Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Father's Day Sermon and Announcements


June 18, 2023

A Loving Compassionate Father

Genesis 27:30-14

To all of you fathers Happy Father’s Day! It would have been

easy to talk of the greatest father of all time. No, I must admit I

am not talking about any of you here today but maybe I

should be. I am talking about our Heavenly Father. He, of

course, has done everything he can for us, his children. Even

to the point of Jesus Christ, God the Son, paid the price for

our sins. Yes, that would have been a natural choice, but this

morning we are going to spend a few minutes to look at

another father found in scripture. Isaac – Isaac is famous for

being the son who looked like he was going to be sacrificed

for the sins of the people of that day. Isaac was the one God

had promised would have so many descendants you couldn’t

count them all. Yet it looked like that was never going to

happen for a little while. Ultimately Isaac came to understand,

as best he could, the role God had given him to carry out. It

looked like Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, were going to have

the same problem his father, Abraham and Sarah, his mother,


The promise of God was to continue through Isaac and yet

when he and his wife sought to have children nothing was

happening, much like Isaacs’ parents. In chapter 25 of

Genesis, verse 21 we see Isaac praying to God his wife could

have children. God answered Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah

became pregnant, but something strange happened

throughout her pregnancy. She could feel strange movements

going on inside her during this time. She became so

concerned she sought answers from the Lord. In chapter 25,

verse 23 we see what God told her. “The Lord said to her.

Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within

you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the

other, and the older will serve the younger.” So even before

these twins were born there was some jockeying for position

going on.

Let us look at what happens at the birth of these two boys and

then what happens once the boys are growing into manhood.

Genesis 25:24-34

New International Version

24  When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.  25  The first to

come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him

Esau. [a]   26  After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was

named Jacob. [b]  Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. 27  The boys grew

up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to

stay at home among the tents.  28  Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but

Rebekah loved Jacob. 29  Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the

open country, famished.  30  He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m

famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. [c] ) 31  Jacob replied, “First sell me your

birthright.” 32  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

33  But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to

Jacob. 34  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and

then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

So, we see even at the time of their birth the younger son is

trying to claim a spot with his brother. As the boys grew, we

read that Isaac had a deeper love for Esau and Rebekah had

a deeper love for Jacob. To understand how things worked at

this time in Israel’s history even though the two were twins

born at most a minute apart the first to be delivered was

entitled to all the blessings from his father, Isaac when that

time came. In the verses we read to close out chapter 25 we

see on of the things the firstborn was entitled to was the

birthright. Esau clearly did not understand the value of the

family birthright or just did not care because he basically gave

it away for something to eat and drink.

As we now move ahead to what we read for our scripture this

morning we read for our scripture we see Isaac’s health is

failing and he decides it is time to give his firstborn the

blessing that will be honored by God all that son’s days. In

the verses we did not read in the chapter 27 Isaac tells Esau,

“Prepare some food for me just the way I like it and at that

time I will give you the blessing God has for you.” What Isaac

did not know is that Rebekah, his wife, was listening to what

he told Esau to do and came up with a plan to have her

favorite, Jacob, get Esau’s blessing. Isaac was blind at this

time and after Rebekah prepared the food, she had Jacob

pretend to be Esau and take the meal into his father. After

Isaac had eaten the food, he then proceeded to give Jacob

the blessing that was supposed to be Esau’s. Jacob left Isaac

as soon as he got the blessing just before Esau got there with

the food he had prepared. Isaac was confused by what was

happening. Instantly Esau realized what had happened.

Saying Jacob stole by birthright, now he has stolen my

blessing. Esau began to beg his father, “Don’t you have a

blessing for me too?” Isaac conceded Jacob will have power

over you, what id one is done. But Esau continued, “Don’t you

have anything for me?” Finally, Isaac said to Esau, “Your

dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the

dew of heaven above. You 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.”

I believe Isaac loved both of his sons but Esau held a special

place n his heart because Esaw the more like him. So, while

Isaac did not condemn Jacob for doing what he did, he tried to

do all he could for Esau.

To go back to what the Lord told Rebekah during her

pregnancy God made it clear what would happen between

these two boys. Unlike Jewish tradition the older son would be

subject to the younger son. Isaac was probably told this way

back at the time by Rebekah but had forgot about it until now.

Isaac knew he could not change God’s plan s. He had

experienced how God works when he was a young man with

his dad, Abraham.

As you look at this extraordinary story, I ask you fathers here

this morning, “Have you even been in a position with your

children when it looked like you favored one over another?” If

so, did it create conflict between your children, maybe even

your wife?

While Isaac did not do what he did on purpose, you can see

the regret and sorrow he felt about what had happened. Even

though I believe Isaac ultimately realized this was part of

God’s plan for His people he still felt terrible for his oldest son.

The blessings a father gave before God was binding. God

honored these blessings. So while Isaac conceded Esau

would be subject to Jacob his blessing for Esau stated there

will come a time in which he will break free from his brother.

May the love and compassion Isaac had for his son who felt

left out and one might say abandoned be part of every father,

grandfather, great grandfather here today. Sometimes those

sons and daughters, those grandchildren need our support

and encouragement that only a dad or grandpa can give. I will

say it again, “I believe Isaac truly loved both of these boys.”

But there came a time when one of those boys needed a

special word that only his dad could give. That is what God is

calling us men to do.

God is seeking men who will love and support first of all those

within our families. God wants each man to understand the

important role we have been given, to honor God and show

what that means to our families and then also to friends as

well as anyone God send our way.

Fathers, men, Happy Father’s Day. May God bless you and

your families and continue to use you in a mighty way. You do

make a difference, maybe in ways you may never know or

fully understand.

Pastor Larry


Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study

Sunday School 9:00

June 25 4:00 Movie Night—Jesus Revolution—here

Everyone is invited. There will be popcorn!

--Thank you to everyone who helped make the Strawberry

Festival a success! It takes all of us.

--Sign up sheet for children’s message in July, August, Sept.

Please consider taking a turn for this important ministry.

Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for

your continued giving!

Donation Box: VBS

First Sundays: food donations for food banks

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Keep in Your Prayers

Shonkwiler family in Bement; Carolyn Fansler; Iva Traughber

Brunner; Nora Hanaver; Todd Henricks; Jonah Martina; Jan

Bower; Larry Traxler; Michelle West; Michelle’s mom; Carolyn

Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick;

Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood;

Tina Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and

Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug

Fansler; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo &am; Darlene Hanaver;

Patty Cripe; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; manpy unspoken

requests; healthcare workers and first responders; victims of

disasters; victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church;

Haitian Brethren; Ukraine

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Martin Creek congregation

and the Global Missions office as it works with Brethren

communities around the world.