27 Jun Why Do Families Need Men To Lead? (Genesis 26)
– Well, howdy, y’all. We’re in a great book of the Bible called Genesis. If you got a Bible, go to Genesis 26, and we’re looking at marriage and family. We’re looking at it generationally. And so, we started with Adam and Eve, and we looked at their marriage and their families, some things they got right, some things they did wrong, and then we moved forward, we looked at Noah and his wife. They had some good days, bad days. Then we looked at Abraham and Sarah. They were the first believers in their family. Some good days, some bad days. They had some good parenting decisions, some bad parenting decisions. Now the scene has shifted to a brand new couple. We’re gonna get to know a little bit more about Isaac and Rebekah. So let me start by saying that what Genesis is morphing into is a multi-generational case study in marriage and family. And sometimes you see pain problems and perils in one generation, and it really started in previous generations and was passed on. Sometimes the same is true of blessing. You’re like, “Why did they start so good? Why did their life go so well?” What may have been decisions made generations prior and they were just inheriting that blessing. I want you to think generationally and in terms of legacy. And I wanna share with you a leadership principle for marriage and family, ’cause we’re not just pro-marriage and pro-life, we’re also pro-Godly marriage and pro-Godly family, so the children can come into the world into a family that’s well architected under God’s blessing for human life and flourishing. And to have that happen, when we build our marriages and families, need to think in a principle that we like to call singular headship and plural leadership. This is super important, and it’ll be illustrated throughout the book of Genesis, but we’ll look at it specifically today. Plural leadership is that there are multiple, plural people who are leading and making decisions. Singular headship is that one of those people is the leader and firstly responsible. Firstly responsible. So we saw earlier in Genesis, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, they created the heavens and the earth. The Father speaks everything into existence, Jesus is the Word of God who brings forth everything from nothing, and the Holy Spirit is hovering over the water. So early in Genesis, we saw the Trinity, and then the Father is the singular head. He makes us male and female in his image and likeness, and he makes us to follow his example. So now the husband and the wife, they’re plural leaders, but the husband is the singular head. This is the language throughout the New Testament. This doesn’t mean that the man is the boss or the bully, that he’s domineering or overbearing. It means that he needs to be active, engaged, loving, and serving like Jesus, caring about his wife and his kids and their grandkids, and with his wife making decisions, but then not burdening her for the decisions that are made, but carrying the lion’s share of that burden for the decisions that they agree on. So in our family, for example, the way that it works, I won’t make any major decision without Grace. We have to be in agreement. We’re one. So we need to come to one decision. Once we agree on that decision, I carry the lion’s share of the responsibility and burden. She feels it, but I need to carry it, so that I’m not dumping all of that on her. And that’s how God wants family to be architected. And what we’ve seen so far in Genesis as a case study, bad things happen in a number of ways. Bad things happen, number one, when a couple just disobeys God. God says, “Do this, don’t do that.” And the couple’s like, “Ah, we’re gonna do something else and see what happens.” That was in Genesis 3 with Adam and Eve. God’s like, “Eat whatever you want. There’s one tree, that’s the no-no tree.” And they think, “Well, let’s try the no-no tree.” Well, ever since, sin has entered the world, we have elections. It’s just been a
total dumpster fire ever since. And so, when people don’t do what God says, that’s when crisis ensues. We say the same thing with Abraham and Sarah. God says to Abraham, “I’m gonna give you a son through your wife, Sarah,” and Abraham and Sarah decide, “Well, let’s get another gal, marry her, get her pregnant, see what happens.” Bad idea. They disobeyed God. The second way that a family in a marriage goes sideways is when the man is passive. I just like saying that, and then looking at the men who won’t make eye contact. Found you. Okay, so what happens… Here’s the big idea. Satan is always active, and bad things happen when men are passive. And so, we see this early on in Genesis 3 with Adam and Eve and the first marriage. Satan shows up and Adam is quiet and passive. So, I don’t do conflict and I don’t do dragons. So I’m just gonna sit over here and let my wife make decisions with the dragon. And it goes really, really bad. We see the same thing with Abraham and Sarah, God says to Abraham, “You and your wife are gonna have a son.” Wife comes up with another idea, “Hey, let’s get another gal. Let’s do polygamy, adultery, and let’s see what happens.” Abraham shoulda said, “No, honey, I can’t submit to that decision ’cause that’s against the will of God.” Bad things happen when the husband and the wife together disobey God. Bad things happen when the husband is passive, inactive, doesn’t do conflict, has fear of man, doesn’t like responsibility.
And, thirdly, when the couple is divided, when they don’t agree on a decision. So we saw this, for example, with Abraham and Sarah. When it came time to figure out what to do with the second wife and the kid that was born, Abraham was like, “Well, I love the kid.” And Sarah’s like, “I hate the kid.” Abraham’s like, “Well, I feel sort of bad for the mom.” And Sarah’s like, “I have contempt for her. So let’s kick ’em out.” And that led to division in the family that has led to generations of division between the Jewish people and between the Arab people. So bad things happen in a family when you disobey God, when the husband is passive, or the husband and the wife can’t come to agreement, and they have division. Conversely, really good things happen when the husband and the wife come together, figure out God’s will, stick together, try and obey it, and the husband says, “I’ll take responsibility, I’ll be present and active. I’m gonna try and do the best for my wife, and our kids, and our grandkids.” And that’s exactly what’s happening here. And what we’re seeing is faith go from one generation to another. So, Abraham and Sarah, first generation of believers. They’re now dead. They’ve passed away. They’ve had their funerals. They’re buried. Here comes their son, Isaac, and his wife, Rebekah. Parents are gone. Now they’re leading. They gotta figure out, “How do we do marriage? How do we do family?” This comes for all of us at some point in life. My parents are still alive. At some point, they will pass away, and I need to carry forth the faith of our family. So, we’re gonna get into it and look at a case study. First thing is every generation needs to hear from God. So Genesis 26:1-6, the stage is set. How will Isaac lead his family? How will Isaac love his wife? Now there was a famine. That’s the Bible’s word for recession. That’s the Bible’s word for supply chain issues. That’s the Bible’s word for war in Ukraine. That’s the Bible’s word for inflated gas prices. All of that is in the Hebrews. So that’s what they’re feeling. So if you’re like, “I feel it’s horrible.” There you go, you got a word. Famine. What that means is things cost more than they used to, and we can’t get the things that we need. This is an old problem. “Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham.” So his dad lived through a famine and a recession as well. “And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, and the Lord appeared to him and said,” so God used to talk to his dad, now God’s
gonna talk to him. This is really good news. “Do not go down to Egypt.” And in Genesis when it says they’re going down, literally, they’re not just geographically, but they’re also spiritually going south. “Don’t go south and dwell in the land which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you.” So it’s not the absence of trouble, it’s the presence of God that safeguards your life. So there’s gonna be trouble around him, but God will be with him, “And will bless you, for to you and to your offspring,” your kids, your grandkids, if you follow me, there’s gonna be blessings for generations. “I would give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to your father, Abraham.” I took care of your dad, I’ll take care of you. Trust me. And then I’ll take care of your kids and your grandkids. “I will multiply your offspring.” You’re gonna have a lot of kids who are gonna have a lot of kids. They’re gonna lead to the nation of Israel, and ultimately to the coming of Jesus, and the beginning of the Christian Church, and billions of Christians on the earth. It’s gonna be like the stars of heaven. And I will give to your offspring all these lands. “And in your offspring, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” The blessing to the nations of the earth is Jesus Christ who comes through this family line. “Because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. And so Isaac settled in Gerar.” So here’s what’s happening. There are sometimes tests that multiple generations of a family need to take. It could be financial, emotional, spiritual, sexual. It could be an addiction issue, whatever the issue might be. And what happened was, Abraham, his dad, was given a test. And the test was in Genesis 12. There was a famine. Economic downturn, recession. There was no safe place to put your money. Crypto crashed, housing market dipped, interest rates were up, stock market tanked, Nasdaq on fire, rough situation. True or false, it looks like that’s where we’re headed. Yeah, is it just me? If you’re looking into the future like, “It looks great,” here’s what I wanna know: What’s your prescription? I need that pill. Because, as we look into the… Let’s just be honest, it’s looking pretty bleak, amen?
