Sabbath 6/11/16 Seventh Day Baptist Daytona Pastor Wray sermon “Blessings So Big the Neighbors Notic

Sabbath 6/11/16 Seventh Day Baptist Daytona Pastor Wray sermon “Blessings So Big the Neighbors Notice” Genesis 26:12-33

In this text, Isaac planted a crop and in the same year reaped a hundred fold crop. You will be intrigued by the way God is teaching us in this passage. This text shows us that God works in our lives to separate us from the culture that we are in. This is done so that people will seek out God because they see Him reflected in our lives and actions.

The scenario is……….suppose you move into an average neighborhood and over time you become wealthy. You bring home a brand new Volvo fully loaded and it’s parked in your driveway when you go to bed. The next morning you find that your neighbors have stripped your car! The tires are gone, the panels are gone! You are upset but buy another car and this time you get a BMW 760 fully loaded. The next morning you wake up and the car has been stripped by your neighbors too. Disgusted with your neighbors, you decide to move to another neighborhood. In your new place you buy yourself a Lexis 430 to replace your last stolen car. This time your car is safe in the driveway. Then all of a sudden, your old neighbors come and ask you for a blessings. Doesn’t this seem odd? This is close to what happened to Isaac in our text.

Looking at this passage we see that Isaac is so blessed and favored by God. His neighbors notice his blessings while they are having such difficult times. He is thriving. When they look at him they see so many blessings that are so big. This passage gives a narrative of what take place after Isaac’s repentance to God. These blessing have their root in his repentance and in his trust in God. God’s promises to Isaac are being kept and his neighbors are jealous, greedy and envious. The neighbors end up going back to Isaac in the end. God blesses Isaac so much that his neighbors cannot ignore it. These blessings are big and significant blessings from God.

The Philistines began to envy Isaac and they wanted what God had given him. At other times, God’s blessings can look like a curse to the culture around us. Whenever Isaac had a water producing well, the jealous Philistines would plug it up. Then Isaac would move. The Philistines felt threatened by the blessings of God in Isaac’s life. Could such a thing happen to us? What blessing will we show in our lives so that our neighbors will notice? How will they look at us being blessed? Just like Abimelech drove Isaac away cause of his blessings, when we live under God’s blessings, the culture around us will do the same and have no place for us. Remember that we were told that we are the aroma of death to those who are perishing apart from Christ. There is so much offense to the cross that living for Jesus will offend the people of this world.

Isaacs’s response to the Philistine’s jealousy and envy was to move away a little bit to the valley outside of town. He dug out another well not far away. This may be like us when we attempt to separate ourselves from the culture. We don’t’ want to go that far away so we just scoot over a little bit. It seems we want to really stay close to the culture of the world rather than completely separating from the culture as we should. It’s odd how when the culture doesn’t want us around, we still try to stay close to them. God will drive a wedge between you and the culture. Why is this? Just like God didn’t want Isaac to be part of the Philistine or Egyptian culture, He doesn’t want us to be a part of our culture either. Isaac moves a little bit and more blessings come in the form of another well, which is again argued about.

The blessings of God have been given to America because of the foundations of faith in God we first started with. Now this nation is claiming the blessings because of its ingenuity and worthiness and not because of God. Our nation is taking all the credit and giving none to God. In other words, God has blessed this nation, United States of America, because of its Christian roots. But now this nation, America, is trying to dispel the Christians and trying to claim the origin of its riches for itself.

Isaac moves a few more times until he finally finds room to breathe. He digs a well and finds more water. God’s blessings should drive us closer to Him. All this moving about may have been disheartening to Isaac. God comes to Isaac and encourages him and tells him about future blessing He has for him. This is not because Isaac deserved it but because of God’s promises to Abraham and because of Isaac’s faith. This is the faith that Isaac has shown to God. The blessings and promises of God motivated Isaac into making an altar for God and worshipping God. God wants us to build stones of remembrances. These remembrance stone will be for us to look at in troubled times. We ought to build these stones of remembrance so we can look at them, worship God and know that God IS still with us! That was the purpose of the altar for Isaac. We should know that God is always with us even when we don’t feel like He is there. He has promised to be with us always.

People are drawn to genuine, authentic Christians. Notice that it is not until Isaac separates himself completely from the Philistines that they begin to seek him out. They saw clearly that the Lord was with Isaac and they wanted a peace treaty with him. Isaac lived his lifestyle the way God had taught him to and he was blessed. Then those around him wanted to know about this lifestyle. They are drawn to Isaac because they plainly see that the Lord has been with Isaac. Even people who don’t know God can see the evidence of God’s presence.

God doesn’t want the world to influence us so He puts a wedge between us and the world. Instead, God wants us to influence the world. Through a series of events in one man’s life, Isaac, God made His presence known. This was so the world would seek out God. We serve an awesome God. Even in the midst of difficulties, God will make us the Head and not the tail!