onto things, and never learn how to GIVE and lose things for Christ!

d.      Teach your family HOW to give to others!


7.      The Riches of Contentment – “I have enough” Wonderful words!


a.       When was the last time you looked around and said that? And actually MEANT IT?!

b.      You sure should be able to do it after this morning’s message from the Bible!


8.      It is ALL of Grace! Have YOU experienced GOD’S GRACE?


D.    Everything YOU have, God gave you!


1.      Your life, breath, strength…

2.      And your family!


E.     But He has given you even more than you know! God has given you: (Ephesians 2:8,9)


1.      His Son (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave

2.      Forgiveness at Christ’s expense

3.      Eternal life (Romans 6:23b) “the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ

4.      Access to God by child-like faith

5.      Not of works! All you need to do now is humble YOURSELF, and accept God’s forgiveness