– [Congregation] Amen.
– And if you don’t think so, you’re crazy. It doesn’t look good. And, so what happened was, the same sort of situation hit. Total crisis. Abraham in Genesis 12, he freaked out. He got fearful. God told him to live in one place. He literally went south to Egypt. Was he supposed to go there? No. Did God tell him to go? No. Did it work out well? No. He barely got out with his wife. It was a total disaster. So Abraham did not pass. He in fact failed the test. Years later, here comes his son. Same test. Famine, economic downturn, crisis, social upheaval, right? Famine. And his thought is, “I need to go to Egypt,” ’cause apparently, economically, that’s a more secure place in that day. What does God tell him? “Don’t go to Egypt. Do not go to Egypt. Do not go there. Stay exactly where you are and I will bless you. You don’t need to go somewhere, you need me to come and be with you.” This is really important. ‘Cause here’s the big idea. Right now, Americans are moving, because they’re feeling the pressure and they’re fearful. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to move. I mean, if you’re living in a place that doesn’t sustain faith, and freedom, and family, and life, and love, and liberty, feel free to pack up and move. But the big idea is this: It doesn’t matter where you move. If God isn’t there, it’s not going to be better.
– That’s right. – Amen.
– Okay, so you can change your place, but if God isn’t present, really nothing changes. So what God tells him is, “Okay, everything’s a crisis, but just stay where you are. Trust me, I’m gonna bless you and take care of you.” Does he pass or fail this test that his father took and failed? He passes. He hears from the Lord and he stays where he is told. Now, think about this. His dad, Abraham, was born in a place, and then told by God, “Leave and move.” That was Genesis 12. Here, the son is born in a place, and God tells him don’t move. So God gives totally different instructions for one generation than the next. ‘Cause if he would’ve went with sort of the family history, it would’ve been, “Well, my dad moved from where he was born, so I guess that’s what God has for our family. We should move.” And God’s like, “Don’t move. I told your dad to move here, I need you to stay here. My plan is here.” Here’s the big idea: Every generation of the family needs to learn to hear from God.
– Yes sir. – Amen.
– Because what God told Abraham is different than what he told Isaac. Told Abraham, “Go.” Told Isaac, “Don’t go.” And the question is, “Well, God, what’s the answer?” The answer is, “Listen.” Here’s the big idea. How many of you are parents, right? We got a lot of kids here. Let me say this. We’ve recently set a record for kids’ attendance, and it’s the summer in Arizona. So that’s a miracle, right? And I think it was the squirt guns, and the water slides, and the popsicles. I’m not sure it was all the Holy Spirit. He was probably involved. But, I think, honestly, the kids are having a lot of fun. How many of you are raising a kid when they’re really little? Let’s say they’re six months old. Can they know and discern the will of God?
– No. If you struggle with the answer to that question, it’s ’cause you’re not a parent, okay? As soon as you’re a parent, little kid, you’re not like, “Hey, what do you wanna do?” They don’t know. So you are God’s voice to them when they’re little, okay? So God’s gonna speak to you to speak to the kid, all right? Here you go. Okay, you gotta gotta put shoes on. You can’t drink Red Bull. No fireworks in the house. The cat doesn’t like the toilet. Trust me, you don’t need to pray about these things. Just hear me out. Okay, now, as the kid gets a little older, you need to start to teach them and coach them how to hear from God and make decisions.
– [Congregant] Amen.
– Because at some point, they’re gonna make all their own decisions. And at some point, you’re gonna die. So, here, Abraham and Sarah are dead. So it’s not like he could say, “Well, let me
ask my mom and dad.” They’re gone. The goal is, when your children are little, to hear from God, make good decisions for them. As they grow older, help them know God’s will, help them learn to hear God’s voice, help them to make their own decisions, so as they’re growing up, you’re making decisions with them. When they’re little, you make decisions for them. As they get bigger, you make decisions with them. As they get older, they make the decisions. The goal is to let them leave their mother and father, and get married, and start their own family, and make their own decisions. And the hope is that in the developmental years, you coach them, you love them, you gave them wise counsel, you were emotionally present, that they will ask for your advice, and invite you in for coaching. But you’re not making the decisions when they’re grown. They’re making the decisions. Now, the reason that a lot of parents struggle with this, is because we think that the way we should parent children that are growing up is the same way that we parented them when they were little.
– You can’t. You can’t. See, the Bible says that children need to obey their mother and father. But that word is little child. When you get bigger, you’re an adult, you make your own decisions. And so what we see here, God spoke to Abraham, and he heard and obeyed God, and now Abraham’s gone, and guess what his son can do. He can hear from God.
