|Home Sweet Home Series|
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
27 Mar, 2016 PM
I. Introduction (Psalm 127:1)
A. This is THE hardest series of messages to preach
1. Because there are so many critics of people’s attempts at having a Christian home – find faults with you so that they don’t have to admit THEIR home is a mess
2. So many failures
3. So many proud people – who not hungry to just do things God’s way
4. So Many demons at work against every family
5. So much cost – very pricey
6. So few actually succeeding at this goal!
B. But none of that changes anything – this is God’s word on it. It is LAW. It does not change, and does not need to be updated, adjusted, or reviewed. It needs to be humbly obeyed from the heart, mixed with faith! Period!
1. Rom_6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
2. Heb_4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
C. The very foundations of the modern home need repair
1. Compare it to subsidence
2. Faulty foundation – not strong enough to handle changing ground conditions – shifting of the ground underneath!
3. Not new spouse, new hairstyle, new face, new clothes
4. But restoration of the proper foundation
5. For most people, a family is a “wing-it” operation – just make your own way, and if it works, great, if not, start over!
6. Yes, there may be some costly work that will need to be carried out, but if only you knew how valuable your marriage, your home is when it is strong! Like the resale value on a house! There is little to none, when there are massive cracks in the walls and roof
7. It just shows owners who didn’t care about their house
8. And our messed up homes only prove that we don’t care about how we live!
D. God HAS a manual on the Home
1. Not just ABOUT the home, or marriage, or child training
2. But on being men, women, wives, husbands. On integrity, faith, purity, holiness, commitment, loyalty, love
3. THOSE are the foundations of a good home!
E. And God gave us the Remedy Book for cracked homes in the very same Book
F. The Bible applies to any home, and will work for every home, but will not be enjoyed, unless you are saved.
1. These principles are what God designed – so they work
2. They used to be obeyed by just about everybody, in almost every culture, and so the cultures remained strong, and the children safe
3. So many books have been written about the home – about marriage, and raising children
4. But basically, they are almost all trying to say what the Bible teaches without offending the reader!!!
5. God didn’t write a complicated instruction booklet – that’s what we want so that we can excuse ourselves from being able to obey it – instead He gave us just simple straight-up instructions, and says, do them. Period!
G. There are So Many Examples of Families in the Bible – each one explains different problems and patterns, and helps in different ways
1. Adam, Eve, and their children – how to press ahead in spite of constant failures and limitations that the Fall had brought into their lives
2. Noah and his family – how to save your family before it is too late
3. Abraham, and Sarah – how to wait on God and trust Him for impossible things
4. Jacob and his four wives and 13 children – how the worst kind of home can be made whole
5. Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and his 4 half-brothers and 2 half-sisters – how the Son of God makes all the difference
H. This morning I want to look at Isaac and Rebekah and learn a few things from their home, and find the foundations that God built under their home and family
II. Background (Genesis 17, 24:1-67)
A. Family Begins with Marriage (24:1-3)
1. God starts with a Husband, wife, and children – not boy meets girl and girl has baby
2. Marriage is honourable, not sex outside of marriage
3. Seek to be married – not to have sex!
4. Seek a family, not a boyfriend, or a girlfriend
B. Get Help Finding a Spouse (24:4-9)
1. There is nothing wrong with looking for a wife or a husband. Prov 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
2. But we all need help – only in Western culture are we so proud that we won’t seek the wisdom of our parents, pastor, and godly people in our lives
3. You should NOT just marry whoever you can get (24:4)
a. A disco girl does not usually make a good wife
b. A toy-boy definitely does not make a good husband
c. A lazy bum who won’t work definitely does not make a good husband
4. Abraham, the father of Isaac took the initiative – he was proactive in his son’s life – very involved.
a. If there is one thing I was wrong about in my children’s life, it was that I was not involved enough – not controlling, or dominating, but guiding, and listening, and carrying them through each day as they needed!
b. Sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac
c. Wow! Would you trust anyone to choose a wife for you???
d. Isaac trusted his father completely
e. Why would he be so trusting of his father?
f. remember the altar experience?
g. Abraham’s lived-out faith, was real enough for Isaac to know Abraham was not going to hurt him
h. Abraham trusted the God he was following enough to supply a wife for his son
5. The actual guidance would come from God
a. Abraham had no crystal ball
b. Everything would be steps of faith in obedience to God’s way of doing things
c. Loads of prayer, and fasting, and seeking God’s will
d. And then trusting God to supply
6. No guarantees – the woman, or the man may not want to come!
C. Seek a ‘Servant’ more than a Wife or Husband (24:10-14)
1. What every marriage needs are two servants, not two self-centred jerks
2. If two people enter a marriage as servants to each other, ministering to each other, loving the other ahead of themselves, you will have a home sweet home!
a. Eleazar was a servant. He knew what to look for
b. If a woman looks for a show-off, fun, toy-boy, she will get her wish! And he will greatly disappoint her in the end. But if she looks for a hardworking, selfless man, who loves her, and serves her as he serves others, she will be the happiest woman in the world!
3. Let’s start to study how to be SERVANTS!
D. Ready to Be Married (24:15-20)
1. These are characteristics of a young woman who was ready to get married
2. Rebekah came first to the well – hard worker
a. Very hard working – not dragging her feet, complaining, and moaning about having to do chores and work
b. Your home takes HARD work! Long hours! For BOTH the husband and wife and children!
