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September 2, 2022 7:00 am
Well, a little background before we did. Again, we've seen that Jacob had a heart that was sensitive to God and was sensitive to spiritual things. We've also seen that he had an intensely strong self will. That caused him to take matters into his own hands all the time in order to get his way and live he would call on he would scheme he would connive he would manipulate. However, here in Genesis chapter 32. Jacob has a divine appointment with Almighty God. That's going to solve this duplicity for ever. And here we go. Let's pick up the story the end of Genesis 31 God says. Then the Lord said to Jacob go back down to the land of your father's and to your relatives in the promised land in the land of Canaan and I will be with you.
Remember that Jacob had been living for 20 years in a city called Acheron in Northeast Mesopotamia will show you map a long way from the promised land a long way from his hometown of Beersheba away in the South. And the reason he was living there with uncle Laban is the mother's brother was because he schemed against his brother Esau.
He stole Esau's blessing and Esau had planned to kill him and so he had to run for his life now. Chapter 32 says that Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau, and the messengers returned to Jacob saying we came to your brother Esau and he is coming to meet you. That's great news to wait a minute, accompanied by 400 armed men than Jacob was greatly afraid. So Jacob prayed and said all God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac who told me to return to my country and my relatives and you would bless me deliver me. I pray from the hand of my brother, Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me and the mothers with their children okay so far so good right this is what we do we get afraid. We take it to the Lord, we pray about it.
So far so good right right okay but in order to resolve this rift between himself and his brother Esau. What did Jacob need to do next. Praying is wonderful but the really fix this division between him and his brother. There was something Jacob needed to do well. What is the Bible tell us to do when we have sinned against somebody else.
The Bible tells us the Jacob needed to humble himself before Esau. He needed to own his sin before Esau. He needed to confess his sin before Esau and he needed to sincerely ask Esau to forgive him. This is God's way.
This is God's plan right right okay but Jacob didn't want to do that and why didn't eat well because our flesh never wants to do this because it's humiliating to our fleshly pride to do this and so instead, Jacob adopts a different plan, one that is human pride could live with and that is he decides to try and bribe up his brother Esau folks here we go again here we go here's Jacob once again not doing it God's way, but doing it his way with me.
I so the Bible says from the possessions he had with him. He Jacob selected a present for his brother Esau 200 female goats 20 male goats 200 young lambs and 20 rams, 30 milking camels and their young 40 cows and 10 bulls 20 female and 10 Mayo donkeys folks. That's a huge amount that just tells us how wealthy Jacob had become an Jacob told his men who were taking his bride to Esau. He said when my brother Esau meet you and says to whom do you and all these animals belong, then you are to say to him, they belong to your servant Jacob and there are wide say the word there of Pres. sent by him to my Lord Esau. Now here in Washington we know all about these, presence, don't we yet were very familiar with these, presence by four Jacob thought, I will pacify him. My brother Esau with these give so that later when I see him, he will receive me favorably for let's summarize what's happened up to this point.
As night falls on Jacob.
Esau was far as Jacob knows is still out to kill him is on his way to meeting with 400 armed men refusing to use God's method to fix the situation. Jacob is come up with his own method, but you know what's interesting he never hears back from Esau.
As far as he knows when nighttime comes, Esau has refused the bribe and is still common to get him now look what happens next. Verse 24 so Jacob was left alone and Amanda wrestled with him until daybreak, and when the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob. He touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched out of joint Jacob and said please tell me your name and the man said, why do you ask my name and then the man blessed Jacob there so Jacob called the place Penny L. Which means literally in Hebrew the face of God, because Jacob said I saw God face-to-face and yet my life was spared. Okay, now can we figure out together what's going on here.
Then we are, let's do that. The man that Jacob wrestled with all night. Who do you think that was what did Jacob just say he was he was God. That's right, God appearing in human form. We call this a theophany, and God did the very same thing in Genesis 18 when he showed up with the two angels went on from there to Sodom and Gomorrah, but the Lord was with them in human form.
When he came to tell Abraham that Sarah was going to have a trial all right, so good. We know the man is now the wrestling match what was that well folks, that was an outward symbol of what was happening inside Jacob.
There was a wrestling match going on on the inside of Jacob, not just on the outside and what was the subject of this wrestling match will very simply, the wrestling match was all about who was going to be the Lord of Jacob's life who was going to call the shots in Jacob's life who was going to have the final word in Jacob's life was Jacob going to do things his way or was Jacob going to do things God's way and the Bible says that it was a Herculean wrestling match that all night. God tried to subdue Jacob's stubborn human will and all night. Jacob's stubborn human will. Thought back even as Dawn began to break the contest at still not been settled. So God dislocated Jacob's thigh. Therefore, Jacob had no choice but to capitulate and then after he did this she said so Jacob lost well no actually Jacob want you say what know we did the loss know we didn't.