– And he knows when God speaks to him, and he knows what God says. And God says, “Stay where you are. Trust me and I’ll bless you.” And so his son hears from God. Let me submit to you, this is one of the most important things that a parent can do in the raising of a child. It’s teaching the child how to hear from the Lord.
– This is crucial. You’re not gonna find this at a non-Christian school. You’re not gonna find this with a non-Christian counselor. You’re not gonna find this from a non-Christian degree program. But one of the most important things is the child needs to learn how to discern the voice of God.
– It’s usually important. So when your kids are sort of growing up, just a coaching point for the parents, don’t just tell them, “Here’s what you need to do.” Ask them, “Well, what do you,” ask a lot of questions, do a lot of listening. “Well, what do you think? What’s on your heart? Have you prayed about it? Is there anything in the scripture that would speak in this to principal? Anybody you wanna talk to, wise counsel? Let’s reason this out, let’s discuss this.” ‘Cause the goal is not just to get the child to a decision, but teach the child how to make decisions.
– [Congregant] Amen.
– So, by conversing, by asking a lot of questions, by being present. And let me say, parents, what this is gonna take: time and energy. It’s not convenient. It’s a lot easier to say, “Do this, don’t do that.” But if you wanna raise a child who knows the voice of God and obeys it, you’re going to need to work with them. You’re gonna need to teach them, “Okay, this is God’s word. Let’s see what God’s word says. All right, have you prayed about it? Did you spend silence and solitude? Have you journaled it out? Have you heard from the Lord? Have you sought wise counsel? What’s in your heart? Let’s talk about this. Let’s pray about this. Let’s work this out together. Somehow, they have done a good job raising their son. Because when they’re dead and gone, he hears from God and he obeys. God shows up, speaks to him. Here’s what I’m telling you. God can speak to your children.
– [Congregant] Amen.
– Sometimes we think, “Well, God speaks to me. I’ll just tell them what he says.” I was like, “Well, I wanna speak to them too.” It’s such an encouragement. We got five kids who love the Lord, and they hear from the Lord. And as they’re getting older, it’s so exciting. It’s so encouraging. When the kids are like, “Mom, dad, wanna talk to us?” “Okay.” “Yeah, I was reading the Bible. I was praying. I was spending time with the Lord, and I feel like this is what God is telling me, or leading me, or the next season, or this is what he wants from me, or this is his calling on my life. What do you think about that?” Oh, my gosh. God talks to you. Yes! ‘Cause even as a parent, if you obey me, that may not be the best for you, ‘caus I don’t know what the Lord knows.
– [Congregant] That’s right, that’s right.
– I don’t know the future. I don’t know what’s happening. So, ultimately, I can tell you what I think, but I don’t know what God knows. God sees and knows all. If he would tell you and you would hear from him, you’re in a way better position than just obeying your mother and father. So here, every generation needs to hear from God. And he hears for himself and he obeys. In addition, some sin patterns are generational. How many of you, if you’re here with your mom, don’t raise your hand. But you’re like, “Yeah, I do some stupid stuff my parents did,” right? How many of you, you say stupid things your parents said? How many of you grown up? Your parents would say something and you’re like, “That’s so stupid.” Then you have a kid and you’re like, “I’m saying it. Why do I do that? Why am I repeating these patterns?” Here’s why. “When the men of the place asked him about his wife,” you guys, you’ve been here around a while. There’s the old, she’s-my-sister routine. “He said, ‘She is my sister.'” Ah! Who did this? It’s mom and dad. How many times? Twice. How did it go? Bad. So what’s he gonna do? Same thing. “For he feared,” here’s a big idea. He what? Fear never leads you into the will of God. Only faith does. God has not given us a spirit of fear. It’s demonic. “For he feared to say, ‘My wife,’ thinking, ‘lest the men of the place should kill me because of my wife.'” I love how these dudes are like, “Well, honey, one of us is gonna suffer. Sucks to be you.” It’s gotta be a weird date night, you know? Hey, rock, paper, scissors, sister. “Because she was attractive in appearance.”
So, his dad had a beautiful wife, and he was afraid that other men would want her. He’s got a beautiful wife, he’s afraid that other men will want her. I can’t figure out why they don’t, “Hey, honey, when we travel, don’t bathe, wear a hoodie.” I don’t know. He could have worked on this. “When he had been there a long time, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out of a window, and saw Isaac laughing, flirting with Rebekah, his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac,
‘Hey, she’s your wife. You lied to me. You’re supposed to be the believer. I’m the unbeliever. It’s a terrible witness. How can you say, “She is my sister?”‘” Isaac said to him, he has a reason, but it’s not a good one. Okay, just so you know, that’s a man. We got reasons, they’re not good. “Isaac said to him, ‘Because I thought, “Lest I die because of her.”‘ Abimelech’s like, ‘What have you done to us? One of the people might have easily lain with your wife, and you would’ve brought guilt upon us. Your God’s gonna hammer us like a nail.’ So Abimelech warned all the people saying,” He’s kind of a mob boss. He’s got a little Tony Soprano in him. “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” Touches her. Can you imagine, everybody? This is the beginning of the six feet, you know? This is safe distance, right? This is it right here. Don’t wanna even bump into her or we’re gonna kill you. So what happens here is there are certain tests that generations of a family take. They just passed one test and that is don’t go south. So they passed that test. But here they’re gonna fail another test. This is the big idea. Every generation gets some things better, makes some things worse, keeps some things the same. Now, he did pass the test and didn’t go south, but he fails the test regarding the she’s-my-sister routine. Now, for those of you that have been with us for a while, let me just unpack this. In Genesis 20, his dad, Abraham, moved to a place called Gerar. There, there was a political leader named Abimelech. Abraham’s wife was beautiful, and so he told her, “Anybody ask, we’re both gonna lie. You’re my sister.” So, they take Sarah, they give him a big dowry, they think actually he’s the brother, and they don’t consummate their covenant. God literally shuts everything down and spares Sarah, so he can get his wife back, so they can have Isaac, so then the nation of Israel can come, and then Jesus can come. It’s all hanging on this. And so, Abraham failed his test. Here in this chapter, Isaac moves to Gerar, where his dad moved. There’s another guy named Abimelech. I don’t think it’s the same Abimelech. It’s probably a family name. Like Herod or Pharaoh. It’s a family name. So it’s probably son or grandson. And as they’re entering, he’s like, “Ah, you’re attractive. They’re gonna want you. Let’s do what mom and dad did and lie,” okay? And he fails this test. Here’s the painful reality. Sometimes families make the same mistakes for generations. Sometimes families maintain the same broken patterns of behavior and decision-making for generations. Sometimes generations of families just continue the same sin. All right, he passed one test, but then he failed another. But here’s what I’d like you to know. Is Isaac here a believer? Yes.
