Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses Genesis 25-36; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 Worship Playlist The Lion & the Lamb by Bethel MusicMatthew's Begats by Andrew PetersonJacob & 2 Women by Rich MullinsHis Mercy Is More by Matt Boswell Study Questions 1. Think of a time you were deceived? What did it cost… pain, money, relationships, opportunities? How did it impact you?2. Think of a time you were the deceiver? What was your motivation? How did it change your relationship with the person you deceived? 3. How does the genealogy of Jesus help you to understand the work of God in history, Scripture, and the Gospel?4. What stood out as new to you in the story of Jacob in Genesis 25-36 this week? 5. Think of how you worship in light of Jacob's life? What does it mean to acknowledge God’s presence, to worship in the house of God?What does it mean to avail yourself to the Lord, to worship him face to face?What does it mean to attest to his mercy, to remember he is with you? 6. What can you do to live more of a life of worship... majesty in your life over the madness of life? Resources White Paper Comparing Matthew & Luke's Genealogical Records Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Sermon Audio Download Madness of Deceit Dr. Eric Radecki - 11/14/2021 As a 1st grader at Roosevelt Elementary School in Belleville, IL, I recall our daily restroom break procedure. Our female teacher would take all the girls down the hall to the restroom, and the male custodian would accompany all of the boys to the boys’ room just across the hall from our classroom. However, on one particular day, the custodian wasn’t there, so the teacher appointed my cousin, Cody, to be the monitor for the boys. As per our usual routine, the boys would line up inside the restroom door, and 3 or 4 of us would step up to the urinals at a time. When we would finish, we lined back up against the wall until all the boys were done. So as usual, on this day, I took my turn, and then stepped back to the wall to wait for us to return to the classroom as a group. When the teacher got us all back in our seats, she asked Cody if there was anyone who misbehaved during the boys’ trip to the restroom. Imagine my shock when Cody announced that everyone behaved except for Eric! I instantly felt the stare of every other kid in the classroom. I was literally in shock. Teacher called me up in front of the class to explain my behavior. I was speechless. I don’t even think it had crossed my mind that he was being dishonest; In that moment of intense pressure, I thought there must’ve been something I did wrong… Earlier, in the restroom after I was finished at the urinal, I stood calmly against the back wall like this. But, in that terrifying moment when Teacher asked me to explain my behavior in front of all the class, my words failed me. All I could say was, “I was bouncing off the wall like this…” Next thing I know, I was sent to the principal’s office to meet what was in those days referred to as “the board of education.” We’re talking a hardened piece of oak, drilled with holes to reduce air friction. The last thing I heard before the sting on my backside were the fateful words of the principal, “bend over and grab your ankles.” My cousin’s deception cost me no small amount of pride that day, and even more pain. The story of Jacob is one of constant deception and conflict and relational consequences… also involving his cousins. But before we get into Jacob… Have you caught “Y: The Last Man” on Hulu? If not, I won’t recommend it to you, but I will sum it up… It’s about a young man named Yorick who finds himself the only man left alive on the planet following some unknown cataclysmic event that has wiped out all other males. Not a bad premise for a dystopic sci-fi adventure. Unfortunately, the network cancelled the show after just one season; turns out it was too woke for conservative viewers and not woke enough for progressive viewers. And this is why we can’t have nice things in 2021. The basic premise of the show is that everything points to Yorick. Certain factions are searching for him, some want to protect him, and others want to kill him. He may very well hold the answer to the mystery of what killed off half the world’s population, and he is also the only hope for the continuation of the human race. The Last Man, Yorick, is the key to saving humankind. He’s a type of reluctant hero, the savior in the fictional story none the less. The Savior in God’s story, the metanarrative of the Gospel, is Jesus. He is the interpretive key that unlocks Scripture and the story of God’s redemption and ultimate recreation of the entire cosmos. We cannot begin to approach Scripture—or in our case, specifically, Genesis—without recognizing that everything points to Jesus. Adam, the first man, falls and God promises a rescuer… Genesis 3:15— I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. The protoevangelium=the first proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Scripture. So who’s it gonna be? • Cain? nope… • Noah? nope… • Abraham? nope… • Ishmael? let’s just pause here… We get Ishmael’s descendants in Genesis 25… he has 12 sons. Important, and God honors his part in the story, but nope… • Isaac? nope… • Esau? nope… • Jacob? We’ll talk about him today, but nope… • Jacob’s 12 sons? nope… • Not even Joseph? nope • Moses? Joshua? Nope & nope… • David? nope… • Solomon? nope… All through the cycles of Judges and Kings and Prophets, madness piles upon madness. It all builds up at an increasing rate to get to Jesus, the one who is going to end the madness and reset all things to God’s ultimate majestic vision for the world. It’s funny, since we started this series, I’ve had several conversations about the genealogy of Jesus. Isn’t that interesting? We find 2 different genealogies in the NT, one in Matthew 1 and the other in Luke 3. It’s a fascinating study, and if any of you are interested in more info, I have a white paper that covers a lot of the details; it’ll be linked on our website. I’ve asked Camden to come out and sing Matthew’s genealogy for us… With that summary behind us, let’s dig into the life and times of Jacob and the madness of deceit. We could entitle today’s sermon “Deceivers and the Deceivers They Deceive.” As we look at Jacob, remember what Jon has stated several times: much of what we see in Scripture, and certainly that’s true in Genesis—is descriptive NOT prescriptive. Big difference. And, this is a feature, not a bug, of the metanarrative. It emphasizes humankind’s (our) need for, and the ultimate arrival of, the Savior. It points us to the promised rescuer, Jesus. And the madness comes to a climax in the life of Jacob… Jacob = Deceiver, delivered in a compound presentation, with 1 arm out first; Scripture tells us he was grasping at the heel of his twin brother, Esau, interpreted by those who witnessed his birth as trying to surpass his brother and come out first. Deceiver. An aptly descriptive name, and it would prove to be prophetic… Jacob Deceives Esau • Isaac favored Esau, but Rebekah favored Jacob (Genesis 25:28). • Jacob deceived Esau out of his birthright as firstborn with a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:27-34). • Jacob Deceived his father, Isaac, into blessing him instead of Esau (Genesis 27:1-40). • Esau marries women that give his parents grief (Genesis 26:34-35; 27:46). • Esau also marries a daughter of Ishmael just to spite his parents (Genesis 28:6-9). • Esau vows to murder Jacob (Genesis 27:41-45). At this point in the story Jacob has the blessing of his father, access to all of Isaac’s land and possession, and rightful dominion over the family… as well as his brother’s enmity. Laban Deceives Jacob • Jacob contracts with Laban to marry Rachel in exchange for 7 years of labor (Genesis Genesis 29:1-22). Rachel = beautiful ewe, 2nd born, shapely figure • Laban deceives Jacob on the wedding night by switching Rachel for Leah (Genesis 29:23-26). Leah = weary cow, 1st born, with weak eyes Just to make this clear: Jacob thinks he’s married the shapely and beautiful young sheep, but he instead wakes up next to the tired old crossed-eyed cow. • Jacob contacts with Laban to marry Rachel in exchange for 7 more years of work (Genesis Genesis 29:27-30). You might be tempted to think, “Now that Jacob has Rachel for his wife, all is well.” Oh no. It’s just getting interesting… Leah begins to have children, but Rachel cannot. • Altogether, Leah gives birth to 6 boys—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar & Zebulun—and 1 girl—Dinah. • Consumed with envy, Rachel gives her slave Bilhah to Jacob, and she has 2 sons—Dan & Naphtali. • Not to be out done, Leah gives her slave Zilpah to Jacob, and she has 2 more sons—Gad & Asher. • Finally, God hears Rachel’s cries, and Rachel gives birth to Joseph & Benjamin (and dies in childbirth). Just stop and imagine the psychology… • Rachel cheated out of her wedding night by her own father’s design; finally gets to marry the man she loves, only to be barren, all the while witnessing her own sister bear children with the man she loves. • Jacob was tricked into sleeping with the wrong woman by his own uncle, and then has to make a second deal in order to marry the one whom he had already been promised in the first place. • Leah, snuck into the bed of the man who didn’t want her, but loved her sister instead; essentially, you could argue, a rape orchestrated by her own father, only to be the object of her barren sister’s envy from that point forward. • Not to mention the dysfunction wreaked between the 13 offspring of 4 different mothers. Think of Joseph’s arrogance and the corresponding contempt his brothers had for him. We’ll get to that next week. It’s all sick and twisted. This is how we get the 12 tribes of God’s chosen people, Israel. Can you believe their disgraceful beginning? Jacob Worships