Title: A Wresting Match or Two
Text: Genesis 32.1-32
Introduction: Review of how we got here;
1. The Wrestling Within
- Jacob’s Fear at the Reminder of His Brother (32.3-8)
- Jacob’s Elation at the Reminder of God’s Promises (31.55-32.2)
- At Laban’s departure and
- The sighting of the Angels
- Jacob’s request through prayer (32.9-12)
- Based on Promise
- Jacob’s Return to Former Practices
- Jacob Sends gifts to Esau fit for a king (32.13-20)
- Jacob Sends his two camps away (22-23)
2. The Wrestling Without (32.24-32)
- Jacob Wrestles with God
- Jacob Pleads with God to be Blessed
- His name is changed to Israel
- He is blessed
- He now limps
- A tradition is born
Hughes Records: Jacob’s life is the story of relentless grace—tenacious grace, contending grace, intrusive grace, renovating grace. Tenacious in that it would not let him go. Contending as it was always battling for his soul. Intrusive, because it would not be shut out. Renovating because it gave him a new limp and a new name.
Observations & Implications:
- Too often, our situation and circumstance dictate our response and we forget the promises of God.
- I also find it interesting that we can go through a ‘high’ time with God, where he blesses us and leads us through a dark time and yet, forget about it so quickly. Case in point: Elijah;
- I wonder if any here are wrestling with God today? You’ve committed your life to him, but continued to manipulate your surroundings to your own advantage. I think the key here is to hold on to God.
- There comes a time in our lives when each of us must choose to make the God of our fathers (or mother or grandmother) our God. We wrestle with issues, problems, theology, doctrine, worship, ecclesiology, creation and the list goes on; however, in the end, we must decide for ourselves. We must make God our God.
- By his own admission, Jacob had obtained the rights of birth by thievery and deception. Now, he had obtained the blessing of God in the realization that only God could grant it.
- I love the tenacious, audacious act of Jacob. It reminds me of Jesus giving us the example of the woman who would not stop pestering the judge until he should grant her request.