Genesis and Leadership #4
Moments of Truth
27 June 2021
Good morning and welcome to “Moments of Truth”, a weekly broadcast brought to you by the brethren of the Pekin church of Christ located at the corner of First Street and Karnes Court in Pekin, Indiana.
Each week, we endeavor to present a portion of God’s Word to help you to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). This morning I am joined by my son, good friend and brother in Christ, Gabriel goen. He will be doing all of our Scripture reading for us this morning. We also cordially invite you to come and study God’s Word with us. We have Bible Classes for all ages! They begin at 9:45 and are followed by our 10:30 AM Worship and 5 PM Worship. All are invited to come and worship with us. We continue to utilize our Facebook “Live-Stream” capability for all our services. Don’t forget about our daily “Bible Point to Ponder” which is also “Live Streaming” on our Facebook Page at 9 AM Monday through Friday. We hope you will be able to take advantage of all these opportunities to study more of God’s Word.
As well we would also like to ask that you do all you can to remain righteous before God so that your prayers will be heard and answered. James tells us in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
And when you pray, we ask that you remember to pray for all men as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
If you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or 812-896-6613. You can also contact us through our web site at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. We’d also like to offer you a Home Bible study at your convenience as well as a free Bible correspondence course. Our desire is to help you with your walk with God.
Last week we began a journey through the entire Bible to help us see the entire Bible is designed to help the Christian to lead. Beginning with the Book of Genesis we see the fact that the Bible is the book on leadership and It All Began with God the Ultimate Leader! So today we continue our journey through the book of Genesis in the Bible, and we examine: Lessons from Jacob and Esau.
From Adam and Eve to Sarah and Abraham and all the lessons’ we ‘ve learned this far about Leadership from The Leadership Book, we now get to learn from Jacob and Esau, the two sons of Isaac.
To begin learning from these two men we have to take a quick look at their parents Isaac and Rebekah. In Genesis 25 we get to see their story begin, especially prior to the birth of their twin boys Jacob and Esau. As we learn from Genesis 25:21-27 we see their story begin, “Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her: "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger." 24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. 27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a
man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” This family, as one can see, had some challenges early on that would impact the lives of these men. Favoritism by each parent being one of them. That’s another lesson altogether. But, that is a leadership lesson to learn, we must not “show partiality” for God does not! (Acts 10:34).
Anyway, let’s focus on Esau for a moment. His is the first lesson we come to in Genesis 25:29-34. His leadership lessons is the fact that unlike that of Abram who embraced the God-Given vision he was given, Esau fails to have “Vision” and does not see the Big Picture, “Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary." Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day." 32 And Esau said, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?" 33 Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
In Esau the bible paints a powerful picture of a leader without vision. While the eyes of some folks may be larger than their stomachs, in this case the problem was exactly the opposite.
Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn son, Esau, loved the great outdoors from very early in life. He became a skillful hunter, growing strong and resourceful and as rugged as they come. But he lived so completely in the present, depending solely on his own strength and resources, that he repeatedly failed to clearly see the future.
Esau succumbed to the kind of temptation that still entice leaders today. Let’s take a look at six characteristics of Esau’s near-sightedness and see whether any of them might trouble us:
1. Esau focused solely on the here and now, convinced that tomorrow never comes.
2. Esau relied on his natural gifts and on his birth order rather than on God’s plan.
3. Esau’s shortsightedness prompted him to give up the ultimate to get the immediate (a single meal).
4. Esau, favored by his father, may have thought that Isaac’s love would bail him out of any poor decision he might make.
5. Esau’s limited vision caused him to marry a Hittite, a choice which grieved his parents.
6. Esau’s clouded vision blinded him from the deception of his bother Jacob.
In a legacy symbolic of his life, Esau’s descendants became the enemies of Israel. Whenever you see the word Edom or read of Israel’s clashes with the Edomites in Scripture, think of Esau, for it is through him that these persistent opponents of Israel came into existence. The animosity between these two ancient people can be seen eve in the Psalms, Psalm 137:7, “Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, ‘Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!”.
Today we remember Esau as a self-centered man with faulty vision. Hebrews 12:15, 16 tells us to examine ourselves, “lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.”
And yet God extends His grace! Before Esau died, he showed that he had matured. Geneses 32 and 33 describe a fearful meeting between Esau and his estranged brother. When the pair finally meet after years of separation, Esau
embraces the deceiver Jacob and forgives him on the spot. Could it be that before he closed his eyes for the last time, Esau finally saw with clear vision? Perhaps. But imagine what might have been had he developed that vision sooner!
The next section of Scripture in Genesis we will focus on deals with Influence. Influence can be both positive and negative. The Bible tells us that Jacob “influenced” the birthright away from his brother Esau, the oldest son in Genesis 25:29-34. A little later in Genesis 27:1-30 we get to see Rebekah “influence” Jacob and Esau’s father, Isaac, “Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." And he answered him, "Here I am." 2 Then he said, "Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 "Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 "And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die." 5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 'Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.' 8 "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 "Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 "Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death." 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 "Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing." 13 But his mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me." 14 And
he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 So he went to his father and said, "My father.' And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" 19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me." 20 But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the LORD your God brought it to me." 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24 Then he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am." 25 He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's game, so that my soul may bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near now and kiss me, my son." 27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: "Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the LORD has blessed. 28 Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!" 30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out
from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.”
