3. Jacob and Esau dealing with bitterness and resentment in their relationship with each other. Jacob had taken his brother's birthright and blessing, and Esau's anger led Jacob to flee (Genesis 27:41).

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Reading of the Day
Genesis 28:10-17

10Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13There above itstood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.15I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 

16When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lordis in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.

Poetry For The Church
A Little East of Jordan - Emily Dickinson

A little East of Jordan,
Evangelists record,
A Gymnast and an Angel
Did wrestle long and hard –

Till morning touching mountain –
And Jacob, waxing strong,
The Angel begged permission
To Breakfast – to return!

Not so, said cunning Jacob!
"I will not let thee go
Except thou bless me" – Stranger!
The which acceded to –

Light swung the silver fleeces

"Peniel" Hills beyond,

And the bewildered Gymnast

Found he had worsted God!


Jacob Creates Bitterness Everywhere He Goes.

Esau is Crazy Angry. 
Genesis 27:38-46

38Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. 
39His father Isaac answered him,

“Your dwelling will be
away from the earth’s richness,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40You will live by the sword
and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,
you will throw his yoke
from off your neck.”

Transient

41Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 
42When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” 
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”

God Gives The Promise to Jacob
Genesis 28:10-22

10Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13There above itstood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.15I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 

16When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lordis in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” 
18Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19He called that place Bethel,though the city used to be called Luz. 
20Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear21so that I return safely to my father’s household, then theLordwill be my God 22andthis stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”


Jacob Meets the Pretty Sister
Genesis 29:9-14

Transient

9While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father. 

13As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”

But Jacob Marries the Cousin with The Weak Eyes
Genesis 29:14-30

Transient

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.” 

16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.17Leah had weakeyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” 

19Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 

21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.” 

22So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant. 

25When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” 

26Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” 

28And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

31When the Lordsaw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,for she said, “It is because the Lordhas seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” 

Just Read Genesis Chapter 30 on your own time. 
It contains only Bitterness. 

Jacob Runs from the bitterness of Laben
Genesis 31:1-3

1Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.

3Then the Lordsaid to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” 

4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me.

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Jacob Confesses to God. 
Genesis 32:7-12

7In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,the groupthat is left may escape.” 

9Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’ ” 

Step 1. Confess your Bitterness and Anger

Jacob Wrestles with God
Genesis 32:22-32

22That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27The man asked him, “What is your name?” 

“Jacob,” he answered. 

28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 

29Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” 

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 

30So Jacob called the place Peniel,saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 

31The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,and he was limping because of his hip.32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Step 2.
Wrestle With God 

Romans 6 - 1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 

Jacob Goes Back to His Brother as a Servant. 
Genesis 33:

1Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear3He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 

4But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 5Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. 

Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”

6Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. 7Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. 

8Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?” 

“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said. 

9But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” 

10“No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.

Step 3.
Go to Your Bitterness as a Servant for Reconciliation. 

Romans 12 - 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited. 

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. 20On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Three Steps of deal with Bitterness 

  1. Confess your Anger and Bitterness

  2. Wrestle with God over Your Bitterness

  3. Go to your bitterness as a servant for reconciliation 

If you are not doing these steps every time you are bitter. If you are hanging on to any bitterness at all you are not living as a christian. You are living as God of your life. 

That's why Jesus is so amazing. He make you pure despite your hate that you hold on too. 


Resources for the sermon. 

Leah's Week Eyes

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Vayetzei/Leah_s_Eyes/leah_s_eyes.html

Strengthened Faith, Fervent Love …

“Christians live outside themselves: they live in Christ by faith and in their neighbor by love.”

http://blogs.lcms.org/2014/bart-day-letter-strengthened-faith-fervent-love

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