Handling Problems in the Home

Genesis 25-27

Home Sweet Home Series - Part 2

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

Apr 10, 2016 AM



I.        Introduction


A.     Last week we looked at how God brings two people (Isaac and Rebekah) together and makes a home

B.      He shows the simple way to begin a relationship with your wife or husband

C.      This is the Isaac of the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob you hear about throughout the Old and New Testament.

D.     Isaac was 40 when he and Rebekah got married (25:20) and started their home.

E.      It was by no means a perfect home, but they had the right foundations that are still necessary today

F.      None of us know how our families are going to end up, but we can at least decide to start them right, and leave the end to God!

G.     This morning, we are going to see a perfectly good home torn apart, and it is not going to be pretty


1.       But the lessons we learn from their way of handling problems is invaluable

2.       God recorded all these things for our benefit – don’t miss anything he has for you this morning!


II.     Background (Genesis 25-26)


A.     Fast forward 20 years

B.      Isaac and Rebekah had many family problems – every family does

C.     Each problem pushes them to do things either God’s way, or their own way

D.     Let’s look at and learn from three problems that God reveals in their home, and learn from how they deal with them

E.      Problem number 1 – Barrenness – no children (25:19-21)


1.       Hmmm. Something was wrong.


a.       They have been trying and waiting for 19 years for children (25:26)

b.       Children are natural to married couples. They are a gift from God.


2.       So, what was God waiting for?

3.       Evidently, for Isaac to pray. Isaac needed to depend upon prayer


a.       Isaac was not quite like his father before him. Abraham prayed about almost everything. This is the first time you find Isaac praying about anything

b.       Maybe just had ridden on the walk of his father instead of developing his own walk with God – a very common problem with second generation Christians


4.       But Isaac finally discovered he needed to be the spiritual leader in his home


a.       He was protector of his wife physically already

b.       But he needed to be the protector spiritually – just as many invisible enemies as visible

c.       He made sure Rebekah was provided for

d.       He needed to make sure her spiritual needs were being supplied as well


5.       Isaac’s prayer was answered – Rebekah got pregnant

6.       Now, to you that may be nothing, but to them, it was a great victory, a great answer to prayer


F.      Second problem – An unnatural struggle in Rebekah (25:22-28)


1.       For much of the pregnancy, Rebekah felt like world war III was going on


a.       She never seemed to get any rest

b.       This was such a bother to her instead of a blessing

c.       And it worried her

d.       If this is a blessing from God, why all the struggle inside?


2.       Now SHE prayed


a.       It is good when our problems drive us to pray!


3.       God gave her a promise! The Lord spoke to her and told her:


a.       She was having twins

b.       These were not just two babies, but two nations, that will be at war with each other

c.       And the younger of the two will be in charge

d.       Not a normal thing. Normally the older child is in charge of things


4.       Twins born


a.       Esau was born first – all red and hairy baby

b.       Jacob came out second – plain and almost pale white

c.       But this second twin was not wanting to be behind – he grabbed the heel of Esau!

d.       As if to say they had been fighting the whole time who would come out first

e.       And that he will always be trying to get the upper hand over Esau!

f.        Isaac is now 60 years old – he is a first time parent at 60! How do you like that?


5.       And the children grew up (25:27)

6.       But the seeds of a divided home were being planted all along the way (22:28)


a.       Every child is different from the start – THEY are not the problem

b.       Favouritism - Do NOT favour one child over another – it is so natural, but so destructive!

c.       Carnality – little or no personal walk with God - very little spirituality


1)      No one in this home is very spiritually minded at all at this point

2)      Esau loves to hunt more than he loves God

3)      Jacob is a homebody. Loves to cook

4)      Isaac loves the outdoors

5)      Rebekah loves Jacob, and clings to a promise that Jacob will be great someday


d.       Selfish spirituality - Rebekah invested mainly in Jacob, and it cost her, her husband, and her other son Esau!

e.       Breakdown of communication

f.        No yielding to authority in the home – everyone was their own boss


G.     Problem number 3 – Famine, starvation – (Gen 26:1-6) testing by God to see if Isaac will trust God more than Egypt’s supply


