March 4th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
March 4th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
The Resolution that Jacob Made (Genesis 28:16-22)
<Intro> When there is a shade of suffering, loneliness, and sadness (Gen. 28:11)
You’ve all heard the story of Jacob. Let’s think of a situation where you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer, or think of a situation when you’ve broken up with a lover, or when your spouse has passed on before you. You might have experienced these things before. People will be dumbfounded, or some people will go up to the mountains and feel vacant. They will look afar, and they will feel empty. Why do you think people in these situations will not look at the ground but look up and afar? By nature, they are looking afar, thinking that maybe, in the distance, they can find an answer. Maybe in the far distance, there’s someone of greater power who has the answer. Looking afar reflects back on themselves as seeking an answer. When people are falling into loneliness, they will look back on their memories. When people are suffering and feel sad, they will look back and they want to refresh. Whatever busy things they were partaking in before will cease. From here, you can see the light, the revelation of God. You need space, your own time. To the grandson of Abraham, Jacob, that’s the place that he was in. He had to avoid the sword of his older brother. He had to say goodbye to his father and mother. He ran away until it was nighttime; he was tired and fell asleep. It was dark, and he was scared even in his dreams. No one could help him in this situation. Why was Jacob—who disputed with his brother and was alone—was in this situation? It was due to his humanism. Last week, through the pulpit message, we learned that Isaac was able to live a long and healthy life due to not relying on his humanism. Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, was not like his father. He used humanism.
1. Humanism is another form of unbelief.
(1) The unbelief towards God’s covenant (Gen. 25:23)
(2) The unbelief towards God’s time schedule (Gen. 27:6-10)
(3) The unbelief towards God’s method (Gen. 25:29-34, Gen. 27:13-29)
When you use your humanism, that is a sin before God. What kind of humanism did Jacob use? Jacob had another motive and intention. He wasn’t trying to bother his brother; he just wanted God’s blessing. That’s why he received the birthright by giving his brother porridge. However, Esau found out and was furious to the point that he wanted to kill his brother. Jacob, obviously, didn’t want to die, so he ran away. This is the situation that they were in. If you know the background of their birth, it is easy to understand. Isaac and Rebecca did not have children for twenty years. The first time she got pregnant, she had twins. However, in the womb, the twins were always fighting. Because they consistently fought, Isaac prayed to God, to which God said that there were two nations within the womb. One nation will be stronger than the other, and it must be noted that the older will serve the younger. Now, normally, the younger will serve the older, but God said that the older will serve the younger. It meant that the later-born twin will receive more blessings, and God promised this word. Since he promised this, this is a covenant. However, Isaac and Jacob, who had heard the word of the covenant, were unable to believe in this. That is when Satan was able to do his work. If Jacob believed in God’s covenant, then he would have waited. That’s why he always favored his older son, Esau. Seeing that, Jacob was always waiting for his chance to receive his birthright. This is the reason why those incidents took place. The average Christians will just listen to the words of God and then move on with their life. They might think, “Ah, I received grace today!” However, people cannot keep the word they received close to their hearts. That is why we are training to do so in the present. The pulpit message that I give today will be typed out by Deacon Ahn and uploaded on the church website for the members to print out and read throughout the week. Why must we do this? It’s because if we do this, then the covenant of God will be fulfilled. When you taste the fulfillment of the covenant, then you will know that God is alive. When you know that the pulpit message will be fulfilled, then you have no other choice but to pray. Because you have not experienced that, that’s why you are deceived. God, Himself, will fulfill His word. That’s what we need to confirm. Moses recorded these words in the book of Numbers. A long time later, Isaiah also recorded this. Isaiah 55:11 records, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Believe in this covenant. Because you don’t believe in His covenant, you consistently try to make your own time schedule. You try to make your own method and do your own work. Because Jacob didn’t believe in God’s time schedule, he was just waiting to receive his birthright. Because he didn’t believe in the time schedule, he deceived his father to receive that birthright. That is why the two brothers had a great dispute that led to murderous intentions on Esau’s part. Though Jacob received the birthright, he was scared of everything. I hope that you will believe in Him. Ephesians 1:3-4 records, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” What is important is inside of Christ, and God has chosen you for the revelation. Inside of Christ, God has chosen us. Then who is Christ? It is Jesus. Who is Jesus? He is the Son of God who was crucified on the cross. The moment you realize this, you will realistically find this time schedule. Before creation, God chose us. We have been selected as sons of God who would receive all of God’s blessing. However, there is one condition, and that is to be in Jesus Christ. Inside of Christ, all of the wisdom of the Jews is contained. That’s why we say, “Only Christ.” When you are complete and satisfied with Christ, all of the forces of the darkness will crumble. Honestly, anyone can come up to give a sermon. Everyone is a priest. Elder Moon can come up and give a sermon. Even if he has not gone through theology school, he can come up and give a sermon. A young child can come up and give a sermon. “Only Christ.” Only through Christ can we be happy and fulfilled. We are the people that the world cannot satisfy. Satan cannot touch us. However, Jacob didn’t know this. His son, Joseph, on the other hand, realized this.