– Okay? Is he making mistakes, having bad days, occasionally living in fear instead of faith, and sinning?
– Yes. That’s a believer. See, that’s a believer. It’s not perfect faith, but it’s faith in a perfect God, and it’s progress. So, as a believer, you’re not gonna be perfect, but you can make progress. And the reason you can make progress is not because you’re perfect, but because your God is.
– So he did make some progress. He passed the don’t-go-south test, and he’s gonna fail the she’s-my-sister test. But God forgives him. Does God deny him? Does God punish him? Does God abandon him? Does God help him? Yes. He gets his wife back. And here’s the good news: He never does it again. His dad did this twice. He does it once. That’s progress. No, it’s not awesome, but it is progress. And I bet the conversation with his wife contributed to it. “I know your dad did this twice, you can’t do that. One and done, son, that’s all you get.” And he didn’t lose his wife. And so, ultimately, it wasn’t as bad as the parent’s, it’s a little bit of progress, but it’s not where you’d ultimately wanna see it, especially as a dad. If you’re a dude and you’re looking at this, you’re like, “Oh, he gave his wife away once. We all make mistakes.” Let me just say this. If you’re a dad, you see this differently. You’re like, “You should give away my daughter zero times. That’s how many times you should play the I’m-her-brother game.” But here’s the big idea. You’re gonna make mistakes, friend. You’re gonna sin. You’re gonna say and do some stupid things that your parents did, and God’s gonna forgive you, and God’s gonna love you, and God’s gonna help you, and God will straighten out whatever he made crooked. Now, I don’t tell you that so that you’ll shipwreck your life, but because at some point we all do. All right, if anybody’s a Christian for more than 15 minutes, we all have said or done something that we regret. And unless God helps us, it’s gonna be a real problem for our marriage and family. Amen?
– And so, the big idea continually is, God is faithful for generations. Was God faithful to his mom and dad?
– Yeah! And they ended better than they started. God’s gonna be faithful to him, and they’re gonna end better than they start. God spoke to his parents. God spoke to him. God cared for his parents. God cares for them. God is good for generations.
– Okay? And so, even if you’re, let’s say you’re a spouse or you’re a parent, we’ve made some bad decisions. We’ve really made a mess of some things. You know what? God is faithful for generations, and they are not a perfect family, but they’re a family that believes in a perfect God. So let me explain then generational sin patterns, ’cause here we’re seeing one generation repeat the sin of the previous generation. Jesus says this in Matthew 5:34-37, “Jesus says, ‘Do
not make any vows, this is from the evil one.'” Now what we’re seeing here is a vow that becomes a generational curse. Let me explain this. Earlier in Genesis, if you were present, Abraham had a vow with his wife. He made her vow to him. And what he said was, “Anytime we enter into a place where we’re the foreigners and the strangers, you’re gonna tell everybody you’re my sister. I have fear that I’m gonna die, so I need you to vow that you’re gonna lie.” And everywhere they went, this was the vow between Abraham and Sarah. They died, but the vow lived, and it became a generational curse. Now his son is doing with his wife the same thing that mom and dad did. This happens over and over and over. Right now, in sort of the growing field of trauma science, they’re saying that trauma can be passed on generationally. They’re starting to find that not only genetically, but, spiritually, and in brain science and hardwiring, there are things that we inherit from our parents that we’re completely unaware of. And unless we become aware of them, we can’t course-correct and change them. Just give science time, and eventually it catches up with the Bible. So, everything God creates, Satan counterfeits. So here’s what we’ve seen in Genesis. They have faith in a faithful God, and they’re in a covenant relationship with God, and when they have faith, and walk in obedience to the covenant with God, there’s generational blessing. What Satan counterfeits is: There’s fear instead of faith. Rather than making a covenant with God, they make an inner vow with the self, and that leads to generational cursing. This is how it works. Let me explain this to you. It all starts with fear. Abraham previously said, “I was afraid, so that’s why me and my wife created this inner vow and lied.” Here, the son says, “I was afraid that I was gonna die, so me and my wife, we made an inner vow that we would lie.” What happens is it begins with either pain or fear of pain. So, something happens. Maybe it’s abuse, maybe it’s trauma, maybe it’s loss, but it hurts, it’s painful. And, or, it hasn’t happened, but there’s a fear that it will. When that happens, now you’re in fear, not in faith. You’re looking out to the problem. You’re not looking up to the Lord. It literally becomes godless. You see the problem, but no God over the problem. God has exited your view and it makes you a false prophet. A false prophet is someone who predicts something that doesn’t happen. The most powerful false prophet in your life is you. You and I prophesy things all the time that don’t happen. We work ourselves into fear and frenzy over things that don’t become reality. So it starts with pain or fear of pain, and then what happens is you make an inner vow. It’s not a covenant with God. “God, I trust you to get me through this. Tell me what to do, lead and guide me.” “God, you’re not gonna get me through this. I need to take care of myself. I will make an inner vow.” And here the inner vow is anytime I feel I’m in danger, I’m going to lie. That was the vow. So they make their wives, two generations, agree to the vow. So if I’m afraid of my life being taken, you need to lie. That’s our vow. What happens then is you’re loyal to the vow, not to the Lord.
– [Congregant] Wow.
– What happens over time, you become very, very loyal to the vow. And let me say this too, you know that you have made an inner vow when someone is threatening it or violating it, and it triggers tremendous emotion and anxiety, or anger in you. So I’m like, “Why do you get so emotional about that?” Well, there’s some vow in there that you’ve triggered. You’ve violated something that is sacred to them that doesn’t have anything to do with the Lord. And what
happens then? Let me say this. We pass these inner vows on to our children. They become part of our parenting. This is where sometimes your parents, they had these little statements that sort of governed all of the decision-making in the family, but it wasn’t from the Bible and it wasn’t wisdom. It was an inner vow. Because, oftentimes, if a parent has had pain, trauma, abuse, neglect, their fear is not just that they will experience it, but that their child will experience it. And out of love for their child, they wanna protect their child, so they make a vow, and then they put the vow over their child, instead of the presence of God.
– [Congregant] Yeah.