3. Beautiful – valued her self – self-respect
a. It’s hard to be beautiful when you work hard – but Rebekah was
b. But her beauty was not in her make-up or cosmetic surgery
c. But her attitude, smile, face, way she carried herself
d. She was happy, fun, she enjoyed what she was doing
4. A virgin – which meant, she was not advertising her merchandise, but saving herself for her husband. She was no girl flirting around, but ready to be married.
a. She Wanted to be married
b. Little girls looked forward to getting married and having babies
c. Now, they look forward to running corporations and MAYBE having a partner, and a baby on the side
5. Willing to serve even strangers – unworthy people (24:17-20) Unknown people! She does NOT know who this man is with all his camels
a. Serves this servant – calls him LORD (24:18)
b. Willing to go the extra mile, and do more than ask – watered his camels – and they drank a lot of water!
E. Service DOES Have Its Rewards (24:21,22)
1. Eleazar was so shocked at how quickly everything was going (24:21) – THAT’S God working everything out when we do things HIS way!
2. When she finished ministering to HIS and his camel’s needs, he rewards her!
a. When someone gives me a good haircut, I give them a little extra as a tip
b. When someone really works hard at a restaurant, sering my family and I, I give them a little extra – a tip
c. But Eleazar gives a reward beyond belief!
d. A gold earring
e. Two gold bracelets
f. A small fortune in gifts
3. He didn’t bribe her – she had no idea who Eleazar was, and she had no thought of being paid or rewarded
4. So, A small act of kindness and service will be greatly rewarded one day by the Lord!
5. If you haven’t been “rewarded” yet, don’t worry, God will owe no man!
F. Willing to Trust God (24:23-38, 49, 57,58)
1. Rebekah brings Eleazar back home and introduces him to her oldest brother Laban – the head of the home at the time
2. Eleazar reviews his commission
a. Why he had come, and who he was looking for
b. What was he looking for? A wife for Isaac!
3. He reviews all that had just happened at the well – it was a great experience, and a specific answer to prayer
4. And then asked Laban and Rebekah to consider his invitation – for her to become the wife of Abraham’s son (24:49)
5. Whew! Can you imagine?
6. God did all this to show us in the extreme how to manage all the unknowns – to trust that HE is in charge of all the unknowns!
a. Marriage is a great unknown
b. No matter how much you get to know someone, you never will know them enough
7. Rebekah had to trust God, and her brother Laban’s guidance (24:57,58)
8. She stepped out into the unknown – she has not met Isaac yet. Only heard of her great uncle Abraham
9. She packs up and leaves home for her own new home!
G. Her Marriage was Blessed by Her Family (24:60) – VERY IMPORTANT
1. She had her family’s blessing – you need that!
2. She sought their approval – a good thing
3. Her marriage was honourable, and acceptable to her family, and to God
4. Start your family right ladies and gentlemen
5. Teach your children to start their homes RIGHT once again!
6. Our society is having to pay for faulty foundations because too many people are NOT starting their families, their homes God’s way!
a. They have sex way before marriage
b. Have 2 and 3 children and THEN consider getting married
c. Treat each other like sex objects and not as lords and ladies
H. Two Became One (24:61-67)
1. Rebekah’s Part
a. She chose to love someone she had never met – that’s faith and trust in God, and not in looks!
b. She willingly gave up everything to form a new home – great faith!
c. She humbled herself in Isaac’s presence – she is saying, he would be the head of their new home – not as dictator, but as Christ is the head of the church
d. She became Isaac’s wife – not his housecleaner, cook, and entertainer – but WIFE!
2. Isaac’s Part
a. Isaac became Rebekah’s husband
b. And Isaac loved her
c. It is like the greatest statement in the entire chapter
d. Not a physical act, but an all encompassing way of life from that moment on!
e. Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES
3. NOW you have a HOME, a FAMILY – a good start! And a good way to STAY right
4. This is NOT Happily Ever After, but the Foundations of Isaac and Rebekah’s home are Right
A. A Home/Family/Wife/Husband/Children are a gift from God Himself
1. Pro_19:14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
2. Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
3. Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
4. Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
B. You cannot make or build a home or family by yourself (Psalm 127:1)
1. You might HAVE one, but you can’t make it strong – only God can as you obey His rules
2. You cannot change each other!
3. You CAN mould a child, but moulding a man (forcing him to do your will) actually ruins him!
4. Moulding a woman only deadens her, quenches her heart
5. Let’s do things God’s way, the Bible way, and let God decide how the end should be!
C. Prepare to Constantly Change for the Better (Luke 22:31,32)
1. A Home is a garden – a place where people GROW
2. You may be good at your job, you may be self-confident, and sure of yourself
3. But there is no way on earth you are what you OUGHT to be for your wife, your husband, your children!
4. Come down off your high royal horse, and let God make a better man or woman out of you
5. Let God show you almost DAILY how selfish and wicked you are, and how lazy and how stubborn, and how mean spirited, and bitter you are!
6. Let God take you and make your home a Sweet home by changing NOT your spouse, but YOU!
D. God Gave Us Instructions for the Home – and they are COMMANDS
1. Exo 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
2. When God says
a. Col_3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
b. Tit_2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their ch0ildren
c. Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
d. Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
3. HE MEANS IT!
E. God’s ways are followed by Faith, not by Feeling, or by Popular Request (Heb 11:8)
1. Psa_95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways
2. Do things GOD’S ways, by faith (Heb 4:2)
3. Choose to praise, and thank God for what you have and what God is going to do in your home – that is an act of obedience faith in His word
F. Seek to Be Servants in Your Home Most of All
1. Not the head, not the neck that turns the head
2. Not the loudest, Not the most hurt
3. But the servant of all (Mark 10:43,44; John 13:14,15)
4. Selfish people, suck the well dry…
5. Servants invest in the others
6. Dedicate yourself to doing a thousand gifts of love this year towards everyone in your family – a THOUSAND!
7. As Jesus did for us (Philp 2:3-7)
8. More about all this next week!
G. Starts with the new birth