Jacob Wrestles With God At Peniel
A Dislocated Hip and God's Life-giving Touch
Sunday March 12, 2023 - Pastor Wungreiso Valui
In this message, I will share with you how to struggle with God and humans and experience Rejuvenation.
Jacob's life seems like a never-ending struggle. The story of Jacob reminds us of our own struggles with fear, darkness, loneliness, weakness and exhaustion.
And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob. And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed. Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." -Genesis 32:22-30
THE PROMISE: THE GREAT EXPECTATION
And the Lord said to her [Rebekah]: "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger." -Genesis 25:23
THE GREAT DECEPTION: HUMAN INTERVENTION
But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day." -Genesis 25:31
- Jacob scammed Esau and bought his birthright.
- God's blessings are His gifts to be received, not grasped and robbed from others.
Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me." -Genesis 27:19
- Jacob deceived his father, Isaac.
- We can find healing and experience the father's love by returning to the embrace of God, our Father in Heaven.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF DECEPTION
- 1. Alienation from God and family. Then Isaac trembled exceedingly... -Genesis 27:33a
- 2. The enmity between the brothers. I will kill my brother Jacob... -Genesis 27:41a
- 3. Jacob had to leave home, away from his mother and father's affection. "...flee to my brother Laban in Haran." -Genesis 27:43b
- 4. Jacob was deceived by Laban. Why then have you deceived me? -Genesis 29:25b
- 5. The deception brought tension between Leah and Rachel. ...he also loved Rachel more than Leah. -Genesis 29:30
- 6. Jacob deceived Laban, a repeated pattern in Jacob's life. And Jacob stole away, unknown to Laban the Syrian... -Genesis 31:20
- 7. There was hatred between his sons. "Come, therefore, let us now kill him [Joseph] and cast him into some pit..." -Genesis 37:20a
- 8. Jacob was deceived by his sons. "...we shall say, 'Some wild beast has devoured him.'" -Genesis 37:20b
- 9. We suffer when we attempt to have our way and substitute our plan for God's.
- 10. We cannot experience change when we believe in God's promise but have no confidence in what God can do for us.
- 11. God's blessings are to be received, not grasped.
- 12. God's blessings are not for hoarding or for personal gain but for sharing.
Blessings at the expense of exploiting and/or deceiving others are wrong.
And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone... -Genesis 32:22-24a
Pruning: Jacob was left alone
- Jacob was all by himself. He was pruned from the people he loved, his servants, and all his possessions.
- Pruning to be fruitful: A fruit tree, even a good tree, needs pruning to bear more fruit.
...and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. -Genesis 32:24b
Wrestling With God Can Be A Turning Point
- Wrestling became the turning point of Jacob's life. Jacob had been struggling in his relationship with people and with God.
- Like Jacob, wrestling with loneliness, darkness, abandonment and fear can be our turning point.
He touched the socket of his hip... -Genesis 32:25b
Shedding Abilities and Living by Faith
- The hip symbolizes our dark side, the lust for power, wealth, and a desire to be great. Jacob had to deal with his dark side.
- Jacob was about to face his brother. He needed strength and all his abilities to fight against his enemy. When he needs to be the strongest, he finds himself at his weakest.
- Jacob was alone and limping; now he had to rely on God.
And He [The Angel] said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" -Genesis 32:26
Resetting Fraud and Deception
- Up to this point, Jacob got what he had through fraud and deception.
- Jacob now wanted a legitimate REAL blessing.
"Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed." -Genesis 32:28
The Real Blessing and Rejuvenation
- Israel: Jacob got a new name.
- Jacob got the real blessing, NOT by fraud.
"For he said, "I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me." -Genesis 32:20b
Repentance and Rejuvenation
- Appease: Cover over, atone for sin
- Jacob wanted to atone for his sins against Esau.
- Jacob decided to trust in honesty, humility and repentance, not scamming, conning and fraudulent methods.
- Rejuvenation requires God's intervention.
- Rejuvenation can happen even in the darkest times when you have nothing.
- Wrestle with God and ask Him to intervene during times of loneliness, darkness, abandonment and exhaustion from running in fear.