May 24 Worship: Genesis 48: The Life of Faith

Good morning TRC and Friends.

There is so much coming at us these days. Be on the lookout for an announcement about a TRC wide webinar this week.

Here is our worship for May 24. Today we study Genesis 48:1-22 and see that Jacob has learned to live a life of faith. What a perfect passage for our graduates and other high school and college students who are moving closer to that moment of launch.

Don’t forget to give as we continue to get after work in our county, city and world. As life comes more and more back on line, the need will only increase. I’m so proud of how you have responded in serving one another and our city and our members scattered around the world. Keep up the great work.

You can give right here: https://threeriversc.org/give

Here are our sermon notes for kidshttps://s3.amazonaws.com/media.cloversites.com/8e/8e64837f-e651-4e8c-a2e0-5ceb5498d4e8/documents/TVCResources-SermonNotesForKids.pdf

As always, if you have any questions or you’d like to share some good news, send your email to me at mitch@threeriversc.org


Don’t forget to check our today’s resources for RK from Brittany.

SERMON NOTES: PLEASE PARDON THE FORMATTING ON THE NOTES. WORDPRESS CHANGED THE WRITING PLATFORM, AND IT APPEARS I NOW NEED AN ENGINEERING DEGREE TO FORMAT MY WRITING 🙂

Genesis 48:1-22 

Big Idea: Faith learns to live God’s way

Jacob has had to learn a life of faith. 

Jacob has had to learn to see how God sees and reject what comes so natural to him and live by faith in God. 

It’s a life of faith because it involves seeing what was hidden by Satanic darkness and human traditions that led to cultural trends and assumptions that Jacob just lived by. 

  1. Jacob was a cheater, manipulator, and went with the flow of that being normal. 
  1. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (ESV) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Jacob has had to learn to live God’s way. 

READ THE PASSAGE TOGETHER.

What does our text say?

Jacob has fallen sick, and Joseph hears and takes his sons to see their grandfather. 

Jacob gathers his strength and to sit up and he recounts a story about Yhwh. 

Jacob testifies to the Lord’s work in his life. 

Jacob echoes the words of the promise given in the garden all the way back in Genesis 1 regarding the promise to bless and multiply, the very words that were promised to his grandfather and Isaac, his dad. 

Jacob remembers the word of God!!

Jacob then enters, what many believe to be, an adoption ceremony replacing Reuben and Simeon with Joseph through his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. 

Joseph honors this action by bowing on his knees before Jacob after Jacob claims his two sons as his first born. 

Joseph then removes his sons from Jacob’s lap and stands them before Jacob in order for Jacob to bless them, and particularly, he places Manasseh in front of Jacob’s right hand to receive the blessing as the firstborn Ephraim in front of Jacob’s left hand to be blessed also, but not as the chief. 

Jacob, in this act of faith, crosses his hands and blesses Joseph through Ephraim as the chief and invokes a threefold blessing on Joseph:

  1. The God of our fathers. 2. My Shepherd. 3.The angel.

Joseph is displeased because Manasseh has been raised in the ways of the world to be the head, and now Jacob has bypassed that whole thing. 

Joseph tries to move his father’s hands.

NOTE: THERE IS POWER AND LIFE, IN SPEAKING WORDS OF BLESSING. FROM MOSES’ WORLDVIEW THESE WORDS CARRY UNMOVABLE CONSEQUENCE. 

ISAAC COULD NOT TAKE THE BLESSING BACK FROM JACOB TO GIVE IT TO ESAU. 

JACOB CANNOT TAKE IT BACK TO GIVE IT TO MANASSEH. 

THEREFORE, WE MUST BE CAREFUL WITH OUR WORDS.

Jacob refuses Joseph’s attempt, and tells Joseph he knows what he’s doing. 

Jacob assures that Manasseh will be great also, but that the younger will be head over the older. 

NOTE: EVENTUALLY EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH WILL FALL AND JUDAH WILL BE EXALTED AS THE TRIBE FROM WHICH KINGS COME AND THE KING WILL COME. 

Jacob displays through giving more land as inheritance to Joseph that he has now become the head of the tribe, thus fulfilling what God told Joseph would happen. 

What do we learn about God/Man?