1.       Isaac and his family head down to Egypt for food, knowing that his father Abraham had done the very same thing and had reaped sorely for it with Hagar and Ishmael

2.       Is stopped by God – commanded not to go down to Egypt

3.       So instead of heading back home, he just stays in Gerar – halfway between where he was supposed to be, and Egypt, where God said NOT to be. A compromise

4.       There, in that compromise (Gen 26:7)


a.       He feared for his life – WHY STAY THERE THEN?

b.       He lied about his wife – just as his father had

c.       He required that Rebekah lie about their relationship – say they were brother and sister

d.       NOTICE: Rebekah honoured her husband anyway – the right thing to do


5.       In the end… (26:8-16)


a.       Abimelech discovers the truth and is more honourable than Isaac

b.       Isaac was rebuked, and Rebekah was protected

c.       And God blessed this family


6.       But the real battle lay ahead


III.  Message


A.     Isaac’s Moody Spirituality (27:1-4)


1.       Isaac is about 138 years old. That’s pretty old. Thought he was about to die, but was wrong – lived to be 180 years old (35:28)

2.       It was time to bless his eldest son

3.       Times when people bless others (most people today just wish people ‘luck’):


a.       At weddings

b.       At the birth of a child

c.       When passing on your heritage to the next generation like Joshua did to all Israel

d.       When a church is in worship (Num 6:22-27)


4.       Isaac wanted to make sure he was in the right mood when he blessed. Have to have a good feeling before he honours God, and prays or worships!

5.       Very carnal – very little spirituality to him

6.       This is the only clear place in the Bible where a man depended upon a feeling, and ended up being deceived! Stop listening mainly to your feelings ladies and gentlemen!


B.      Rebekah’s Manipulative Spirituality (27:5-17)


1.       Here we have the classic woman who worries about things going wrong and HAS to spend her time trying to make sure they DON’T go wrong


a.       No rest in the Lord

b.       No confidence that God doesn’t need her to fulfil His will


2.       So, Rebekah ignores all the warning signs of fear, and plays God

3.       And the cost is very high!

4.       Rebekah’s Dilemna


a.       She KNEW God’s will

b.       She saw and feared the potential failures of her husband – a wife should NOT focus primarily on the flaws of her husband!

c.       This shows that Rebekah had not made known the promise to Isaac, that the "elder should serve the younger", Gen 25:23, or, if she had, he had forgot

d.       But to her, none of that mattered

e.       She figured a way to accomplish God’s will, all by herself!


1)      Just as Sarah did

2)      Didn’t need God, and it involved manipulating her husband to accomplish something spiritual and good


5.       Rebekah’s Plan (27:5-17)


a.       Absolute Obedience of her son Jacob! Her plan required absolute obedience by Jacob (but not HER absolute obedience to her husband)!


1)      Even though SHE is not absolutely obeying God

2)      And she is not under the authority of her husband


b.       Deceive the authority in their home – which was her husband, Isaac


1)      To Rebekah, the end result justifies the means

a)       Didn’t think she was really doing anything wrong – she was doing the ultimate right

b)      Didn’t matter the she was not willing to just talk to Isaac, and let God work on his heart

c)       Didn’t matter even if she got in trouble

d)      Didn’t even think to pray and ask God for wisdom or help


2)      She used a goat instead if a lamb


a)       Its meat - It must taste a bit like deer meat (venison)

b)      Use the goat’s skin – to make hand gloves, and a hairy neck for Jacob


3)      Caused Jacob to wear Esau’s best clothes

4)      What an incredible amount of work to manipulate your husband!


c.       She IGNORED Jacob’s fear and worry – “I” would be worried to!


1)      Wouldn’t ignore her own, but she sure could ignore her son’s!

2)      Isaac might “see” through the deception (even though going blind)

3)      Jacob might be cursed by his father instead of blessed (lying is an awful sin)!


