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In Genesis 32 We come to what is widely known as the climax for the life of a man name Jacob.
Here we read the account of his all night physical struggle with God after his 20-year spiritual struggle.
Jacob’s name when translated is actually translated into a variety of things.
Supplanter, One who takes you by the heel, Cheater!
His whole life Jacob had lived up to this name and even deceived his father into giving him his brother (Esau’s) blessing.
We know that as a result of him deceiving his brother, Esau is basically out to kill him, which is why he is on the run.
Let’s jump right in and in a message I’ve entitled “God Allows U-Turns” I’d like to take a deeper look at this directionless and destitute man that can be found in each and every one of our lives.
Wrong Devotion (Genesis 28:20-21)
Jacob’s Conditional Service
If God will
Be with me
Keep me
Give me bread to eat
And clothed me
Then and only then will I serve him
God will not be used (Genesis 28:20-21)
There are so many people that only come to God when they want/need something
They’re about to take a test
Job interview
He cries out to God to spare him from Esau (Genesis 32:9-12)
God answered his request
He was being obedient
Just not the way that Jacob thought he would
Jacob thought that God would get rid of Esau But God had another plan
That’s true in our life!
If were obedient to God he will answer our request although it may not be the way we thought.
Have you ever met somebody who only had a desire to get ahold of God when things seemed pretty rough?
That person who ask you to pray about a specific situation but when you try to share the gospel with them, they act like they have no interest.
That’s exactly what Jacob was doing here!
He only wanted God to meet his need in the present moment.
But when the need is met, they don’t give credit to God they give credit to everything but God.
Often than not, God will show his power in the lives of unbelievers to simply show that he alone can meet the need, he alone can answer prayer.
But people often only see the need being met not the person meeting the need.
Jacob’s Confrontational Struggle (Genesis 32:24-32)
Jacob encounters a man
We’ll never get his name but we get some insight into his identity (Hosea 12:3-5)
Angel Lord of Host
Physical image of God
Theophany- Physical manifestation of God
Wrestled with Christ
Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”
Now growing up with four brothers I learned a great deal about how to wrestle.
Being the youngest brother, I often didn’t have a fighting chance.
Each wrestling match was different, because we never knew who was going to be teamed up or if it was going to be a free for all.
I learned quickly though that all I had to do was outsmart all of my brothers by pinning them against each other before.
I also learned that when they decided to gang up against me, I was going to do whatever I had to in order to survive even if that meant biting, scratching, punching, and kicking.
Don’t miss this and don’t misunderstand this (V.25)
When you wrestle with God, he does not play fair
He is just, loving, Holy, Perfect
He’ll do whatever it takes to win
Never loses
He touched Jacob’s hip and put it out of joint
Because that’s what he needed to do
Nearly impossible to fight with an out of joint hip
Right Description (v.26-28)
Jacob’s defeat caused him to come to the end of himself
It caused him to realize who he was and fully see the life he had been living
James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Shamefully said Jacob
I’ve used people my whole life
I would imagine that Jacob no doubt knew what his name meant, he no doubt realized he lived up to his name, but most likely was never confronted with it until this very day!
He would never forget what manner of man he was.
Because God had confronted him with it!
Now Israel
Prince of God, God rules, Struggling with God, God mastered man
The man that left Canaan known as the guy that would do whatever it took to get his way now returned as the God mastered man
What defines you?
Car, Clothing, Friends, Shoes, Music, Height?
Paul had it all and had gained great prosperity-
Philippians 3 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”
Counted it as dung
So that his Identity would be in Christ
Our identity should be found in Christ and not in the things we can earn, things that can be done by our own might
Recalculated Direction (V.29)
Asked what his name was
Didn’t have to answer, He’s God
Jacob knew who he was dealing with
The only person who had the authority and power to change a name
Because God is in the name changing business
When I think of a name being changed my mind instantly thinks of Paul
When he was Saul he persecuted thousands of Christians
Often Killing many
Name changed to Paul
Turned the world upside down
Became an apologist, defender and one of the greatest missionaries for Christ
Peniel- Face of God
When you have an encounter with God
You’ll walk away different
It is impossible to have an encounter with God and stay the same
Jacob’s limp was a testimony
When others asked about his hip
He would respond with his encounter with God
Changed direction completely
Was empowered by God to continue in his new direction
The rest of his problems seem to fade away
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