How Does God Work Through Generations of a Family? (Genesis 25:1-34 )

How Does God Work Through Generations of a Family? (Genesis 25:1-34 )

  • Happy Father’s Day! – Physical & Spiritual
  • Relay Race – Handoff 1. Right person 2. Right time 3. Right place = DON’T DROP

Abraham Ran His Race  

Genesis 25:1-10 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.  She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.  Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac.  But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country. These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre,  the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife.

Abraham’s Father

Josh. 24:2  “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates (Babylon), Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; & they served other gods. “


  • Saved @ 75 waits 25 years for Isaac
  • Good & bad days – worship & war; lying & polygamy
  • God kept every promise: bless (12:2), Promised Land (12:7), Isaac thru Sarah (15:4), live old (15:15), father nations (17:5,16), father kings (17:6,16), generations saved (17:7)
  • Buried w/Sarah (Gen. 23, 25:9)
  • Sent everyone away w/funding to live their lives (no longer 1 family w/1 head)

=God does perfect work through imperfect fathers & families


Isaac Carried the Baton. Ishmael Dropped the Baton.

Genesis 25:11-18 After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.  These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,  Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes.  (These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all his kinsmen.


-Parents wait 25 yrs for miracle, married @ 40, Rebekah barren wait 20 yrs NO ADULTERY

Ishmael – DROPPED – “wild donkey” Gen. 16:12

-Mother Hagar, blessed not believers, older not the heir

– Arab names – settled near Mecca, Muhammed descended founded Islam, =436 million Arabs


Jacob Carried the Baton. Esau Dropped the Baton

25:19-24 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb.  The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.

I need a photo of Elmo here & will call for the slide

25:25-33 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.  Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

  1. Life begins in the womb (boys, named, destiny)
  2. God hears & answers a mother’s prayer
  3. Brothers battle (Cain & Abel; Isaac & Ishmael; Jacob & Esau; Joseph & bros)
  4. Playing favorites is a problem
  5. There is no parenting guarantee (twins, same parents/house = believer/unbeliever)
  6. Some people just don’t care about God & God’s plan.

Firstborn = 2x inheritance, generation head, blessing/prophecy from dad, & JESUS !

  1. Short term pleasure robs of long term blessing (dopamine hit. pawn?)
  2. The worst pain of sin is felt in our families, often w/our siblings
  3. Adult children are responsible for their own decisions

-Esau never worships, unbelieving polygamist “made life bitter for Isaac & Rebekah” 26:34-35)

Heb. 12:16  “sexually immoral”, “fornicator”, “sexual sin”, “profane”, “unholy”, “ungodly”, “worldly”, “godless”, “careless about God”, “irreligious”

= CANNOT BLAME – parents, God, brother, poverty, trauma OR anyone/anything

  1. Some people do care about God & God’s plan.
  2. Sons become nations Jacob = Israel/Jesus. Esau = Edom/Herod (Obad & Jer prophecy)

IAAJ! Mt 22:32 [Jesus] I am the God of Abraham, & the God of Isaac, & the God of Jacob


Dads Make a Difference for Generations! (Abraham our “father” 4,000 yrs later)

  • Census – 18.5 million children growing up w/o their fathers – #1 world
  • Roughly 25% kids NO father in home

85% teens w/behavioral disorders                 70% adolescents in drug & alcohol treatment

5X more likely to live in poverty                      9X more likely drop out school

90% homeless & runaway children

Affects – 1). Economic 2). Academic 3). Social 4). Criminal 5). Moral

Males 25-29 11% idle w/biofather 19% w/obiofather – no school or work


Men – lie no difference between Christian and non-Christian men (husbands/fathers)

  1. Bradford Wilcox – esteemed Sociologist UV, massive research Soft Patriarchs, New Men

“Conservative Protestant married men w/children are consistently more active & expressive w/their children”

“…church attendance almost uniformly promotes higher levels of paternal involvement & expressiveness among conservative Protestant family men.” 

“…religious attendance…is associated w/more empathetic behavior [for] married men w/children…”

“…conservative Protestant married men with children are consistently the most active and expressive fathers and the most emotionally engaged husbands…”

 “Men who are regular churchgoers are more likely to spend time in youth-related activities, they hug and praise their children more often…and they yell at their children less than other fathers…”

= God is a Father. You are His son.                        HOPE! Prodigal Interview

Mark Driscoll
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