Monday, July 20, 2009

The Uncaging of an Unloved Son - Part 1


If I say favorite snack what comes to mind?
If I say favorite vehicle what comes to mind?

I was homeschooled until the fourth grade and when I began attending a private school I was at the head of my class academically. Because of this I was loved by my teacher, but this special status that I had gained caused me to be austrisized from my fellow class mates.

No one likes a teachers pet. Like my fifth grade teacher we all have the tendency to pick favorites. We have our best friends, we have our favorites at church, at work, and sometimes even in our own homes. There are those in our lives that we just click with...yet as followers of Christ we are called in John 13:34-35 to be a people who love, not selectively.

This morning I want to look at why we should not pick favorites when it comes to relationships. Now I will acknowledge there are times when it is ok to pick favorites. For instance my dad had a "favorite mother-in-law and a favorite son." He only had one of each...but this morning I want to study a family that had more than one son.

I want to look at the family of Jacob. Specifically at Judah, Jacob's unloved son, who would become known as "the Lion of Judah." Now many a sermon series has been crafted around Judah's younger brother Joseph, but few focus in on the person of Judah. Waltke writes, “If Joseph steps onto the pages of sacred history as a bratty do-gooder, Judah enters as a slave trader who has turned his back on Abraham’s God-given vision. He is callous toward his father and cynical about the covenant family.”

Genesis 29:31-35

I. Favoritism harms relationships

A. Looks like a Lack of Love
Son of an unloved mother (Leah)
Fourth son of Jacob and Leah
Birth a possible turning point for Leah (see the meaning of the Sons names)

B. Looks like a Lack of Protection
[See background] Genesis 33:1-7

C. Looks to be Hereditary (like any sin)
Judah’s Role Models:
Abraham, great-grandpa who had a mistress (Hagar)
Isaac, grandpa who had a favorite son (Esau)
Jacob, dad who had a favorite wife (Rachel)
Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen 48:10-20)
[Story 2 - Cholesterol and Mole on my Back]

Further Study: Sins of the Fathers (Ex 34:7, Num 14:18, Deut 5:9)

II. Favoritism destroys lives

A. Breeds Hatred
Genesis 37:2-4 2
Genesis 37:23-28

“Cover up his blood” (Gen 4:10)
No respect of care of Jacob; favoritism leads to bitterness (1 Pe 3:8-12)
Hatred of a Joseph; bitterness leads to hatred (Ps 133:1, Prov 15:18, Prov 16:32, Prov 19:11)
Jacob had shown a similar contempt for Isaac and Esau when he stole the birth right

Further Study: A Father’s directive (Eph 6:4 see also; Deut 6:4-6)
Question 5: While the relationship of Jacob and Judah demonstrates what should not be, what does God call us to be doing as parents?

Ephesians 6:1-4
(“discipline”) - the act of providing guidance for responsible living attained by discipline and correction (2 Timothy 3:16 ~ “training in righteousness”)
1. discipline - Prov 19:18, Prov 29:17;
2. rod - Prov 13:24; Prov 22:15; 23:14
(“instruction”) - “mind”/”place”

B. Breeds Insecurity
Joseph: Earn love ~ arrogance (Gen 37:5)
Judah: Lack of faith ~ fear (Gen 38:11)

III. Favoritism is Sin
James 2:8-9

A. God does not play favorites; He is not a respecter of persons.
What about “Jacob I Loved, but Esau I hated?” (Mal 1:2, Rom 9:13)
[key – God emphasis in this context is that God can do what he wants: i.e. mercy toward Israel]

B. Where do we struggle with favoritism? [Social Circles, Families, etc…]

C. How do we avoid favoritism:
1. Identify Favoritism in our own lives
2. Be equal opportunity "praisers"
3. Learn to appreciate the strengths and unique qualities of others

7/2009 - FBD Young Married Sunday School Class

Sunday, July 5, 2009

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