Family Relationships Can Be Messy

This week’s sermon looked at the dysfunctional family of Jacob in Genesis.

19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.

21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; on people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Genesis 25:19-23
light of the world

Two things we’ll learn from today’s scripture:

  • The power of prayer
  • The Sovereignty of God

When life gets ugly it can change your faith. It depends of how long you’re willing to be persistent in your prayer. God is faithful and answers prayer, but it’s in his timing.

He answered Isaac’s prayer 20 years after he prayed it. Most of us give up in 20 minutes, let alone 20 years. The KJV says that Isaac pleaded with God for Rebekah. When was the last time you were willing to plead for someone else to God? This was not a prayer of routine or a whim.

We often assign prayer to our needs or wants. It becomes rote and powerless.

When we pray for someone, we need to know their needs and their wants. It becomes rote and powerless. Our prayer can only go as far as our relationship with God is deep.

Isaac certainly had memories of God’s faithfulness throughout his life.

  • When he was about to be sacrificed as an offering to God (and then God provided a ram caught in a bush as the sacrifice).
  • Jacob was the heir to the covenant, if his family lineage ceased what would happen to the covenant God made with Abraham?

God was faithful, not because that’s what Abraham or Isaac wanted. It was all part of God’s plan all along. Isaac didn’t get his answer because he swayed God’s thinking. God doesn’t change because of prayer. Things are done in his will. Our prayers must align with Gods will.

The dreams we’ve had since childhood will fade because they’re stupid. Our dreams change because we grow into new dreams.

To plead for someone to God in prayer, know what they carry. Why do they choose brokenness. See what it is that God intends through his answer. We’ve got to know his will, if not, how can we pray for it?

God answer Isaac’s prayer and then he answered “not
by works, but by God purpose.“

10 Not only that, but Rebekay’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad — in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls — she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

-Romans 9:10-13

I know that seems not fair. Well, God’s not fair. He knows every decision we’ll make. It’s the sovereignty of God to answer prayer in the manner he does.

God accepted Jacob despite the punk he was because he knew the decisions Jacob would make in his life. He rejected Esau because he rejected God when he gave up his birthright for a meal.

  • Our greatest error in considering the choices of God is to think God chooses for arbitrary reasons…
  • as if His choices were random and senseless
  • God chooses according to His divine wisdom, love, and goodness
  • We may not be able to understand God’s reasons for choosing, and they are reasons He alone knows and answers to , but God’s choices are not random or impulsive
  • Sometimes God is hard to get…but He is always God.

We may not be able to figure God out, but we can trust him, knowing that he is Sovereign and Holy.

“Not your will, God, but yours!”

In Faith,


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