Speaker: Ben Marsh
Scripture: Genesis 25:29-34

From the series Part 3

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Full Sermon Transcript

Well, good morning. My name is Ben and I am the vicar here. And you guys can say it with me. Vicar means pastor and training. Thank you. I just felt great to do only a little while longer. And it is my privilege to share from God’s Word with you this morning. It’s also my privilege to bring part three of Genesis to a close. And everyone said. Amen. To take a quick snapshot of you over the last couple of weeks. By way of reminder, here’s where we’ve been this this text through Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. And these are the topics that we’re able to pull from there. Seeing that what was true back when this was written is still true today. And these are things that we definitely need to talk about. In just a moment, we’re going to talk about what that on March 17, what sellouts, what exactly that means and where we’re going to be going. Before we go there, just a quick reminder to. You just heard it. This upcoming week is a wonderful opportunity to not only be engaged in the church and to walk through The Passion Week, starting with Palm Sunday, but also to invite others in.

So if you’re a member or a regular attender here, you’ve likely heard us talk about you having four, four people who you’re praying for, for people that you’re having faith conversations with and for people that you would consider inviting into this church, that they might be able to hear the gospel message. And so from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and even Easter weekend on Saturday and Sunday, there are opportunities. And if it happens to be spring break for you and your family, then we strongly encourage you as well that even if you’re not physically present here, we’d love for you to join us by joining us online for any of those services. They’ll all be streamed online. So if you’re somewhere where the weather is a little bit nicer, you’re on the beach with your toes in the sand. You still can tune in. We would love to worship with you. And that that message of the passion with each of those services is still for you, even if you’re not here in the same zip code. That sounds good. Yeah. So today we’re going to be talking about this idea of a sellout. So let me ask you, in our society, who is a sellout? Who who in our society would we typically label as sellouts? Politicians?

That’s two for two. First, service said that there was a first answer. Politicians or anyone else? Anyone else. Sellouts in our society in Hollywood, someone in the first service, said Taylor Swift. Man, I thought, Wow, that just immediately divided the room. Well, you could have a favorite band that you love, that you love. Their first album, and then they got a record deal and all of a sudden their sound changed. Or you love the song, but then you see it on a car commercial and you’re like, Why did you sell out? You know, I love that song. Or your favorite athlete who’s like a hometown kid and comes and plays for the team. But all of a sudden they get an offer for just a few measly million more dollars somewhere else, and they have the audacity to be a sellout and go away from their home state and go play for another team. We’re familiar with this idea, right? Someone compromising their character, compromising their integrity, or not looking out for the greater good, but really looking out for number one. Well, today, when I look at this idea of sellout, I want you to see it this way that a sellout can be someone who doesn’t even realize how good they actually have it.

And they sell out as a fool, not knowing the immense value that they are actually trading away. Does anybody happen to know who this is? This is Ron. Ron. Right. Well, he owned about 10% of a company back in 1973. Ron was the third founder. This little company out, if any of you ever heard of it. Apple, he had helped market Atari. He had created the game Pong. He had gotten involved with these two Steves, you know, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, maybe you know those names. And Ron here looked at these two Steves and thought, this company is going nowhere. So in 1976, he took his 10% share of Apple and he got out of that sinking ship and he sold it for 800bucks. Does anyone have an idea what 10% of Apple is worth today or it’s more $120 billion? I feel sorry for Rock. He didn’t know what he had. He assessed it. He said, this is going nowhere fast. I need to get out. $800 right now is worth more to me than the potential of this actually turning into something. That’s the exact same thing that we’re going to see in our text is that someone had something of immense value, but they didn’t see it for what it was, and rather they exchanged it in a moment for what they thought they could get out of. So you get you caught up to where we’re at. We had Abraham, the patriarch, that we followed for quite some time. He gives birth up and him and his wife have Isaac. Isaac gets married. Him and his wife have twins. Rebecca gives birth to twin boys, Jacob and Esau. And we see a prophecy that’s given to Rebecca about the twins. That sets the stage for us. She hears two nations are in your room. Two people from within. You will be separated. One will be stronger than the other.