– And then the child is supposed to be loyal to the vow, as the parent is loyal to the vow. This is how you get generational cursing instead of generational blessing. It happens all the time. Just think of things that your parents said. There were like legalisms, there were like laws. You know, that actually is not what God says. I’ll give you some examples. My heart is for men. I love everybody. But I feel like if we can get the men, we can really help the women and children, ’cause most of the problems are caused by the men. And, oftentimes, what happens is men are raised by men who raised them, not under the word of God, in the presence of God, but under an inner vow that becomes a generational curse. I’ll give you some examples. Real men don’t-
– Cry. So you’ve heard this one. Is that what the word of God says? – No.
– No. The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept.” And your dad would’ve looked at him and be like, “Ah, wuss. Not much of a man.” He’s like, “Actually, I’m perfect. So if you disagree with me, you probably should edit your position,” you know? Jesus wept. He wept over Jerusalem. He wept at the death of his friend. What do you mean real men don’t cry? You’re more real than Jesus? How about this one? Real men don’t say they are-
– Sorry. So you’ve heard this one. Really, real men don’t say they’re sorry? The Bible says that all men, except for Jesus, are sinners. That means, occasionally, dad’s gotta raise his hand and say, “My fault.” And let me just say this dad, the wife and kids already know. So you’re not bringing new revelation. It’s not like the wife and the kids are like, “Oh, my gosh, it’s not Jesus! All right, yeah, we know.” But then what it allows is a culture where people get to be honest and repent.
– That’s right.
– And the pressure’s off to perform. How about this one? Real men don’t hug. They don’t hug.
I’ve met generations of men. “Yeah, my dad never hugged me.” Why? “Well, his dad never hugged him.” Ooh, his dad never hugged him. That’s an inner vow that’s a generational curse. What do you mean your dad doesn’t hug you? He’s your dad. The whole story of the prodigal son is the son comes home and the dad runs to hug him. A good dad runs to hug the kid. That’s the story. When we get to heaven and we’re raised from the dead, we’re standing before God the Father, I’m sure he’s not like, “I don’t do hugs,” you know? But what happens is, we experience some pain, we make a vow, and then we use it to parent our kids, and it becomes a generational curse, instead of a generational blessing. I’ll give you one more for men since we’re picking on ’em. Real men don’t say I love you. I’ve met grown men that literally will say, “My dad never told me he loved me.” Why? We didn’t get that from the… Does God ever tell us that he loves us?
– Yeah, from beginning to end. He keeps saying it, and, somehow, a bunch of guys read it, and they’re like, “I don’t think so. I don’t think so, I don’t think so.” No, no, no. God loves us. The Father loves his kids, amen. He loves us.
– And he tells us he loves us. He tells us over and over and over. And so, yeah, real men do say I love you. And they tell their wife and they tell their kids all the time. This is just a few examples. But every one of us has got in our family history some brokenness that comes from pain or fear of pain, that leads to a vow, that becomes a parenting legalism, that becomes a generational curse. And as soon as you start to make your own decisions or walk away from that, your parents will get very emotional, because they feel you’re in danger, and you’re gonna ruin everything, and you’re gonna cause pain, and that’s the spirit of fear, it becomes demonic. And they may love you, but they’re not helping you. So we all need to examine, not out of bitterness, what I don’t wanna do is I don’t wanna give out a bunch of permission to get bitter against your parents. I don’t want you to be bitter, but I do want you to get better.
– Not bitter, but better. Not like, “Well, my parents, they’re terrible and…” No, no, no. Okay, they made some mistakes, they gave some gifts, I’ll receive the gifts. What adjustments can I make, so that there’s progress? And then I want my kids and my grandkids to make more progress. And the hope is that the longer our family is on the earth, the better our family is getting. That’s the hope. That’s the hope. So then what we see here is God’s blessing on the next generation of a family. And I’ll just tell you this. This is everything. More than your income, more than your intellect, more than your education, more than your grade point average, the blessing and presence of God’s anointing is the most precious thing in your life, on your marriage and in your family. If God’s hand is on you, the rest will figure itself out. We’re gonna see this man bless his family, ’cause some people do bless their family. We’re gonna read a lot. Genesis 26:12-33,
“Isaac sowed in that land,” during a what? – Famine.
– Famine. “And reaped in the same year a hundredfold.” How many of you are investment people? You’re like, “I gotta figure out what he planted.” Imagine during a famine, you get a hundredfold return on investment in one year, and you’re not committing a crime. That’s amazing! How did this happen? Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole economy was swirling the drain and God would bless his people? Wouldn’t that be awesome? The Lord what? “Blessed him, and he became-”
– Rich. Hmm, we’ll talk about that in a minute. “And gained more and more until he became very wealthy.” There’s wealthy and then there’s very wealthy. Well what does his portfolio look like? What does his assets encompass? “He had possessions of flock and herds, many servants, so that the Philistines envied him.” The neighbors are like, “He’s doing too good.” Let me say this. As soon as you succeed, someone’s gonna get jealous and attack you. It’s not just failure that’s hard to manage, it’s also success. I was talking to an old pastor years ago, we were driving around his truck. He’s like, “Do you wanna stop being attacked?” I said, “Yes, with all my heart.” He said, “Okay, it’s easy.” I said, “Okay, what is it?” He said, “Say nothing, do nothing, and have nothing.” I was like, “Oh, yeah, I’ll get attacked.” “Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.” So he’s setting up at his dad’s old base camp. His dad dug wells. How many of you right now, if you could have a lot of land, and it all came with wells in Arizona, that would be awesome, right? So they’re in the desert. If you have land with a bunch of wells, that’s a big deal. The enemy’s come and what do they do? Put all the dirt back in the wells. Here’s what I’m telling you. Everything you try to build, somebody’s gonna try and break. Everything you try to assemble, someone is gonna try and steal. People will waste their energy attacking your thing, rather than investing in their thing. You know how much work it is to fill a… You know how much work it is? Let’s just do a little well talk. So, now, how much work do you think it is to dig a well with a shovel and a bucket?
– [Congregant] A lot.