  1. 1. Jacob’s blessing of the younger over the older is on the highlight reel of faith! 48:14-20
  1. Hebrews 11:21 (ESV) By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.
  1. LIke Hank Aaron’s 715 and MJ’s 6th championship, Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over, but not instead of, Manasseh, is highlighted as an ultimate act of trusting God. 
  1. Jacob understood how God operated, and he didn’t need to be deceptive or manipulating. Jacob simply acts in faith that God’s ways stand over the ways of broken traditions. 
  1. 2. Jacob acts in faith by replacing Reuben and Simeon with Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. 48:5-13
  1. 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 describes why Jacob does this:

1 Chronicles 5:1-2 (ESV) The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; 2 though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph),

  1. How is this faith? 
  1. This is faith because it shows that righteousness is better than conquest and might. 
  1. This is faith because it highlights God’s way of holiness over man’s way of smashing and crashing through people in order to get one’s own way.
  1. 3. Jacob acts in faith as he goes against the grain of cultural expectations (in blessing the younger over the older) and shows that God’s reversal of human order is right. 
  1. Traditions of men/world/cultural norms/etc. can often go unchallenged and are assumed to just be the way it is. 
  1. Firstborn lords over the last born.
  1. Vengeance and might are better than justice and humility. 
    1. These are default settings for humanity outside of Christ. 
  1. God’s reversals of the ways of broken humanity are there to remind us that saving grace overcomes “natural ways”. 
  1. If God does not reassert the way, the truth and the life, mankind would never see and experience that God can and will overcome the effects of the curse. 
  1. It is these moments of reversal that remind us of God’s saving work in the cross. 
  1. God saves not by lording over by force but by love through suffering and death for the people of his affection.
  1. God saves not by natural order, but by supernatural grace and kindness. 
  1. God saves not by reserving himself, but by emptying himself. 
  1. In moments like these God puts on display who he is, how he works, how he loves and how he wants us to act.
  1. 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
  1. Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
  1. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV) But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

How do we apply our passage?

  1. 1. Believe that a mature faith is the result of faithful obedience to God’s word worked out over time….So PERSEVERE! 
  1. Jacob learned over his lifetime by:
  1. Observing what God said and did in his dad’s life. 
  2. God revealing himself and making his word known.
  3. Trying to obey but doing it his way and suffering the consequences.
  4. Learning to listen to and obey God.
  1. 2. Believe that a life of faith is God’s work in, through, and around us to get us to the GOOD he has prepared for us FOR HIS GLORY. 
  1. OUR GOOD FOR HIS GLORY!
  1. Jacob’s life is not about how awesome Jacob was. 
    1. Jacob’s life highlights the God who has saved a people for himself and is working to bring about his kingdom. 
  1. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship (WE GET HIS GOOD WORK IN US AND HE GETS THE GLORY FOR IT BEING HIS WORK), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  1. 3. Know that Jacob’s faith is rooted in God not just “faith” for “faith’s” sake and the same goes for us! 
  1. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
  1. The hope and unseen are that the God of the bible, his kingdom, his salvation and his ways are true, right and more desirable than the counter narratives that end in death. 
  1. We don’t just have faith in faith. 
  1. Biblical faith stops being real saving faith as soon as it’s object stops being the God of the bible. 
  1. Faith is only as powerful as it’s object. 
  1. If the object of faith is not real, then there is no power for eternal good. 
  1. Faith is God’s appointed means of hoping in and acting on Jesus Christ, his rule and reign. 
  1. Don’t misunderstand this sermon is not about faith as an end and feel good human strategy apart from faith’s true object, Jesus. Faith not rooted in Christ is not ultimately effective. 
  1. Faith apart from Jesus is like an arrow shot at no target into the sky. It will hit nothing and result in nothing.
  1. And the lies of the dark kingdom will grant illusory gains at such “faith” that will vanish because the result of sin is death. 
  1. 4. Let God’s word school you in God’s ways then act on them in public. 
  1. Jacob had to learn God’s ways, and that involved him wrestling with Jesus in a night long match and being wounded in grace by Jesus so Jacob could be saved.
  1. Strive to get to this place: Psalm 119:24 (ESV) Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.
  1. 5. Let God’s word teach you to spot counter narratives of the dark team that are not God’s ways and reject them.
  1. Jacob had to reject the methods of a system that was set up to see power, being first, nobility and human achievement rather than God as primary. 
  1. Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
  1. 6. Believe that faithful obedience is pleasing to God as the primary act of worship.
  1. Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
  1. Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

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