2. Make a resolution for the identity of Immanuel that enjoys being with God
(1) God is my protector (Gen. 28:15a, 20a)
(2) God is my supplier (Gen. 28:20b)
(3) God is my almighty (Gen. 28:15b, 21)
Even in the midst of his loneliness and suffering, Jacob realized something. The contents of Jacob’s dream are recorded in verse 12. Jacob saw a tree, which stretched from the soil to the sky. He saw that the armies of angels were going from earth to Heaven by a ladder and back down again. At that time, he heard the voice of God, and God introduced himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of your ancestors. With this, He gave Jacob the blessing of the covenant. “The Land that you are lying will be given to your future generations, and your descendants will grow. I will be with you, and wherever you go, I will protect you. The covenant that I give you will be fulfilled; I will be with you.” From this, Jacob was shocked and woke up. So moved, he came to his knees and came to a resolution; the resolution that God was with him, and that the God that was with him was his protector. God is your protector. God is your provider; he will supply everything for you. He is the one who will make everything happen. Not only is He the protector and provider, but He is also the mighty God. Jacob was able to realize this identity and give his confession. What did God allow Jacob to see? He let Jacob see the ladder, the angel of God, and God’s voice. Jacob realized that this was God’s might, that this was the door to Heaven. What does all this mean? What do they all represent? The ladder was from the earth to Heaven. The ladder, in other words, connected to Heaven and brought things from Heaven and earth together. This ladder is Jesus Christ. Who is the only way that can allow us to meet God? 1 Timothy 2:5 records, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” There’s only one God, and there’s only one mediator between God and mankind. The ladder is showing who Christ is. Do you believe in this? Next is the angel of God, who are the servants of God. They are the messengers of God, which are the pastors of our world. They are the preachers who give the word of God. They are not actual angels, but they are like the angles of God that give the word of God. Where do you hear the voice of God? It’s preached in the body of Jesus Christ in the church. All these things represent Jesus Christ. Knowing this, what is God trying to show Jacob? God is allowing Jacob to experience Christ through this dream, with the ladder, the angels of God, the voice of God, the temple, and the door. God is allowing Jacob to experience Christ before the New Testament. “Only through Christ can you meet God in Heaven and hear the voice of God.” When you hold onto Christ, you will receive everything. If you truly hold onto the mystery of Jesus Christ, you will not have useless dreams. Let’s say that I was planning to give my son a million dollars. I can give it to him in check or cash. However, he didn’t realize the value of 1 million dollars. That’s why he would doodle on the cash, so I would not be able to give him the actual money. Then how will I make him understand the value of the money? I will go to Wal-Mart and get him some toy money and make him realize that this amount of money can buy this amount of toys. That toy money, however, is just representative of the actual money that I have yet to give him. When you hear one deaconess see something that was astonishing. You should not be shocked by this, however. All you need to do is read the Bible. Though you’ve never had a conversation with Him, He is Christ. God is given us the evidences of the people of the world. He is the Lord, the Master of our lives. He is our protector, provider, and the almighty God. Believe that you should not dream what Jacob dreamed about.
3. Make a resolution for the mission to save and raise the church which is Go’s house.
(1) Discern and devote (Gen. 28:18)
(2) Devote with what you have already received (Gen. 22:22a)
(3) Devote with what you will receive (Gen. 28:22b)
After experiencing this, Jacob was able to make his confession. When I’m summarizing this, when you sleep, you must need a pillow. Back in the days, they will use a stone for a pillow. However, Jacob said that he would make that pillow into a pillar. Before that pillar, Jacob said that he would build God’s temple. He made that resolution and gave that confession. What does it mean to be anointed with oil? You distinguish it, and you give it to God. I bless you that you will give that offering. Devote yourself with the things that you’ve already received. The things that you already possess are the things that you give. If you sing well, then sing with the church choir. If you’re good at making things, then do that for the church. If you’re healthy, then go out to work. One of our church elders who is not healthy will come to church to clean. Despite his weakness, he is offering his strength and talents to God. Don’t make excuses. If the temple of God asks, then give. Give tithe with the things you receive in the future. There was a pastor who was expecting a $10,000 salary. Because he was expecting it, he would give ten percent of this in advance to the church. Hearing that, I wanted to challenge myself with faith. God will be pleased with people who are faithful and challenge themselves. It doesn’t matter that you’re poor or untalented. What’s important is that you will devote yourself to the church. What is the way to raise the church? What is the way to bear the church? God will see you thinking these things. Just like Jacob, I hope that you will make this resolution.
<Conc> I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. (Gen. 28:13)
God, who is the God of your ancestors, will bless you. Just as God said, Jacob enjoyed God’s blessings. The blessings of Abraham to Isaac to Jacob were expended. Jacob was able to receive 12 tribes, something that his father or grandfather was unable to do. Through Joseph, he was able to receive the answers of the summit. He received the blessing of conquering. If I summarize this, if you come to the resolution of your identity and God’s significance, your descendants will also be blessed. Make the resolution of identity and missions. I hope that you will realize this, so confess this to the people next to you: “Let’s come to two resolutions. Three blessings will follow. Anoint him with oil. Give tenth of what you receive.” When you come to the wrong resolution, you will just barely make a living.
Almighty Father God, we kneel before You. We give this confession. Just like Jacob, I deceive. According to my will, I use humanism. However, bless me so that I can become anew like Jacob. I believe that You have selected me and will be with me. I am holding onto the mystery of Christ. At this time, let not only myself but my future descendants receive the answers of twelve tribes. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.