– By the end, you need water. This is 10, sometimes 100, 200 feet down. Dig, bucket, dig, bucket. These guys come along and what? Put all the dirt back in the hole. They could have used that energy to do something else. It’s just amazing to me that some people spend their whole life attacking, criticizing, stealing, blaming, envying, and coveting, rather than working, and building, and producing. It’s so much work to fill a well. You could go do something. But there are people like this. There are people who dig wells, and there are people who fill them up. God’s people are to be digging the wells. We expect the unbelievers to come and try and fill them up. The story continues. Goes on to say, “And Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Go away from us,
you’re much mightier than we.'” You need to go. You’re too big, too successful. So Isaac, “Okay, fine. You don’t want me? We’re good. God will go with me.” “So Isaac departed from there, and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there.” That’s his dad’s old headquarters. “And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham, his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham.” So his dad digs the well, they fill the well, he digs the well again. “And he gave them the names that his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring of water, the herdsmen of Gerar, they quarreled.” They got attorneys, social media hit pieces, search engine optimization, fake narrative about Isaac’s well. Ah! Fake news, lawyers, protests, yada yada. “Saying, ‘The water is ours.’ So he called the name of that well Esek.” And I dug it up, pun intended, in the Hebrew, and it means contention. So he named that well Contention, because they contended with him. “So then they dug another well.” It’s a lot of work. “They quarreled over that also.” Ah! Some people are gonna fight with you, it doesn’t matter what you do. “So he called its name Sitnah.” Literally, in Hebrew, I dug it up. It means getting old. That’s kinda funny. First one, fight club. Second one, this is getting old. “Then he moved on from there and dug-”
– Another well.
– Another well. How many of you at this point be like, “God, I just don’t feel like you’re leading me to be in the well business.” “And they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth,” which means freedom and relaxation. Finally a day off. “Saying, ‘For now the Lord has made room for us.'” Here’s the big idea. Keep digging until you get your well. A lot of people are like, “Dug a well and they filled it up, and so I’m done.” Dig another well, dig another well, dig another well. Start another business. Plan another church. Do another ministry. Make another investment. Repair another house. Keep digging. “From there, he went up to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him the same night.” God’s gonna speak to him again. “I am the God of Abraham. If you think I can take care of you, just look at what I did with your dad.” There’s a real blessing being born into a believing family when you’ve seen God be faithful for generations.
– [Congregant] Amen. – He says what?
– Fear not.
– Fear not. ‘Cause, son, you can’t make decisions out of fear, only out of faith. Fear leads to inner vow, faith leads to covenant. Fear leads to cursing, faith leads to blessing. Fear not. That’s the number one command in the Bible, appears hundreds of times. The reason God tells us, “Fear not,” continually, is ’cause we’re continually fearful. And I just tell you right now, the last few years, the spirit of fear, the demonic counterfeit spirit of fear has ruled Earth. From COVID to wars, to elections, to riots, fear. “For I am with you and I will bless you, and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” What he says is, “I made a promise to your dad. I’m
gonna keep it for you and his grandkids.” “So he built an altar there.” He’s planting a church. He’s got hundreds of thousands of people in his family. And here’s his thought, “You know what? Unless God shows up, this ain’t gonna work. So we’re gonna stop and worship God.” So he built an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, pitched his tent there. You know what? We’re gonna worship God at our house. I would tell you it’s great to have you, but you need to also go home, and build an altar at your house. That’s where you meet with the Lord. You need to worship, pray. “And there, Isaac’s servants dug a well. But when Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, his advisor, and Phicol, the commander of his army, Isaac said to them, ‘Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?’ They said, ‘We see plainly that the Lord has been with you.'”
– Let me tell you, friends. Even unbelievers can see when God shows up. – Yeah, right, right.
– That’s right.
– “So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us.” How about we just make a agreement that we don’t fight anymore? “Between you and us, and let them make a covenant with you.” See, there’s the word covenant. Faith, covenant, blessing. Fear, inner vow, cursing. He’s gonna worship God in faith, live out a covenant, and be blessed. “That you will do us no harm just as we have not touched you and have done nothing to you but good and have sent you in peace.” He’s like, “How about this? You go do your thing, we go do our thing. Let’s just be libertarians. Leave each other alone.” “You are now the blessed of the Lord. So he made them a feast,” let’s eat together, celebrate in friendship, ate and drank. In the morning they rose and exchange oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. That same day, Isaac’s servants came and told them about the well they had dug and said, ‘Ha ha, it’s got water!'” Sometimes you live by faith, and then God shows up and you see his provision by sight. They made the oath, they dug the well, and then the water came.
– There’s no promise, but there’s God’s presence. “He called it Shibah, therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.” Let me say that this is God’s blessing, not only on one generation, but it moves to the next generation. I will testify in my own life, I’ve seen this. God has blessed my mom and dad, they know and love the Lord. God has blessed Grace and I, we belong to the Lord. God has blessed our kids.
– The God who has been faithful before they were born will be faithful after I’m gone. – Amen.
– God has been… If I can just tell you, we’ve been through a bit as a family, we’ve had a few wells that we dug, filled up. Just keep digging wells. Eventually you find water. Just plant your family there, build an altar, worship God.
– I have seen God 100% consistently faithful to my family in supernatural, inexplicable, lavish, ridiculous ways. People are always like, “What’s the secret?” There is no secret. If God doesn’t show up, you’re in trouble.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– If God doesn’t show up, good luck. If God shows up, great. I have just seen God’s faithfulness. And some of you, you’re brand new believers, you’re first generation. You’re like, “Could we trust God for the future? Could we trust God for our kids? Could we trust God for our grandkids?” For those that have been walking with the Lord for a while, they’re like, “Hey, he showed up so many times, in so many ways.”
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– We just sleep different now. We used to freak out. Now we take naps, we’re good. See, when I first got saved, I was a brand new believer. So I’d get all anxious about stuff. I’d be like, “What about the money? What about the kids? What about the…” And Grace would be like, “He’s got this, it’s fine.”
– [Congregant] Yep.
– I’d be like, “How do you know?” She’s like, “My dad’s a pastor. I’ve seen it my whole life. After a while, the sun comes up every morning. It’ll be up tomorrow. Go to bed.” God showed up yesterday, he’ll be there tomorrow. Just go to bed.
– Okay? And so, what he’s doing here, he actually has deeper faith at an earlier age than his
father did. ‘Cause he’s seeing faithfulness for generations. But I want you to see here, there are four things that contribute to him being a blessing to his family. Number one, he hears and obeys God’s word. First thing, God told him, “Don’t go.” “Okay, I’m not going,” right? “I’m not going.” He hears and obeys God’s word. First and foremost, you’ve gotta hear and obey God’s word. It starts with the Bible, but prayer-wise, counsel, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the conviction of your conscience, you’ve got to seek God’s will. First thing he does, he hears and obeys God’s word. Not perfectly. He does sin and make a mistake, and you will too, and so have I. But God’s big enough and good enough, that God’s good overcomes our bad.
