Sex in the City | Sermon Notes
SEX in the City
Jesus has called us to be the salt of the Earth, the light of the World. A City Set on a Hill. Set apart yet influencing the rest of the City. We are looking at different aspects of our life in the City and how it affects our worship and our influence. Last week we talked about things that get in the way. Idols.
Let’s look at our Spouses and Family AND when you get right down to it. Our Sex in the City.
Isaac, Jacob’s dad tells him to go find Laban and marry ‘one of his daughters’. So Jacob goes on the journey. God promises him strongly. He will be blessed and father many children. (similar to Abraham covenant).
He finally makes it to Laban’s neck of the woods and finds sheep at a well. While he is speaking to some shepherds, he looks up and sees the most beautiful woman! Rachel!
He meets Laban and Leah (the older sister who has weak eyes) they get along, he stays a month with them and finally…Laban asks, “what can I pay you to be in charge of my flocks?” Jacob, “Rachel.” Rachel was beautiful. Jacob was smitten with her. He offered 7 years wages for her. (they only seemed like a few days for him).
After he worked 7 years, he went to Laban and said
Genesis 29:21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
(I can’t wait to have sex with your daughter. Give her to me now!) Emotionally and Sexually longing for a specific woman.
We love this part of the story because it fits in our American love story culture. The problem is that it didn’t fit into their culture and it wasn’t God’s specific plan.
- The oldest daughter was to be married first.
- They traditionally married in that day for property rights and status.
Let’s stop for a moment and look at the inside of Jacob’s heart.
- Jacob had never had his father’s love.
- He had lost his mother’s love.
- He had no sense of God’s love Even after God promised to bless him richly (same as Abraham’s promise).
We are dealing with a very broken man.
When he saw Rachel, the most beautiful woman he ever saw he must have said to himself: “If I had her, finally, something would be right in my messed up life. She will fix me.”
In our day and time, this thinking is very normal. In our culture, we marry for the emotional payoff all the time. It is ‘love at first sight’. Which means that we are “in love” because of the way someone looks. It’s not really that deep. We like what we see!
Oh don’t get all spiritual on me now. There wasn’t something in the air. You just liked the way she curved. His outward appearance, clothes, car, and watch conveyed security. The way he looked at your reassured your longing for acceptance.
We look to sex and romance to give us a higher sense of meaning that we were designed to get from faith in God.
After Jacob works for 7 years, he finds out the day after his wedding that he has married Leah and he is livid. Trembling with anger he goes to Laban. Laban says calmly, “You should have known that it is customary in our land for the older girl to be married before the younger. duh.”
Laban tells Jacob he can have both Leah and Rachel if he works 7 more years. 7 more years. I remember thinking “wow, I want to have the love and dedication that Jacob had for Rachel”. Really? I don’t really think so anymore. He was stinking gullible and in a trance.
We may wonder how Jacob could have been so gullible, but Jacob’s behavior was that of an addict. Romantic love actually functions as a drug to help us escape the reality of our lives. “If only…. “ leads us to years of slavery to other people. Chasing what we think will deliver peace. Our motivation is not pure. Instead it is fueled by an idol that completely controls us!
Our fears and inner loneliness make love a narcotic, a way to medicate ourselves, and… addicts always make foolish, destructive choices.
Rachel became Jacob’s savior so he became susceptible to Laban’s deception. Jacob’s idolatry of Rachel created DECADES of misery in his family.
Jacob favored Rachel’s kids over Leah’s, spoiling and embittering the hearts of all his children and poisoning the family system.
Perhaps the greatest casualty is Leah (weak eyes). She was not as pretty as Rachel. She lived in the shadow of her sister. In their custom, she had to be married first. This was a strategic nightmare for Laban. He had to find a way to marry her off. In walks Jacob. A solution to his financial problem.
The daughter whom her father did not want would become the wife that her husband did not want. The Bible actually says that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah.
I have always thought Leah’s solution was to find another man that really loved her and accepted her and someone to love her for who she really is. Ride off in the sunset with her. Wrong.
Leah follows the same broken pattern as her husband. She starts chasing Jacob’s approval with each child that she bears. Thinking that each one will be just enough to carry her over the edge of approval. If she has one more son, then Jacob will surely love her and be thankful. With each son, he does not approve. To make things even worse, Rachel is not even having kids. The fact that Jacob disapproved of her sons AND there was not competition from Rachel’s sons meant that Leah was the lowest of lows.
She was trying to find happiness and her identity through traditional family values. Loving her husband and having kids.
Genesis 29:33 She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” (a child will give me value) 34 Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
We get on this cycle of looking for love in all the wrong places. Life has a whole lot of disappointment.
We keep thinking like Jacob… if we wake up with Rachel that everything will be ok, but the reality is that we keep waking up with Leah.
We think like Leah… with one more relationship or one more child… Leah keeps having babies and Jacob keeps rejecting them.
However, Something changes with Leah on her 4th son…
Genesis 29:35 Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now, I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.
This time I will praise the Lord!
This is a declaration of Freedom. There is no mention of her husband or a desire to have more children.
She did NOT leave her husband or kids. In fact, she had more kids later.
However, she had taken her heart’s deepest hopes off her husband and her children, and had put them on the Lord.
Jacob and Laban had stolen Leah’s life, but when she gave her life to the Lord, Leah got her life back!
Look what God does for Leah! This child was named Judah. Now most of you know all about Rachel’s famous son…Joseph. But do you realize what happened to Judah, Leah’s son.
Have you heard of the lion of Judah? Have you read the ancestry of Jesus Christ? That the messiah would one day be born of the tribe of Judah. Out of Leah’s pain and surrender she was actually giving birth to the messiah that would not just save the jews when they went to Egypt hungry, but Leah’s bloodline would save the entire world!
What God was saying to Leah is that I am the real groom. I am the husband to the husbandless. I am the father to the fatherless. God who saves by Grace. Other gods reward those who are successful and overachievers, ones who climb the moral ladder.
Our God is the one who comes down into this world to accomplish a salvation and give us a grace we could never attain ourselves!
What does having children or that your children succeed mean to you?
Not that they be all that they can be, but that they match up to the cultural standard and peers.
Why do we desire sex?
How important is it? Can we go without it? Singles have to learn this OR sin OR live in torment Marrieds often feel exempt from this because they are legally engaging. They think the only way they could sin would be to lust after others, look at inappropriate images/movies, or actually have an affair.
What would acquiring a spouse prove or fulfill for you? What are you expecting your spouse to accomplish for you?
We often put family/spouses/sex on a pedestal as if each will deliver: love, security, acceptance, approval, and satisfaction.
1. Follow God. Worship Him. Rely on and Look to Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to Worship?
We often think singing, bowing down, praying, going to church)
In reality, worship is what we put our trust in. What or who do we rely on? What we look to to deliver balance, rest, help, and peace?
Who or what brings us the most joy? What do we look forward to the most?
In its absence, what brings the most pain, frustration, stress?
2. Steward over and care for the rest of your life (earth/world)
We don’t let a good thing become the most important thing. ‘THE thing’
We know a good thing has become an idol when its demands on you exceed proper boundaries.
(working until you are physically exhausted. Allowing a lover to exploit and abuse you. When you break promises, rationalize indiscretions, betray other allegiances, etc)