April 24, 2016
“Cost of Disobedience”
Pastor Kenny Lee
Pastor Kenny Lee
The Cost of Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book called “The Cost of Discipleship.” Just to tell you a little bit about who Dietrich Bonhoeffer is all about, he’s a pastor, he’s German. And right before the war, he got out of Germany, he came to America, and as Germany is going into war and things that are going on in Germany. Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw the pain that his German brothers were suffering, so he himself decided to go back to Germany. He got put into a prison camp and in the prison camp, by the third reich Hitler’s army died. He wrote a book called “The Cost of Discipleship.” If you know the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer its amazing. How he encouraged so many people while in the prison camps. That’s one of his books; it’s a wonderful read. And that’s the reason why I put Cost of Disobedience. What’s the other side to that? There’s a cost to discipleship, cost of obedience, but there’s also a cost to disobedience as well. Before we begin, I’d like to say a certain thing. I’d like to have the right mindset before we begin and that’s this. Us in the Western world, for us to understand something we usually think that it starts with the mind. For the Jews, especially in the Bible, it’s not the mind that understands, and I think that as people when I go onto explain, you’ll understand it, as I explain a little bit further. For the Jews, their way of understanding is from the heart, it’s from the heart. You guys experience that all the time. Maybe your mom would say something like, or your friend will be like: “Why are you being so stubborn today? Why are we not agreeing on simple things? My goodness, what’s wrong with you? You’re so stubborn headed.” You know what I’m saying? The other night I’m talking with my wife and we’re agreeing on everything, we’re agreeing on all this. I can say something and we finish each other’s sentences, you know? You ever have that synergy? You know? And then the next morning, something happens and she’s disagreeing on everything or she thinks I’m disagreeing on everything. Depends what perspective. But she’s the one who said it first, and I was like “Argh! She beat me to the punch.” “Why are you being so stubborn?” And I was about to say the same thing to her. We have a heart of misunderstanding, a heart of misunderstanding. But today what I would like for you to do, for you to understand God’s word, I would like for you to have a heart of understanding. And what that requires is: settle down, breathe in and out, be comfortable in listening to God’s word.
Review of Genesis 27
We’re going through the book of Genesis. We’re on the 27th chapter of Genesis and we’re on part 2. In part 1, we’re talking about Isaac, Isaac, the famous son, the long awaited son of our father Abraham. And as we see Isaac’s life, we want the best thing because good things come to those who wait. We see his father Abraham. Abraham is like a superstar, like Michael Jordan. Who will be the heir of his heirness? Who will be the heir of Mr. Faith, of the father of faith, who will be that heir? And that happens to be the long awaited son Isaac. And Isaac comes into this world and we’re like “Oh my goodness this is great!” And we see that this superstar dad, it seems like so far he has a dud of a son, just a dud. Just doesn’t quite live up to that hype. And we’re kind of left “What’s going on?” This is the same son that was almost sacrificed and God intervened, an angel appeared and intervened! How can this be? Yet we see the realities of this family. Isaac, younger son of Abraham, Abraham had an older son, Ishmael, conceived out of sin. Isaac the younger brother grows up, marries, marries Rebekah and it’s a beautiful marriage. The marriage ends with Isaac loved Rebekah. Isaac has twins. That’s awesome. And there’s a prophecy given by God himself. The older shall serve the younger. And as they raise their children, the children grow up. The first son, Esau is a hairy man, he’s red and hairy, loves to hunt, and is very animalistic. The second son, Esau is a thinking man, he’s inside the house, cooks and cleans, is clean-shaven and all that. Esau, the older son, marries twice. Well he doesn’t get married and divorces and gets married again. He marries one woman and then marries another woman, two women, polygamy. He has two women, Hittite women. And because they look pretty good and everything seemed to be good in the eyes of Esau, he gets married without any regard for mom and dad, or anything like that. If you recall Isaac and how he got married, there was an ordeal. Abraham calls his favorite servant and has that servant put his hand under his thigh and says “Swear to me now, swear to me, that you will not take for my son a wife from around here. That you will get it from somewhere else, where I’m from, promise me that. Do it now!” There was this whole ordeal and Isaac got married in that way.
