This sermon forms the first part of a new series on the grace of God in the life and family of Jacob. God has made a promise to Abraham which he will most certainly keep in the ensuing history in Genesis and beyond. In this message we trace some of the broad contours of the story of God's Covenant, showing the unlikely people, the difficult circumstances, and the amazing providences which accompany God's faithfulness to His Word and purpose.
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12Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren. 19And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 20And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. 21And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. 27And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. (KJV)