God But in the midst of all this madness Jacob learns to set deceit aside in exchange for worship, his only right response to 3 different encounters with God… Jacob turns to worship when he encounters God. First, Jacob acknowledges God’s presence. As Jacob travelled to Laban’s country, after he left home fearing his brother Esau, he encounters God in a dream. (Genesis 28:11-22) Bethel = House of God Surely the Lord is in this place. This is none other than the house of God. The Lord will be my God. That’s the first step for Jacob, and any of us, toward worship: Acknowledge God’s presence. Years later, after he has married Leah & Rachel, and also has Bilhah & Zilpah, all his sons, and has worked off more than his debt to Laban, he decides to return home. But he knows Esau’s anger will be waiting, and so he prepares to meet Esau with gifts to hopefully soften the blow. Spoiler alert, it works. Esau and his brother reunite in embrace. Next, Jacob avails himself to God. On the journey back to his father’s land, prior to meeting up with Esau, Jacob once again encounters God in the form of a man—a wrestler, no less. (Genesis 32:24-32) Israel = receptacle for God (often thought of as struggled with God, but that’s based more on how the word sounds in Hebrew, similar to the word for struggle; Instead, it’s more likely a compound word for a receptacle of liquids and God is upright. So, the one whom can retain God. A bit of foreshadowing of the nation of Israel that would carry God. I will not let you go unless you bless me. Penuel = Face of God I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared. What does the Bible tell us happens if a man were to see God? He would die. No one can see God and live. And yet here Jacob not only sees God face to face, but wrestles, manages to hold him in a submission grip, and converses with him. Moses was able to glimpse the backside of God. And Jesus tells us, if we have seen him, we have seen the Father. Jesus is God revealed to us. And he is revealed to us in the Word and in his Spirit. And, like Jacob, our life has been spared. He is our Savior. Jacob, even in his struggles with God, and all the madness and deceit, opens himself up in worship to God. Sometime after, Jacob’s daughter Dinah is raped and taken captive, and two of his sons lead a mission to first deceive, and then murder her captives and rescue Dinah. It’s a bloody mess. They steal and plunder and basically wipe out an entire tribe. We’re talking Anakin and the Tuskin Raiders level stuff here. Last, Jacob attests to God’s mercy. Jacob encounters God once more as a voice… (Genesis 35:1-15) Purify yourselves. He has been with me everywhere I have gone. He and his family purify themselves and build an altar and set up a stone of remembrance… he worshiped. In trouble, remember that God is with you and return to worship. The opposite of deceit is worship. Deceit, or any vice, is a habit formed by our unchecked lust and desires. We allow those desires to grow into actions, we repeat the actions until they become patterns of behavior. And in this way they form us, our character, a way of life, who we are. We cultivate a life of worship in the same way… Our desire for godly virtues takes form in habits that are practices we repeat, which develop into patterns; patterns that form us spiritually into the men and women God wants us to be. We often call these spiritual disciplines: it’s about allowing the Holy Spirit to shape us rather than our own selfish and sinful desires, by habit forming practices that point our spirits toward God. Worship is one such practice. I’m thinking about offering a class in the new year called “The Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus.” We can learn about spiritual disciplines from a lot of sources, and many of them good, but I think it might be best for us, if we’re wanting to be shaped into Christlikeness, for us to look at the life of Christ himself. This is not a WWJD class, but What DID Jesus Do? He lived a purposefully disciplined life, both in order that he might walk in the Spirit himself, and also to model what that looks like for his followers and for you and me. Maybe it’s time to change your habits, your patterns of behavior, and, like Jacob, return to Bethel. Return to worship. The Table is a practice of worship. We acknowledge God’s presence. He is here. This is Bethel, the house of God. We avail ourselves to the Lord, face to face in worship. We attest to God’s mercy. He has been with us everywhere we have gone. And we return to our Bethel, this is the house of God. Remember what we read early… Paul surely must’ve had Jacob in mind when writing these words: (1 Corinthians 1:27-29) God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in his presence. Join me in eating this bread in remembrance of Christ and his body which he gave for us… Join me in drinking this cup in remembrance of Christ and his blood which he poured out for us… Amen.