And all of a sudden, Esau just goes “Hey dad, I brought a girl. You like her? No? Well I’m going to get married anyway.” And this part of the story started off by saying that these Hittite women that Esau married brought grief, brought torment on Isaac and Rebekah. And if you’ve seen some mother-in-law relationships, you can kind of see that as a reality. You can kind of see that, you can kind of depict that. Midlife hell for Rebekah, the only reason why it was kind of bearable, it was kind of okay was because of the fact that she was still the matriarch because of her husband, Isaac. But Isaac is getting pretty old, and so Isaac tells his firstborn son something, “I’m getting old Esau and you’re my number one son and I’m going to bless you. I know I know I’m supposed to bless your little brother, but I just don’t like him. And I can’t see how God can work through that little hairless twerp, no hair whatsoever. He’s not a man. Regardless, I can’t see that. You’re a man Esau; you’re a man, like a man should be. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to bless you!” And the mother’s thinking, those two Hittite women, my daughters in law is making my life miserable, what if my husband dies? What if those two become…oh my goodness? Remember it’s a patriarchal society; women were regarded just above a slave. So just imagine, if Isaac died, what would Rebekah feel. Can you just imagine, why was Rebekah and Isaac’s lives miserable? Its because of the fact, did Rebekah feel protected by Isaac? No, not at all and then all of a sudden she overhears that my husband is old and he might die and what would happen if these two Hittite women become the matriarch of the family. It would make my life miserable. Maybe they will kick me out, maybe ill die. No it can’t happen, it has to be my son, my son. And we see that, we see that Rebekah because a lot of times, when we look at this we think that the woman has it right, the woman knows what’s right, knows God’s blessing, knows God’s prophecy, knows that the older shall serve the younger, and look at the woman she has it right. But not really, it’s actually out of her greed, out of her wanting to save her own hide. It’s through emotions that she’s doing this. It only looks good because it happens to coincide with God’s will that’s all. And we’ll see that. We see that she uses her son that she loves. We’ll see the result of that. But no matter what, my first point and then I’m going to give you the points that I’m going to talk about. Is the fact that God’s will be done, no matter what, God’s will will be done. And number two is the blessings of the world, the blessings that the world will give you. And ultimately what is the cost of disobedience?
God’s will will be done
You know no matter how hard we try, we try to go against God’s will; we try to instill what we want to do in our world. In our world that’s what we try to do. We try to control, we try to make our life comfortable, and we try to do all of that. We disregard other people and we try to do whatever we like, based on our emotions because we want to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Even though we know that this is not right, this is not what we should do, we do it anyways. You know you could relate with that, I know that I should study instead of watching videos, but this video is so good, so you watch the video. I know that I shouldn’t be talking to this guy, I know I shouldn’t be talking to this girl because they’re kind of bad news and I know it, but ill do it anyways. And so on and so forth we do that, and so we know what the Bible says and for Christians we know what the Bible says, but who cares, I’m going to do this way and go this way anyways. But ill tell you something, there’s countless, countless examples in Scripture, multiple descriptions in Scripture, stories in Scripture, where God’s will, will prevail. God’s will, God’s will, will keep going on, all because you disobey what seems to be God’s will, or you obey God’s will, you think somehow that’s going to change? No it won’t, God’s will, will continue. No matter how hard, Isaac tried to not bless Jacob, because you know why? Because in his eyes, Jacob was not a man, Jacob was this boy who stayed home and cooked and cleaned, a real man went out and shot bows. And he thought God must be making a mistake, because I would never follow a guy like that, God’s out of his mind. No, I’m going to bless my firstborn son Esau, but in the end God’s word prevails. In the end, God’s word is true. No matter how you feel, no matter how you think, you think you’re right in your perspective. Your perspective is wrong. God’s perspective is right and ultimately it will prevail.
The curse of the world
Second thing is you know with Rebekah, she knew that Jacob, the younger son was supposed to get the blessing and she knew that. And how smug must she be, so many times she’d be like “God said this, God said that, and you should listen, you should listen.” And somehow Rebekah felt safe in that. And although she was in line with God’s word, her actions were not because it was driven by something else, it wasn’t driven by a love of God, it was driven by fear. It was driven by emotion, it was driven by selfishness, and it happened to coincide with God’s word. So what he does is she tries to control, tries to take control, and tries to finagle, tries to scheme her way to what she thinks is God’s will. And I’ll tell you ultimately, what the blessing that the world will provide and it’s so pointed because of this. Isaac loves Esau very much, Isaac loves Esau that’s why when Esau came and “Don’t you have a blessing for me?” And what Esau does, Esau weeps bitterly, Esau just weeps bitterly because he’s heartbroken because he knows that blessing is valid and it’s going to go to Jacob. So the only thing that Isaac has is one other blessing, but it’s really not a blessing, it’s not really a good word. It’s not a good benediction, its not a good word because without God this is the only thing that the world has to offer. If you do not have God this is the only thing that the world has to offer. Some of you might say, when I look at people in Glamour magazine that’s pretty nice, I wouldn’t mind if I get offered that. Or people who are famous, they’re riding on yachts, they’ve got all these nice cars; I don’t mind either. You may think that, you really may think that. But let me explain that. Esau begs Isaac for a blessing. The blessing that Esau receives from Isaac is pretty similar to Isaac’s brother. And this is the reason why, “Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: ‘Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.’ “ That doesn’t sound like a blessing, that’s not something that I really want, but without God that’s all that you’ll have. All you’ll realize is famine, all you’ll see is pain, all you’ll see is war, back-breaking work.
