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Mountainside Assembly of God



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Mountainside Assembly of God

1900 Trevorton Rd, Coal Township, PA 17866, USA

Sunday 10:30 AM

Our families are the most important people in our lives. We live with them. We love them. But if we are honest, sometimes our family can seem like a Hot Mess.

This week, we unpack what the Bible says about family and how to respond when it seems chaotic.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, our culture likes to use this phrase to describe things that seem out of control. The dictionary defines it as a person, thing, or situation in pitiful disarray.

This phrase could be attached to numerous different things in our lives. It’s important not just to name chaotic things but to learn from scripture what to do in response.

I want to introduce you to a family from the Old Testament, one of the first we learn about. This family was known, in part, for their great faith.

However, this faith did not come without some struggles. In Genesis, I want us to learn a few things from the patriarchs, starting with Abraham and ending with Joseph.

Trust God Even When It Doesn’t Make Sense.

Abraham has communicated with God numerous times. He receives promise after promise of blessing and fruitfulness from Abraham’s “seed.” But then God gets even more specific in His promises to Abraham.

Genesis 15:4 - Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”

Abraham is concerned because he and his wife, Sarah, are getting old. How could they have a child now? God comes through even when it doesn’t make sense.

What promises is God speaking over your life? Maybe you can’t hear the audible voice of God speaking these. God’s promises and reminders come in the form of blessings.

This story goes on as God makes a promise to Abraham and Sarah herself.

Genesis 18:9-12 - “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked. “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied. Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were advanced by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So, she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”

Sarah could not believe it. She laughed at the thought of bearing a child in her old age. But smGod came through. Isaac, their son, was born and would carry on the patriarchal promise made to Abraham.

This is a valid question. It had to be a hot mess around that family. But then, God does what He does best: fulfills His promise!

Abraham and Sarah learn to do one of the most challenging things we’re called to do: trust God even when it doesn’t make sense.

However, the story doesn’t stop with Abraham. What about Isaac, his son?

Pour Out Love Equally

The hot mess becomes even more of a mess. Isaac marries a woman named Rebekah. They have two boys, Esau (who is older) and Jacob.

Based on what we know to be true in the Old Testament era, Esau was the rightful owner of the birthright. But here’s where it gets messy.

Jacob desires the birthright and will seemingly do anything to get it. He makes Esau swear to sell all his rights as the firstborn child in exchange for a meal when he is hungry. Jacob does all of this without Isaac even knowing. So how will he get it?

Genesis 27:5-35 recounts a pivotal moment of deception and intrigue in the biblical narrative involving the family of Isaac. Rebekah overhears Isaac telling Esau to hunt game for a meal, after which Isaac would bless Esau.

Knowing this, Rebekah devises a plan for her younger son, Jacob, to receive the blessing instead. She instructs Jacob to fetch young goats, which she uses to prepare Isaac's favorite meal.

To fool Isaac, who has poor eyesight, into thinking Jacob is Esau, Rebekah covers Jacob’s arms and neck with goatskin, making him appear hairy like Esau. She also dresses Jacob in Esau's clothes.

Jacob, disguised as Esau, goes to Isaac with the meal. Isaac, suspicious due to the voice he hears, asks to touch Jacob. Feeling the goatskin, Isaac is convinced he is touching Esau and proceeds to bless Jacob, believing him to be Esau.

Isaac's blessing is profound, promising abundance, mastery over nations, and a divine favor that curses those who curse him and blesses those who bless him.

Upon completing this act, Esau returns from his hunt and prepares a meal for Isaac, seeking his blessing. Isaac, realizing the deception, trembles uncontrollably.

Though Esau begs for a blessing, Isaac declares the blessing given to Jacob is irrevocable, leaving Esau devastated and without the significant blessing meant for the firstborn.

This story marks a critical moment of trickery and repercussions, setting the stage for further familial and biblical events.

Jacob makes the best impression on his brother so he can inherit the rights of a firstborn son. These are extreme measures Jacob is willing to take.

However, the critical component is his co-conspirator, Rebekah, their mother. What do we learn about both Isaac and Rebekah as parents?

Genesis 25:27-28 - As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay home. Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

They had favorites. It turns into quite a mess. So, what should we respond? I think Jesus sheds some light on this answer in John 15.

John 15:12-13 - This is my commandment: Love each other as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Jesus models how to love others well, regardless of their title or relationship to us. He says the most effective way to love is as He loves us. And how is that? He loves us unconditionally, equally, and sacrificially.

This type of sacrificial love requires time and dedication. It invites us to lay aside our desires to sacrifice for others. It teaches us to love our family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers because of who they are, not what they do.

John 3:16 - This is how God loved the world: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Our love should be poured out to all people equally, especially those whom we are closest to, our family. God so loved the whole world, and while it might not be possible for us to accomplish the same in our lifetime, we can extend love and compassion to everyone God brings into our lives.

However, we must investigate one more progression in this patriarchal family unit: Joseph.

Forgive One Another

Joseph is one of Jacob's twelve sons. At one point in the story, he has a series of dreams that his brothers interpret.

Essentially, these dreams elevate Joseph over his brothers, something they aren’t huge fans of. And this family, once again, seems like a hot mess.

Genesis 37:23-28 - When Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now, the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels approaching them. A group of Ishmaelite traders took a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt. Judah asked his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

Joseph finds himself sold into slavery and on his way to Egypt. But God’s hand is on Joseph. Though he faces numerous setbacks in Egypt, he finds great success and favor with the Egyptian leader, Pharaoh.

He is eventually elevated to second in command over Egypt, which puts him in charge of distributing food when a famine hits. His power, authority, and responsibility became enormous compared to where he came from.

But even after all these years away from his family, and now, due to a famine in the land, he will once again be reunited with them. How will they respond?

Maybe a crucial question for us is, how would WE respond in this type of scenario all these years later?

Genesis 50:16-17 - So, they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in oppressing you.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept.

They understand Joseph’s newfound power in Egypt and beg for mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is not easy whether we are talking about our family members or complete strangers.

But Joseph, a man of God, decides to teach us that forgiveness is vital to a healthy, familial relationship, even if it doesn’t feel great.

Genesis 50:19-21 - But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save many people's lives. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

Joseph doesn’t just forgive them but promises to help them in their time of need. The Bible reminds us repeatedly that forgiveness is an integral part of relationships with others.


Our families will sometimes be a hot mess, whether we like it or not.

· There will be chaos.
· There will be storms.
· There will be frustration.

However, the Bible has given us the keys to respond well to these situations and seasons.

We are to:

· Trust God.
· Love others.
· Learn to forgive.

The ball is in our court in each of these situations.

Will we choose to pour out our love equally between our kids?

Will we collectively, as a family unit, trust God when it doesn’t make sense?

Are we willing to show forgiveness to those who have hurt us within our home?

These are key moments and opportunities within our families to grow and mature in the kinds of relationships God would have for us. We’ve got to engage and trust Him if we want to move from chaos to peace.

Will you trust Him today with your family?

Bringing Calm into the Chaos of Your Home

Bringing Calm into the Chaos of Your Home

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