Opening: Thanksgiving and Christmas are two holidays that make a lot of people think about one place home! Around Christmas, we sing songs like

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1 Prayer Requests: 1. Paris 11/15/15 There s No Place Like Home Text: Genesis 46:1-6 Opening: Thanksgiving and Christmas are two holidays that make a lot of people think about one place home! Around Christmas, we sing songs like Oh, theres no place like home for the holidays Cause no matter how far away you roam When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze For the holidays, you cant beat home, sweet home I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love even more than I usually do And although I know it's a long road back I promise you I'll be home for Christmas You can count on me Please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree Christmas Eve will find me where the love light beams I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams In Genesis chapter 46, as Jacob makes his way to Egypt to be reunited with his son, Joseph, he makes a stop back home in his old stomping grounds, Beersheba. In fact, at some point, not only Jacob, but also his father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham, had called Beersheba, Home. 1. Genesis 21:31-33 Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant at Beersheba which indicated that Abraham had dug a well there. Abraham planted himself there in Beersheba. And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

2 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. Genesis 21: Genesis 26 Abraham s son, Isaac, also plants himself in Beersheba. And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well. Genesis 26: Genesis 28 a. It was in Beersheba that Jacob deceived his brother, Esau, and from there left home to begin his own life. b. Can any of you remember that feeling you experienced when you left home? For some, it was an exciting time as you anticipated what was ahead. For some, it was a bitter sweet moment. For others, it was a moment that you had been looking forward to. For others, kind of like Jacob, you had to leave even though deep down inside you really didn t want to. 4. Genesis 46 Jacob, now some 130 years old and with a lot of water having flowed under the bridge, finds himself doing something that he probably never thought he would do at his age. He was uprooting his whole family, leaving Hebron, and travelling to Egypt. On the journey to Egypt, Jacob stops in Beersheba. He has the opportunity to go back home one last time. From Scripture, we find that there were two things of importance that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob found in Beersheba. 1. They found water. a. Both Abraham and Isaac dug wells at Beersheba. In that arid climate, water was necessary to support their flocks and herds. Jacob would

3 have also needed water and would have taken water from those same wells that his father and grandfather had dug. b. Water is one of the most important substances on earth. All plants and animals must have water to survive. If there was no water there would be no life on earth. c. In fact, under normal circumstances, an individual can go only 3 days without water. d. While I have heard of individuals who have gone on a hunger strike, I don t believe I ve ever heard of someone who went on a water strike. e. We all need water physically, but even more importantly spiritually. Without water, we cannot survive. Water is necessary for life! But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14 i. Jesus Christ provides eternal life. Do you have that life? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. Luke 8:5-6 ii. Is your spiritual life lacking moisture? Is your spiritual growth stagnant? What s the missing ingredient? God s Word. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

4 2. They met with God. "And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. Genesis 46:2-4 a. In the case of Jacob, we are specifically told that he met with God when he stopped in Beersheba. He was making a big move for himself and for his entire family. He was leaving the Promised Land and he wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing. (Note: Isaac, Jacob s father, in Genesis 26, was faced with a similar situation famine. Yet, at that time, God told him not to go to Egypt.) b. Have you ever been in a situation where you just wondered, Am I doing to right thing? Am I making the right decision? What is the right decision? c. Jacob was reminded, I am God! I am the Almighty, Everlasting, All- Powerful, Supreme God! Just as Joseph had already learned, sometimes we need to go back to the place where we can be reminded, But God! Everything in our lives must be all about God! d. Jacob was encouraged, Fear not! Replace fear with faith faith in God Almighty! But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Matthew 14:27-31

5 e. Jacob was promised, I will bless thee. I will make thee a great nation! While following God should not be about what we can get out of it, we must understand that God desires to bless His children and obedience brings blessings! f. Jacob was relieved, I will go with thee! This promise should erase any doubt. Having the assurance that, as we are obedient to God, He will go with us should enable us to face whatever obstacles may stand in our way. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5 g. Jacob was assured, I m in control. I will bring you back to the Promised Land! Because God is in control, we can trust. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 h. Jacob was reminded, This world is not your home! (vs. 6, Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.) We often get so bent out of shape because of what takes place in this world. We struggle so often to accumulate all the comforts of this world so that we can be comfortable in this world! However, This world is not my home, I m just a passin through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16

6 Closing: What about you this morning? Do you need to drink of that Living Water and receive Christ as your Savior? Has your spiritual growth become stagnant because you are not planted in God s Word? Do you need to go back home and be reminded of these things as Jacob was? Will you, this morning, come home? Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling Calling for you and for me; Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching Watching for you and for me! Come home! come home! Ye who are weary, come home! Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home! Offering:

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