Sermon – January 25, 2015

Dysfunctional Families of the Old TestamentGodly Parenting“, by Rev. Mike Holly

Sermon Series: Dysfunctional Families of the Old Testament

Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Genesis tells us. Twin boys born to loving parents who were overjoyed to receive them. And yet as they grew, Genesis tells us that the parents began to love one more than the other. This is a house divided in dysfunction. In Jewish culture at this time, the oldest male is the main heir of all that the family owns. The younger son would receive the smaller portion. With Esau being born first, he would be the main heir of all that Isaac and Rebekah would have. The tension mounted as the boys grew and their actions would be less than honorable because of this one decision.

God seems to see every child born as a gift. Each and every person has sacred worth. To treat one more favorably than the other is to deny the sacred worth of the other child. However, we all know that parenting is not easy. Some children are easier to manage than others. Some children are more challenging than others. But that in no way means that we should modify the love that we have for them. That would be dysfunctional!

Part of our job together as a church is to help each and every child know, love and serve God. We do so by introducing them to the great truth that God knows each and every one of them by name and claims them as his own. They have sacred worth to God. As parents, teachers and members together in the family of God, we should endeavor to show each and every child that they are truly loved.

~Mike Holly

The Word

Genesis 25:19-28

These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.”

When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

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