And the older will serve, the younger, the older be. And he saw the younger being Jacob. So already there’s conflict within their family that the younger son is going to rule over the older son. And then on top of that, we found out also last week that Isaac, the father, had a taste for a wild game, loved Esau, but Rebecca loved Jacob. That Isaac, the one who holds the keys to the kingdom, the one who actually would be the one who handed off all of his inheritance to one of these two boys, loves the older son, the one who is actually supposed to serve the younger. And in just a moment, we’re going to fast forward to them being adults. But I want us to think, what would it have been like to be Jacob, Jacob, possibly knowing we don’t know for sure. Did he know? Did he know that he’s the one that everything was promised to? Did he know that his older brother was ultimately supposed to serve him? Yeah. All these years in between being born. And then what we’re going to see transpire with between the two of them as adults is that Esau is the favorite, the favorite of the father, the favorite of the father who can hand off everything. So Jacob might just be there in the tents with his mom being the mom’s favorite. And what do you think he would be doing? How do you think he’d be feeling?

I want you to hear this. I think that ultimately he would be stewing because that’s actually what the tech says. Once when Jason was cooking some stew, so he was stewing, at least for a portion of the time, I had to get a dad joke in there. Forgive me. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. When he was stewing, he was. He was making stew. But this is the divide between the two of them. He’s at home. He’s doing these things in the tents .And his brother, the man’s van, The Harry Red one is out killing animals and bringing them back. But this one time, Jacob is cooking. And Esau came in from the open country, and he was famished. Not just hungry, not just like he needed a little snack, but he is famished. And all of a sudden, you see the tables have turned, the scales are slightly tilted. All of a sudden, Jacob has something that Esau wants, and so their interaction is all started. Jacob, quick, let me have some of that red stew. I am famished. That is why is also called Edam. Edam simply means red and the Edomites will follow later on. But the focus here quick. This has to happen now. I am hungry right now. I need this now. Like I don’t want to waste any time. I am famished and I need this in a hurry. Oftentimes, if you’re being guided by your desires and your appetite, you’re not set up very well. And then all of a sudden there can be a feeling of urgency that doesn’t actually belong because you’re being guided by emotions that are overwhelming.

You. And he learned to actually be guided by a stomach. That’s exactly what he learned from his dad. We just read it. But just to highlight it again, back in verse 28, Isaac, who had a taste for a wild game, why do you love you saw he saw that he saw fulfilled that hunger and that desire that his father had. And that’s why he loved him. He allowed his appetite to dictate his emotions, his feelings, his thoughts. You see, I think we actually sometimes confuse ourselves because there’s no such thing as an appetite problem. And you might look around our society and go, Ben, there might be such a thing as an appetite problem. I don’t believe there is such a thing as an appetite problem. And this is coming from someone who’s eaten his fair share. A number of years ago I lived in St Louis and I knew I was going to be moving away and I had heard about a challenge at a local restaurant that normally two people would eat. This St Louis delicacy called a pork steak sound appetizing, £33 in one sitting. So that’s exactly what I did with my wife sitting across from me and just being impressed every moment. I am sure about a pound into this thing, I was done, but I wasn’t hungry for the food. I was hungry for the reputation, the pride. I did it.

They said I couldn’t. I did it. So please pray for me that because that’s the attitude of your vicar here. I wasn’t really hungry for it, but I still was hungry for something else. And that’s ultimately what I mean. When we don’t have a hunger problem, we have a palate problem, we hunger for the wrong things. And here with the thought, he’s hungry for this food, but he’s really should be hungry for something else. He’s allowing his palate. He wants his beans still more than he wants something. A much, much greater worth. So in a different way, there’s this Christian author, C.S. Lewis, many of you have heard of. But I love this quote. If you look at that word desire that he uses here in this quote and think appetite and hunger. So it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, that he finds our appetite in our hunger, not too strong, but too weak. We’re half hearted creatures. We’re fooling around with drink and sex and ambition. When infinite joy is offered us like ignorant children, who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum becuse he can’t imagine what it’s meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased. Our problem isn’t a hunger problem.