And you see, you’ll realize without God that’s the only reality. You don’t believe me? Talk to some non-Christians, or maybe I don’t know maybe test it out talk to your parents or something. And ask them what life is all about. I know that a lot of times with my parents, and my parents they do pretty okay, but they’re always acting like they’re in a time of famine, they’re always grabbing on. Or those people, the older people who went through a recession, I met some people who actually went through a recession and you know what’s common with people who went through a recession? They’re hoarders, they hoard everything, they keep everything, they never throw away, they act like they’re in a time of famine, they’re always in pain, they’re always fighting. They’re doing backbreaking work sometimes needlessly; they just can’t take a break. Even though they have plenty of money, plenty of everything, that’s what they do. Because without God you need to grab onto all the security you can get and the only thing that Isaac has to offer Esau is that. This so called blessing is coming from a loving father, “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” You see that is the cost of disobedience. Esau is consumed with bitterness.
And I love how Rebekah says it and you can kind of feel that and you can kind of understand it. Here’s the plan of Esau that Esau is going to kill his younger brother and he’s just waiting for the day that his dad is going to die. And on that day what he’s going to do, what he’s going to do is he’s going to raise a dagger and just stab him to death, And hear what Rebekah goes “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you.” Can you imagine being comforted by killing somebody? The funny thing is that most of us can, most of us would be like “hmmm, I can see that.” Esau is consumed with bitterness; he’s so consumed with bitterness that he just can’t wait for his father to die, the cost of disobedience. Hates his mother, hates his brother, cost of disobedience. How many of you are in that state now? That you are consumed with bitterness, especially with family and it extends onto the church and the world. How many of you are so bitter at your mom and dad? How many of you hold such grudges? Your brother, your sister, that’s the cost of disobedience you see. Jacob living in fear from his brother, living in fear of his dad, longing to be affirmed and get a true blessing under his own identity, just longing for that. Just living for someone’s affirmation, just living for dad’s affirmation, living for many affirmations. Listen to the mother at the cost of deceiving his father. Isaac spiritually blind, physically blind, he just doesn’t want to see, he just wants to pretend everything is all right, is distant from his wife, he’s distant from his sons, wants to live in his own little world. He’s not respected, but he’s by himself, he has his favorite son, he wants his favorite food, just blind, blind to the fact that his family is just in ruins. Rebekah, so insecure, doesn’t feel protected, doesn’t feel loved, to the point that she has to deceive her own husband to protect herself. And now separated, and now emotionally separate, not physically, physically they are together. Deceived her husband, bitterness towards her older son, and fear that she will lose her younger son, cost of disobedience. Cost of disobedience what is it? Separation. Listen you see how much God loves us because of the fact that God does not allow his will to be tossed and turned like the waves. God’s will is complete; God’s will is 100%.
Is there freedom in your Christianity?
What would happen if God allows us to do whatever we’d like? What would happen if God allows his will to be in the control of men? It’s funny when we see the life of Israel as a nation. We see that God alone protected Israel from invading armies, but God also protected Israel from domestic terrorism by us as well. And God does that because God loves us and God loves the world. And its because of the fact that we see Jacob, Esau, Isaac, Rebekah and I feel like that that whole family has so many things going on, it represents a lot of us and that’s the very reason why Jesus is needed. That’s the very reason why. Thank God, God’s will is not just easily tossed and turned, but God’s will is complete. That God does not bend to our will, but God requires us to bend to his will. And it’s because of God’s will that Jesus Christ came and do you know the reason why Jesus Christ came? Jesus Christ came because of this! Because of Esau, because of Jacob, because of Isaac, because of Rebekah, because of me, because of you! That we are such heinous sinners that the only thing that this world has to offer is famine, pain, war, disease, and if you lived a little bit you’d know that. And Jesus Christ comes and says “Come onto me all who are weak and weary and you will find rest for your soul.” Jesus comes to die for the death that I should’ve died. Died for me, died on my behalf. I should’ve died. But Jesus Christ comes to take away the sins of me, you, of all of us. And its not like as we start loving Jesus that in one sense we do become better, but in another sense we realize what our sin is all about. We also realize that our sin is paid for and because of that there is joy. Brothers and sisters, yes you are sinners, yes you are stubborn, yes you are all of that, but Jesus Christ died for us and because of that we are free! Is there a sense of freedom that you have in Christ? Is there a sense of freedom in your Christianity? No? I don’t know then you’re going to have to look a little deeper, dig a little deeper. Is there a sense of freedom; is there a sense of joy in your Christianity? No? Your theological perspective is different, it’s not right. There should be joy, there should be peace, and there should be freedom.