From this story we get to see Rebekah influence Isaac with “deception” to help Jacob obtain the best blessing from his father. This was a benefit intended for his brother Esau. It took “influence” to bring both incidents to pass. A person can wield influence in many ways. Consider seven such methods, beginning with the worst:
1. Force: the use of physical strength to influence others.
2. Intimidation: bullying others verbally or emotionally to get them to act against their will.
3. Manipulation: coercing others to act, sometimes against their will.
4. Exchange: giving something in order to receive from others (I scratch your back; you scratch mine).
5. Persuasion: the use of verbal skills to move someone to action.
6. Motivation: energizing others so that they want to act.
7. Honor: communicating esteem to others by serving them, thus inspiring them to act.
We can see manipulation in both stories, Jacob with Esau, and now Rebekah with Isaac. In both cases, Esau and Isaac had limitations that Rebekah and Jacob took advantage of. Thereby using “influence” to get what they wanted. It’s fascinating to see what God will use to help us learn what we need to learn concerning leadership. Bottom line, leadership is “influence.” And so, you and I must respect the role of leadership and be sure to utilize it to the benefit of others, not so that we can obtain a selfish desire. As we will see later on, Jacob’s deception gives us a clear answer to Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Now, let’s take a look at Esau’s brother, Jacob. While we know the negative about Esau and we will actually learn some negative about Jacob later on, for now lets recognize Jacob as a Leader who was made useable through brokenness. Reading through Genesis 25:26-32:32 we get to see his story. But we want to begin with some questions. First, Natural leaders have it easy, right? Not always. Even leaders gifted with tremendous natural leadership can have a very difficult time, especially with issues of character. The was true for Jacob. From the very beginning he wielded great influence. No matter what he did or where he went, he stirred things up. He captured the heart of his mother and the birthright of his brothers, turning Isaac’s household upside down. He had a similar impact on the household of Laban. Over time, his leadership created great prosperity. And it was his sons who founded the twelve tribes of the Hebrew nation.
Wealthy, strong, influential, and blessed with a large family, Jacob seemed to have everything. But a leader who goes his own way and seeks to benefit only himself cannot be an effective instrument in God’s hands. God had to break Jacob to make him useful. In the breaking process, Jacob – the deceiving “heel-catcher” – became Israel, “a prince with God” who purposed to serve God rather than himself. So, we turn to the time when Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis 28:10-22, “Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 "Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in
your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." 17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" 18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 "so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. 22 "And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
Natural leaders often need to be broken. Consider your natural ability to lead a gift from God, but your character a gift to present back to God. Remember: Every time you stand up under the weight of adversity, you are being prepared, as Jacob was, to better serve God and lead people.
When we turn to Genesis 29:16-30, we get to see what is referred to as the “Law of Victory.” And the expression, “Leaders find a way for the team to win” defines the law. This means good leaders are whatever-it-takes people. They are the “go to” guys and gals who always find a way to achieve their goals. Such a description certainly fits Jacob, the stubborn young man who fell in love with Rachel. Let’s read Genesis 29:16-30, “Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter." 19 And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you
than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me." 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her." 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. 23 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?" 26 And Laban said, "It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 "Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years." 28 Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. 29 And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. 30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.”
After requiring Jacob to work seven years for his younger daughter’s hand in marriage, Laban substituted his older daughter, Leah – and Jacob didn’t discover the deception until the morning after his wedding night. Some men would have battled Laban. Others might simply have walked away. Jacob fumed, he even asked the question, “why have you deceived me?” It’s a fascinating response for someone who practiced deception in his own life, with his very own family. This is where our reference to Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” comes in. However, it would seem that Jacob learned a lesson with this deception by Laban because he didn’t give up. He loved Rachel so deeply that he did what he had to do;
orked another sever years to get her. Jacob practiced the Law of Victory as a leader who did whatever it took to reach his goal.
Well, we come to another end of “Moments of Truth”, and we want to thank you for listening and studying God’s Word with us today. I also want to thank Gabriel for doing all of our Scripture reading. It is our hope that you have been encouraged and will continue your studies of God’s Holy Word and seek to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Next week we will pick up our study beginning in Genesis 32 and learn more from Jacob and Esau. We will also begin discussing leadership lessons from Joseph!
Remember also, if you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or visit our website at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. Please visit us on Facebook as well! Remember, we are providing our worship services “live streaming” on our Facebook page. The thing is, Scripture teaches in Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…” Please recognize the importance of being with your brethren in worship. We all need to remember Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” Please hang on to and live by Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Finally, we ask that you please remember, we want to help you with your walk with God.