Our hunger actually isn’t as strong as it really should be. But our hunger is for something that it shouldn’t be. And now all of a sudden we see what is the thing? What is the thing that his hunger should have been for and what is Jacob about to take advantage of here? In these moments? In verse 31, we see Jacob reply to him First, sell me your birthright. Do we have any idea what a birthright is? Anyone may share with you. The birthright includes a double portion of inheritance, the leadership to be the next patriarch of the family and the blessing to carry on the promise of God. The promise of God that first came to Abraham, then has gone to Isaac and the promise of God that’s going to go for through one of these two boys to bless the entire world. So you have that and you have to a cup of stew. And I think it’s so easy for us to sit here. We can go well with like obviously, obviously one of these things is greater than the other.

Obviously, the scales are just awfully in favor of the birthright, but we see this dialog actually happen almost inside of East. But he shares it outside, inside himself. He says aloud, I am about to die. These are said, What good is a birthright to me? How foolish, How we don’t know from the text. I mean, was he really? Was he really about to die? Had he not been successful in the hunter? Did he have an animal he was just unwilling to clean and cook. We know that they likely had many other servants. Was he not willing to even go to a different tent to see if there was something else? He wasn’t willing to go anywhere else but this stew. This still here is the stew that he needed because he was about to die. And then even more than that, he goes, What good? If I’m going to die, then what good is any of this? What good is being the next patriarch of the family? What good is a double portion? What good is the promises of God? It’s all going to go to you anyways if I actually die. So I might as well just eat the stew.

I might as well just sell it to you. You see, I think this this type of dialog in the text, when we see this kind of foreign idea of stew and birthright, it’s hard for us to maybe grasp, but try to look at it this way. What good is the You go out and fill in the blank too. You Because every single day we talk to ourselves and we make decisions every single day. We’re ultimately we’re making exchanges, exchanges for what we could do or what we won’t do, what will what we’ll have done or what we’ll leave left undone. And we’re making these decisions based off a value. We’re doing an exchange. We are ultimately day trading, constantly exchanges of what we value most in a household with three young boys every single night. For the most part, my wife will put the youngest to bed and I’ll go with the oldest two to their room. After a day of work after a day of coming home to help with dinner, make dinner, clean up after dinner, play with the boys, get ready for bed, go through all of that, and then end up in their room where typically we will read 2 to 3 books, say our prayers, and put them to bed. I can I tell you that there are moments more often than I would really care to admit that in that moment I want to make an exchange.

I don’t want to read the books. I don’t want to make I don’t want to say the prayers I’ve been on for the entire day. And if I just put them to bed, I’ll skip the other stuff. I could exchange that time with my boys for 15 more minutes to go get another chore done, or to sit down and scroll through something or stream a show or whatever. But then it’s my time and in in my head, sometimes that exchange is one that I want to take because in the moment I don’t see the immense value of all those little deposits, all those little times of reading and praying with my voice, and rather I would just trade it for 15 minutes of reprieve. What is it for? You see, these things happen all of the time where we want to exchange some things that just seem small and innocuous. Like they just they ultimately really don’t matter ripe and that they’re just small things. But God sees all these little things where we weigh and balance and we judge these things and we go, You know what I really want to do? I don’t want to look to the long term. I don’t have a vision for the future of what this ultimately is doing. But here in this moment, I either want some sort of relief or rest want take the spotlight off of others, and I want to put it on to myself. I want to have more. I want to have more money. I want to have more time. I want to have more rest. And ultimately we just go, what good is that other stuff? Because I need to make sure that I’m providing for number one. I believe that ultimately what’s taking place here in Ethos Heart, he feels hungry, but he’s he doesn’t look to the broader vision of not only how all that these contained within the birthright would be a blessing to him, but it ultimately would be a blessing to the entire world.

