Worship Service 16 Junly 2017
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
July 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Genesis 25:19-34;
Sold, One Birthright!

Scripture Reading

Genesis 25:19-34;

Psalm119: 105-112;

Romans 8:1-11;

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Genesis 25:19-34New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Birth and Youth of Esau and Jacob

19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?”[a] So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 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.”

24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.[b] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.[c]31 Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.”[d] So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Psalm 119:105-112New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
    to observe your righteous ordinances.
107 I am severely afflicted;
    give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
    and teach me your ordinances.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
    but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
    but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your decrees are my heritage forever;
    they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
    forever, to the end.

Romans 8:1-11New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Life in the Spirit

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit[a] of life in Christ Jesus has set you[b]free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.[d] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit[e] set their minds on the things of the Spirit.[f] To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit[g] is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,[h] since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit[i] is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ[j] from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through[k]his Spirit that dwells in you.

Matthew 13:1-9New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears[a] listen!”

Matthew 13:18-23New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.[a] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Pastor's Summary of Genesis 25:19-34

Abraham has taken another wife, Keturah, by whom he has had sons, they are the founders of Arabic tribes. Ishmael, his son by Hagar, is the father of tribes between Egypt and Arabia. In ancient times, children were considered to be a gift from God.

Abraham has taken another wife, Keturah, who has borne him sons; they found the Arabic tribes (vv. 2-4. He sends these sons eastward: they will not compete with Isaac (v. 6). Abraham has died (vv. 7-10). Ishmael, his son by Hagar, has twelve sons who become the fathers of tribes between Egypt and Arabia (vv. 12-18). Now vv. 19-20 recall Isaac's Aramean lineage. the story implies that Rebekah was barren for 19 years: see vv. 20 and 26. Isaac mostly shown as a bridge between Abraham and Jacob, prays fo her to conceive (v. 21), but when the pregnanacy proves difficult, it is she who visits a shrine, seeking a divine oracle ("inquire of the Lord", v. 22). Contrary to Israelite custom, "the elder shall serve the younger" (v. 23). A scholar suggests that Esau is ruddy rather than "red" (v. 25). His abundance of body hair is important later when Isaac is fooled into blessing Jacob rather than Esau. The Hebrew for "hairy" (se'ir) reminds the reader of Seir, the land where Esau later lives. "Jacob" (v. 26) probably means May God protect. Within the name is a syllable which on its own means "heel". The two boys are indeed "divided" (v. 23) as God has foretold: Esau, like Ishmael, becomes nomadic while Jacob lives a settled life ("living in tents", v. 27).

Vv. 29-34 are a second story. Jacob may well be cooking up a stew, i.e. stirring up trouble. When Esau returns from hunting "famished" and weary, he wants to gulp down whatever Jacob is cooking. ("Edom", v. 30, meaning red one, is another name for Seir). But Jacob thinks fast, to his own advantage, he demands Esau's favored status (and greater inheritance) as first-born. Esau will give anything for a meal (v. 32). So Jacob is able to extract from him a legal agreement (v. 33). And so we learn how Abraham's line, the line of God's people, continues through Jacob and not Esau, and how Israel become a greater power than Edom. God chooses: whom he chooses is his affair.