– Okay? Number two, does he work?
– He really works. Digs up an old well, moves, digs up another old well, goes, digs another well. That’s a lot of work.
– A lot of people are like, “Oh, I’m just waiting for the Lord to provide.” He did, he provided a shovel, go dig. God doesn’t provide holes. He provides shovels.
– You gotta go dig. – Come on!
– Right? And so, this is a dad over here that testified. Let me just speak to you, younger folks. We have an entire lazy, unreliable, entitled, pathetic generation. We just do. And it’s undeniable. And if you’re online right now, you’re like, “Oh, I’m triggered, I’m gonna talk about this.” The only reason you could do that is ’cause you’re not at work right now. That’s why. You’re just proving my point. And the last few years, we made it worse. “Oh, you wanna be a good citizen?” “I do.” “Well just stay home and we’ll send money to your account. You don’t even need to have a check and cash it.”
– That’s right.
– My son was home. He’s in college, he’s like, “Dad, the government just put money in my account.” Huh? Scary they’ve got your account. I was like, “What’d you do?” He’s like, “Nothing, it’s just money.” I was like, “That’s crazy.” And they kept doing it. He looked at me, he was like, “What are they doing?” I said, “Trying to destroy you.”
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– Because the way a bad government works is division and dependence. Just keep sowing division and creating dependence.
– [Congregant] Yeah, right.
– The way a healthy culture works is actually not division, but unity, and not dependence, but responsibility and independence.
– That’s right. – Right.
– We had a whole few years where a whole generation was told, “Do nothing.” Don’t go to work. Don’t go to school. Don’t make plans. Don’t look into the future. Just sit, move home with your parents. Just let your mom pay your bills. Just do nothing. We got a whole generation of young men, pathetic.
– [Congregant] Yup.
– You watch Ukraine, if we get invaded, nobody here’s fighting back. Nobody, except for, there’ll be some rednecks, and they’ll be our last hope. They will, right? They’re like, “I’ve been buying guns and ammo, and I lifted my truck. I’ve been looking forward to this day my whole life.” “Don’t need tanks. Don’t need to call anybody. We got this.” But, it’s so weird now. You go everywhere and it’s like hiring, hiring, hiring, hiring, hiring, hiring, hiring, ’cause nobody’s working, working, working, working, working.
– [Congregant] Right.
– All right, here’s the big thing that a man needs to know. Life is hard. That’s why most people fail at it. To make money takes work. As soon as you build something, it’s gonna get broken and attacked. And you can just sit there and talk about how you feel, or you can get your shovel and go dig another hole.
– Come on!
– [Congregant] Amen.
– And so, what we see here is he works. Amen? – Yeah.
– It’s a lot of work. He keeps moving a whole household, keeps digging, planting, infrastructure, business, corporation, planting a church. The guy’s working. The word of God, hard work. He also is willing to have some war. When they attack him, he has the conflict. He’s gonna lawyer up. He’s gonna negotiate a deal. He’s gonna get a treaty. If you’re gonna build something, someone’s gonna attack it. There’s only two ways to have something. You work for it, or you steal it from somebody who worked for it.
– That’s right.
– And so, at the end of the day, you may need to have some more. So you can’t just come and take that. This is where you may need a lawyer. You may need a contract. You may need to push back. You may need a PR campaign. Sometimes you gotta hold your ground. He’s got the word of God, he works. He’s willing to have war, but he’s also committed to worship. He’s spending time with God. He’s forgiving his enemies. He’s inviting God’s presence. The reason that there is generational blessing, the word of God, work, war, and worship. And that’s life. And let me briefly just point out something that was said here. Here’s what the Bible really says about the rich and the poor. And if you were raised in our culture, you were told that there were two categories. It’s because you’re lied to by the Marxist. The truth is the Bible has four categories. A lot of people are like, “Well, it’s the rich and the poor, and the rich are bad and the poor are good.” No, it’s not that simple. Genesis 26:12 and 13, I’ve shared this a lot, but here’s the line, “The Lord blessed him, and he became,” what?
– Rich. Is he ungodly? – No.
– No. Huh! Because there are two kinds of godly people. There are godly rich people and godly poor. And then there are two kinds of poor people. So there’s godly rich and godly poor, and then there’s ungodly rich and there’s ungodly poor. The question is not, are you rich or poor? The question is, are you godly or ungodly?
– That’s right.
– So here, Isaac, which category is he in?
– Godly rich.
– Godly rich. The other guys become jealous and steal from him. Well, they’re the ungodly poor. They’re trying to steal from a guy who’s working, rather than going and digging their own wells.
– [Congregant] Right.
– So, in our culture, don’t get into the Marxist division of rich versus poor, keep it in the biblical categories of godly and ungodly. So lemme just say this, if you’re here, and let’s say you’re young, and you’re brainwashed growing up in a university, and you are. I hate to break it to you. What you were told was: rich, bad; poor, good. Okay, Jesus, good, poor, and rich. So when Jesus was on Earth, poor or rich?
– Poor. Today? – Rich.
– Doing good. Doing real good. Heaven, really nice. Really nice. It’s nice. It’s like nice, nice. People in heaven are looking down at Paradise Valley, going, “Dump, dump, dump, dump, dump.” “Wall Street Journal” just named Paradise Valley the nicest city in America.
– And, in heaven, it’s called Detroit. It’s just a dump. Okay? The Bible says, “Jesus, though he was rich, for our sake, he became poor.” So Jesus was poor and rich, but he was always godly. You could be poor and be like Jesus, you could be rich and be like Jesus.
– [Congregant] Amen.
– Here, God makes him rich. Not everybody who’s rich is evil. Some are blessed, some are evil. – [Congregant] That’s right.