And that’s the promise that was actually given. But instead, he looks and he sees Stu and he goes, I want that more Again, Jacob either being an opportunist or an exploiter, he takes advantage of the whole thing. He sees that he has something that his brother values and he wants to take advantage. So he says, Swear to me first. So he swore an oath to him selling his birthright to Jacob. This is a serious matter here. This there’s no going back on this. He makes him proud. Promise that the birthright is, in fact, Jacob’s. There is no longer ethos any hands at all. Just like Ryan handing over 10% of Apple losing sight of the immense value that he actually had that would come one day in the future. Does anyone happen to know when this photo was taken? Because this is a different direction that we could take this whole thing? This is back in April 23. What you’re looking at there is a big boulder, a very, very sizable boulder built. This might be hard to tell. There is a hydraulic lift underneath it and a crane up top because it took 16 men, the hydraulic lift and a crane to actually get this boulder out. If he back in April 2003, Aaron Ralston was pinned between that rock and the rock wall for 127 hours, even climbing by himself out in the wilderness, a rock broke loose and it pinned him and in particular, his arm between the wall in that rock, no one knew where he was. He was entirely alone with just a little bit of water to survive on. And for 127 hours, rather than moving quickly like he wanted to do, he was able to think slowly and contemplate what are the things of immense value to me. Because in 127 hours there, he might be thinking to himself, How am I going to get out of this situation? What do I want to get out of this situation? What do I value most here in this world? Do I want to go and see my family again? Do I want to go walk out in the world again, or do I want to just die here in this canyon? Could I die here in this canyon and my arms still be attached to me?

Or to be willing to make an exchange and a trade to live life with one less limb, but to still live in. And so he himself made the decision that is much better to cut off his own arm to escape from this horrific situation so that he could go on living his life. And he survived. When it comes to us and what we get trapped in and entangled in, do we see it as that dire in the ways that we get ensnared in sin when we make these exchanges over and over again and we start to become numb to them? Because again, ultimately, what does it really matter? What does it really matter? I mean, I know you’re all here this morning, but, you know, sometimes it’s been a hard week and it’s Sunday morning, but a couple extra hours of sleep where I could just simply pray to Saint Mattress for just a few more hours rather than come in and be part of the body of believers where you could actually come and worship God in community, where you could come and receive the Lord’s Supper and taste forgiveness of your sins. You know what?

A few extra hours of sleep. Yeah, that sounds like a good deal to me. What do I for? Any of us, any given day, we have unlimited access to God’s Word. Yet so often it’s so very easy for all of us to skip over devotions, skip over reading a simple verse or a psalm or something, and rather we consume ourselves with all these other things. Because ultimately what we’re saying there in those moments is that’s a greater worth to me to watch another episode, to watch another show, to get another thing done, to stay a little bit longer at work than spending any time with God Almighty in his word where he’s trying to speak to you. What about how we spend our money? Because it’s not just our time, but where we spend our finances, because we love to spend hours, put the spotlight on ourselves again and again. And these times again, they’re harder than they’ve ever been. For many of us, that groceries are just so expensive and it’s so easy to go with this exchange. Why would I give anything to anyone else?

Because I need this little bit of extra so I can spend on me. I need a little bit of wiggle room within my budget. Why would I dare give anything to anyone else, let alone the church? Because guess to God, does God really need my money? And you give out on the blessing of giving to God and his mission here on earth? An exchange. So you could have a little bit more margin. At the end of each month. We make these exchanges again and again and it goes even deeper than that. I mean, how about where our eyes go in, what we look at and what we consume ourselves with? When you have a spouse that God has blessed you with in you that long term vision for that relationship, yet you look upon others or even pursue relationships with others, or when you get so greedy that you just want to pour yourself into work more and more, telling your self that it really is about supplying for the family, but really your pride, your appetite, your palate is all about your prestige, your ambition, and you want to look better to everyone else. And it’s really not about anyone else other than you. Which is it for you?

We do not have an appetite problem. Our appetite is just set by our palate for all of the wrong things. And that’s exactly what he thought. It. When Jacob gave us some bread and some lentil stew, he ate and drank and then got up and left and then Esau does what every single one of us does when we get entangled in ensnared with sin over and over again. He Esau despised his birthright. He saw loathe himself. He felt the shame and the guilt. He felt the weight of what he had done. And in doing so, he despised the gift that could have been given to him. He didn’t appreciate it for the immense value that it had promised from God. Patriarch of the family, a double portion of what his father wanted to give him. For the moment, he let his appetite get the best of him and exchanged it for something so small. But again, story is not so different from us, is it because we make these exchanges every single day, day in and day out, where we will choose the lesser thing above the blessings that God ultimately wants to give us?

