In this final Christmas sermon from Genesis, we explore Jacob’s final words to his fourth son, Judah. Though Judah is not a man who distinguished himself that greatly above his brothers, he is still the head of the Israelite Tribe from which King David and the Messiah will come. Thus, these final words from his father are an explicit prophecy of the coming of the Christ and how He will rule the nations and pour out His blessings on His people.
Do you like taking Tests? At many places in Scripture, we see God testing His children in order to prove, before the world, the veracity and strength of their faith in Him. In Genesis 22, we find one of the most severe tests ever given: God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son , Isaac, as a burnt offering on Mt Moriah. God was testing Abraham to see if his affections for God’s gifts has supplanted his affections for God Himself. Abraham successfully passed the test, and God’s subsequent promise of a “Seed” is the conquering, Redeeming Savior we worship and celebrate today.
Because Adam and Eve chose to listen to the voice of Satan, to doubt the loving purpose of their Lord, and to break God’s law by seeking what He alone reserved for Himself, all of creation has come under the curse of death. Our sin and lostness is why we are a condemned people in need of salvation from our Loving God. And that salvation is exactly what God promises in Genesis 3:15. Christ will be the gift of God who will crush the head of the Serpent and restore all who believe to the enjoyment of God’s glory. It is the fulfillment of this promise in the incarnation that we celebrate at Christmas.
The fall of Genesis 3 severely severed human relationships; first with God, and second with fellow human beings. Before the flood, we saw the fruit of humanity’s broken relationship in Cain’s killing of his brother Abel. After the flood, we see the fruit of humanity’s broken relationships as we pick up the narrative in chapter 11. We see how men in this new world rebelled against God, seeking to glorify and deify themselves, and the destructive effects their sin has on humanity’s relationship with one another. First, we see the common root of their sin, and how it worked itself out in their lives. Second, we see the destructive effects of their sin in severing their relationship with God, and with one another. Finally, we see how they need to be reconciled to God, and to one another, and how Christ is the only hope for that reconciliation.
One of the most interesting conversion stories in the Bible is found in the life of Jacob. In this sermon, we explore how God isolated Jacob, wrestled with Jacob as an individual, and brought him to personal conversion, which left him permanently changed.