6.       Think about what Rebekah was teaching her son!


a.       To lie to and deceive his own father

b.       To work out God’s will your own way

c.       To rob your brother

d.       Mom’s, ladies… WHAT are YOU teaching YOUR children without even thinking about it?


C.     Jacob Deceives His Own Father (27:18-29)


1.       The Encounter


a.       Here is a blind man, attempting to discern the truth

b.       Here is a deceiver (Jacob), trying to hide the truth


1)      Jacob’s voice was suspect

2)      Jacob’s ability was suspect

3)      Jacob’s skin was similar to Esau’s

4)      Jacob’s cooking was good

5)      Jacob’s smell was similar to Esau’s


c.       But it was not Esau!


2.       The Stolen Blessing


a.       Isaac ends up placing God’s special covenant blessing upon Jacob!

b.       Passed on the responsibility to lead the family of Abraham by faith


3.       The Discovery (27:30-40)


a.       Esau comes into the room just minutes after Jacob leaves

b.       Isaac is shocked, and was overwhelmed with surprise – he had been tricked (that’s how people will feel when they end up in hell)!

c.       Isaac instantly sees what has just happened!


4.       Esau cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry


a.       Begged for God’s blessings, wealth, power

b.       But there was nothing more Isaac could do – he had already passed everything on to Jacob

c.       Realises that Jacob had supplanted him (gotten ahead of him) two times now


D.     Here are the ugly truths


1.       Now Isaac realises that he had never really cared for Jacob before – he had not reserved a blessing for Jacob at all, so there was now none for his favourite son, Esau!

2.       Isaac and Rebekah had grown apart


a.       Not grown closer

b.       Now only worked things out alone and not as husband and wife


3.       Rebekah had some wrong things figured out


a.       Figured she was more “spiritual” than her carnal husband, and therefore, she needed to make sure things got done the right way, even when it meant disobeying her husband, and fighting him, and manipulating him!

b.       Justified her own ways by finding fault with her husband’s


4.       Their home was filled now with hatred, division, deceit, and broken trust

5.       Rebekah Loses everything she had hoped to protect


a.       She has to send away her beloved son Jacob for his own protection

b.       She has to lie to her husband about why she has to send Jacob away

c.       Thought that maybe Esau’s hatred would subside “a few days”. Her few days turns into 20 years (31:41)

d.       Rebekah will never see Jacob again alive!

e.       She and all her spiritual wishes for her family was rejected by Esau – he married Ishamelite women in bitter anger against his parents (28:8,9)


6.       Esau never got right!

7.       And Isaac never got right!


a.       Started off right

b.       Learned that God answers prayer

c.       Saw God over and over meet his and his family’s needs

d.       Yet never learned to pray always, and walk with the God of his father Abraham!


8.       All of Rebekah’s manipulating never helped her home


IV.  Conclusion


A.     This morning, we have seen a perfectly good home torn apart

B.      NOT by the problems they faced…


1.       Barrenness – no children

2.       The struggles

3.       The finances – famine


C.     No. It was in the seeds they were planting all along the way


1.       Favouritism - Do NOT favour one child over another – it is so natural, but so destructive!

2.       Carnality – little or no personal walk with God - very little spirituality

3.       Selfish spirituality - Rebekah invested mainly in Jacob, and it cost her, her husband, and her other son Esau!

4.       Breakdown of communication

5.       No yielding to authority in the home – everyone was their own boss

6.       Isaac’s Moody Spirituality

7.       Rebekah’s Manipulative Spirituality

8.       The lies and deception of the authority in their home


D.     The home was filled now with hatred, division, deceit, and broken trust

E.      Rebekah Loses everything she had hoped to protect


1.       Lost Jacob

2.       Esau never got right!

3.       ISAAC never got right!


F.      Is THIS how you want your home to end up? Just because this doesn’t exactly match YOUR home yet doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to work on with God’s help!

G.     God has a better way


1.       Ephesians 5 is serious business

2.       PRAY for your spouse

3.       Work on your own heart

4.       Do the right things yourself

5.       Watch out for a critical spirit

6.       Leave the end results to God!

7.       That’s faith, trusting, resting faith in His way