My pastor in NC just finished a sermon series on Jacob. What a great sermon series. The only one I caught "live" was one in Feb, so I listened to all of them today while I've been working out in the office.
I just wanted to give thoughts from them: and I'm looking forward to his next series. Praise God for the power of podcast and internet!
1. Stress is an idolatry and trust problem. Whenever we find ouselves stressed: relationship, money, family, lack of any of the above - think about what you are stressed about - it would probably fall into one of the above categories.
2. Leah's idol was Jacob - no matter how many kids she gave him, she still couldn't "earn" his love. That is all she wanted. When I can't earn someone's love it is hard, but when I find a relationship - any kind - when I don't have to earn it - it is so peaceful! Rachel's idol was kids. She didn't have them and she wanted to be able to give Jacob what Leah was giving him. Would that make her happy? Jacob's idol was the blessing - he tricked his way into it all his life - then finally at the end realizing that God is the blessing (the Messiah - the first born).
3. Will we only be happy if God gives us what we want? Gen 32.9. This is my biggest "question" of Scripture. All those scriptures that say praying in faith and you will receive. I've prayed for things for a long time and haven't received them. Is it b/c I am not asking in faith or b/c God doesn't want to give them to me. But - the promises of God and sovereignity of God are never in conflict with one another. How do I reconcile that within myself and my faith?
4. When you are right in the center - there is nothing like it.
5. Holding onto God isn't a means to an end - but an end in of itself (the chief end).