We follow this were despised throughout Scripture might ring a bell because it’s not just here that we see Esau despising his birthright, but we see a prophecy of our Savior, Jesus and Isaiah 53. That’s exactly how it describes him, that he, Jesus, was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering familiar with pain, like one from whom people hid their faces. He was despised, and we held him in low esteem. See, ultimately, it’s not just the blessings of God that we despise when we send, but in fact we actually despise Christ Himself. For those of us that know Christ and know what He’s done for us each time that we willingly step into sin by thought, we’re Dieter Desire again and again. What we’re saying is that this sin, this momentary pleasure, this is of greater value to me here in this moment than what you’ve done for me. Jesus. Yet yet he fully knew that. He fully knew that we would continually look down on him and despise him and not treat him as he should. And he knew full well, too, that when he came in the flesh that his own people wouldn’t recognize him, that they would look down on him, that he had stepped down from glory, from the right side of the father. And he looked down and he did an exchange.

He saw something that was completely and utterly lowly people that would sin again and again and fall into these things that entrap and ensnare us again and again and not treat them as he ultimately deserves. And he still looked at us and said that you you were worth it. He did this so that he could show God shows these lowly things of this world and the despised things to put on flesh. He did this things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast before him, he became a despised man so that no one, no one can have confidence in themselves. And it’s because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us from God. That is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, let the one who both boast in the Lord because there’s multiple ways that we falter here. We see how we do it like you saw, and we make these exchanges time and time again, and we choose the lesser things, and we don’t have the vision for what God ultimately has for us and has done for us in Christ.

But we also can boast not in the Lord, but most in ourselves. And I believe that’s what Jacob is doing. Rather than getting tangled up in sin, he’s getting tangled up in self-righteousness. The promise had already been made that he would be the one to carry forth the birthright. He would be the one to carry forward the blessing. Yeah. Looking at the opportunity, he wanted to take things into his own hands and do it himself. And so we can sin and we can falter by not spending time with God, not coming to church, not worshiping, not giving. We can do all those things and all those things can be sin. But at the same time we can be like Jacob, but we can do all of those things. And when we do those things and we believe that, that, that attendance, that giving that Bible reading plan, that is why I’m righteous. But we fall into a different sin. We just found the sin of pride rather than a sin of foolishness. But it’s clear here in this text that Jesus Christ has become our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption.

He is the only one that you should boast, and he is where the spotlight ultimately should be, not on ourselves, not our sinful actions, not on our prideful actions that we think are good, but fully on the actions that he’s done for us that he was willing to come down for despised, despicable, sinful people like you and like me, and that he was willing to go up on to a cross that we deserve die for us and make this exchange that he stepped down from glory so that us lowly being kings could be glorified, that we could be holy, that we could have redemption, that we could be called good. Finally. And the only way that that’s possible is it’s not about us. It’s ultimately about him. And the fact that he’s done that for you. So I want to close with these three thoughts. First and foremost, we need to find rest in the sufficient sufficiency of Jesus. He’s sufficient. He’s done it all. Don’t look anywhere else. Don’t add anything or don’t go well. But well, there’s, you know, but then you have to start. No, no, no. He is sufficient in all of his work that he’s done on the cross and through the empty tomb. End of sentence period.

Done. That is the gospel. It’s done for you. Don’t add anything else to it from that place. Let us grow our appetites by the help of the Holy Spirit that we no longer long for. The things of this world fooling around is here. So this is with drink and sex and ambition and all these things, these lower things, but rather grow our appetites, grow our palate for the things of God, desire to be in his Word, desire to be with his people, that he would grow that in you and above all else, just trust. Trust that he’s going to provide. Otherwise we fool around fooling ourselves, thinking it’s all about us and all about our efforts. When it’s all done, he’s been completely sufficient. Trust. Trust that his promises for you are good, his plans for you are good. And that ultimately, again, that you can see the immense value what he has for you. Because it’s not all about here in this world. The immense value that he has for you is not only the forgiveness of sins that you have access to today, but the immense value that God has for you is hope of eternal life that is so far beyond anything that we could hope. Ask or imagine that it’s not even worth comparing with our trivial little sufferings and our little sins here and now that we have this immense value that’s waiting for us one day. Amen.