– You’re gonna see that in the next book of the Bible, Exodus. This guy named Pharaoh, he’s loaded and demonic. He’s ungodly and rich. But there are some people who are poor because they’re ungodly. They won’t go to work. They won’t get over their addiction. They won’t take responsibility. Don’t think in the cultural categories, think in the biblical categories. And then he closes with this. This is the end of the chapter. So we looked at some people bless their
families, some people burden their families. Some people are like, “They’re such a blessing!” Other people are like, “They’re such a burden.” Genesis 26:34 and 35, “When Esau was 40 years old, he took Judith, the daughter of Beeri, the Hittite,” that’s the unbeliever, “to be his wife, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.” Abraham, grandpa, loved and served the Lord, wasn’t perfect, but God blessed him. He has his son, he loves and serves the Lord, he’s not perfect, but God blesses him. Grandpa, to the son, to the grandson. Grandson hates God. Hates God. We learned last week, he despised his birthright. You wanna worship our God? I don’t care about your God. Do you want the family inheritance? I don’t care about the family. Do you wanna be part of our nation? I’m gonna move, I don’t care about my country. He’s a guy who doesn’t care about his country, his family, or God. Could care less. He has no loyalty, no devotion to anyone or anything, except for himself. And so, what he does, he picks two unbelieving women. He marries them. Now he’s guilty of adultery and polygamy. His mom and dad are not perfect, but they love the Lord. What are they feeling?
– [Congregant] Right.
– A heartbreak. “Son, don’t do that.” That’s what I’m doing. “Son, the Lord’s not gonna bless that.” “I don’t care about the Lord.” “Son. Son, no. Hundreds of years we’ve been setting this up for you.” “I don’t care.” Okay. Whose fault is it that Esau hates God? Has no care?
– Is it Abraham’s fault?
– So it’s not grandpa’s fault. Is it dad’s fault?
– No? Is it his fault?
– It’s his fault. So let me say this. You can have a burden, but that doesn’t mean you’re at fault or it’s your responsibility. Do they still love him?
– Absolutely. Are they heartbroken? Totally. Are they praying? Every day. Are they begging him? Yes. Are they like this, “Please come home. We love you. We’ll forgive you. God’s grace is there. We’ve blown it. We’ve seen him fix things. Please, please come back to us. Please come
back to the Lord,” every day? Never comes. And it’s not their fault, it’s his fault. As we’re talking about family, and blessing, and legacy, you just need to know that when your children become adults, they make their own decisions, and they’re responsible for them in the sight of God. And a lot of times what a parent will wanna do is make it their fault and take it as their responsibility. Well, what did we do wrong? The answer is, you’re gonna see it next week, this guy’s got a twin brother who does love the Lord. They had the same parent. They literally were birthed at the same time. They slept in the same bunk beds. They ate the same food. They went to the same church. They had the same mom and dad, and one loves God and one hates him. You can’t save your kids.
– You can’t. Some of you are parents. We need to look at our parenting and say, “Is there anything I can own with my adult kids? I’m sorry, that was wrong. I wish I would’ve done it different.” ‘Cause just as there’s no perfect child, there’s no perfect parent. Any parent who’s
like, “I think I nailed it.” No, you did not. You did not. Every parent could look and say, “Ah!” So we can own it with our kids. Say, “I’m sorry, that was wrong. I wish I would’ve done this differently. I ask your forgiveness, you know? Had I to do it over again…” But at the end of the day, the child needs to decide who they’re going to be. And the two most important decisions that everyone makes, what God do I worship and what person do I marry? And that’s the decision that Esau makes. “I’m not gonna worship God. I’m gonna marry two gals who don’t love God, and I’m gonna be a polygamist and adulterer, and I’m gonna break my parents’ heart every day, and that’s what I’m doing.” For those of you who are parents and, or grandparents, and you’ve got the prodigal or the wayward, it doesn’t mean that there’s no hope, but what I want you to do, I want you to be burdened for them. I want you to love and care, but I don’t want you to allow the enemy to whisper in your ear.
– That’s right.
– Right? That, ultimately, you could have done something that would’ve changed the course of their decision making. It may not be your fault and it may not be your responsibility. Once you’d have a burden for them, but then they need to have a burden for their own soul and their own relationship with God, and their own marriage, and their own family. Some people are a blessing to their family, some people are a burden. Grandpa was a blessing. Son was a blessing. Grandson, this one’s a burden. But the good news here is this. This whole family is gonna bring us Jesus. And the whole point of learning about fathers and sons is that God the Father would send Jesus Christ, God the Son. “And Jesus comes and he says, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.'” So let me just close with this. The God that they’re worshiping is Jesus Christ. The God that they’re following is Jesus Christ. The God that they’re repenting to is Jesus Christ. The God that they’re being forgiven by is Jesus Christ. The God who goes with them is Jesus Christ. The God who speaks to them is Jesus Christ. The God who blesses them is Jesus Christ. The God who is faithful to them for generations is Jesus Christ. The whole point of this family is to bring Jesus. So, what we’re gonna do in just a minute, you’ve
heard the word and we’re gonna worship. And then you’re gonna leave here, and the hope and prayer and goal is to work and to war. To dig your wells and to defend what God has given you to lead. But, ultimately, I just wanna encourage you with a few things that we learned from the story. You can be blessed in a broken world. They have a famine and God provides for them. That’s hope and encouragement. It’s not a promise, but it is a hope. You can be blessed in a broken world. And I know as we look at the world right now, it’s broken. It was broken and it’s really broken right now, amen? It’s really broken, but you can be blessed in a broken world. You can have a godly family, despite surrounding culture of godlessness and opposition. They do. You can leave a godly legacy. You can send your children as lights in the darkness into the future. And, lastly, this will happen if you come under the word of God. If you’re willing to work and obey, and do the things that God has called you to do, you gotta hear his voice, to war and defend what God has given you, and to worship.
– That’s what we’re gonna do right now. Father, we come to worship in Jesus’ name. We thank you that this isn’t a perfect family, but it’s a blessed family. And, God, thank you that every generation, they’re not perfect, but they make a little progress. And, God, thank you that the majority of the story is about blessing and faithfulness for generations. But, God, there is also that concerning few lines about a wayward son who is rebellious. I pray for all the parents who have prodigals. I pray for those who have kids and grandkids, that, God, their parents’ hearts are for them, but their children’s and grandchildren’s heart is not for you. God, it’s never too late, as long as they’re alive. So we pray for your presence, your provision, your blessing. As you showed up in the life of Abraham, we asked that you would show up in their life and save them. And, God, for those of us who do know you, please let us live by faith, not by fear. Let us live out of covenant with you, not vows to ourselves. Let us be people who are blessed to be a blessing, and not bringing additional cursing into this world, starting with our marriages and families. And, Jesus, thank you that you came from this crazy family. And thank you that you adopt us into God’s family. And thank you that you are faithful for them, you are faithful for us. And as we are sitting 4,000 years later, we see that you are a God that can be trusted in every generation. And so we trust our generation and the generations to come to you. In Jesus’ good name. Amen.