He won because after he capitulated. I want you to say the next five words with be ready then God blessed Jacob. There then God blessed Jacob. There, now you know it's really interesting is that this is a very first time in the Bible that it's ever said that God blessed Jacob. Now God has protected Jacob before this and God has provided for Jacob before this and God has even prospered Jacob before this God has even made promises to Jacob before this, but never before now does the Bible ever say that God was able to truly blessed Jacob because don't miss this now only now has Jacob truly surrendered his will to God's will. The understand what I'm saying.
God can't bless us fully and completely until we surrender our will to his will, and Jacob had never ever done that until this night here in Genesis 32 in the Bible goes on to tell us we read the rest of the book of Genesis that this was not just a one time surrender of his life on Jacob's part, but it was a lifelong surrender on Jacob's part. Jacob was never the same man again, and as a result of that right here in this chapter, God changes his name from Jacob Saloom Israel right.
Change of name equal change of character and this was a change of character for this man and we can see if the very next morning.
Look in the morning. Jacob looked up and there was Esau coming with his 400 men watch so Jacob went out and bow down to the ground seven times prostrated himself on the ground. Seven different times. As he approached his brother in the ancient near East.
This was a common way to express humility to express contrition to express honor to the other person and sorrow over what you've done to that other person so here Jacob is the very next morning doing it God's way. Do we see that no chicanery, no scheming, no manipulation, no trying to bribe him just doing it God's way obeying God and trusting God for the results. And you know what the results were good. Verse four says but he's already into me Jacob after he had bow down the seven times and embraced him and threw his arms around his neck and kissed there was a forgiveness.
There was a reconciliation there was a reproachful mom that was wonderful.
When Jacob agreed to do it God's way is it what you think would happen if Jacob hadn't done it God's way. Well, I don't know for sure but Esau didn't bring 400 armed men for nothing the understand he brought them for reason. But he changed his mind when Jacob approached him the way God told Jacob to do it.
Praise Lord, amen.
Now let's often ask our most important question you ready all right here it is nice allowed everybody ready all right. Come on now, here we go on to a that was not good, ready we can do better than that.
Acoma want to throw a go. You say I long. I know the story. I appreciate you explaining the story to me.
I think understand what's going on here, but you know honestly is a follower of Christ. I really don't see what this has to do with me. I mean, I have never had a wrestling match with God. Oh yes, you have yes you have so what I we've all had wrestling matches with God sure you have.
In fact, many of us walked in tonight right in the middle of a wrestling match with God is a how do you know that because were human understand that maybe God's been asking you to forgive someone, and you been wrestling with them and say in but I don't feel like it. While I have to go first. Or maybe God's been asking you to go. Humble yourself and ask someone else to forgive you and you been wrestling with God and saying, but I don't want to. Or maybe God's been asking you to knock off the sexual activity between you and your boyfriend, you and your girlfriend. You and your fiancÚ because you're not married and you been wrestling with God and saying while I have to or maybe God hasn't provided you with a spouse and you been wrestling with him and saying this isn't fair. Or maybe God hasn't given your trial. Or maybe he's given you a trial with extra special needs and you been wrestling with God and say why me maybe God didn't give you that promotion you wanted, or that honor you thought you deserved without residency spot that you were trying to get or or that house that you wanted, or that deal that you been trying to make come through or the grad school you wanted to go to the college wanted to go to and you been wrestling with God, saying, Lord, why not folks. Let me sum up what I'm trying to say to us tonight in one sentence. It's this Jacob lawn God's blessing by capitulating to God's Lordship and his followers of Christ. That's exactly how you and I do it.
Let me repeat that Jacob lawn God's blessing by capitulating to God's Lordship. And that's exactly how we as followers of Christ. When God's blessing by doing the very same thing you know just recently I had a wrestling match with God. The chairman of our board of elders.
Larry Cooper called me up and said lawn. I think for this that the other reason you you I really like you to do this. Larry is my boss on the human level and I wanted to just pure and simple.
I want to do it. It was insulting. I thought it was humiliating to my flesh and my first response on the inside is not doing that on say that out loud because I value my job, but on the inside I said I'm not doing that and the I knew was for the good of McLean Bible Church what he was asking. I knew it was the right thing to do.
Biblically, I know the Bible but my fleshly pride just flat didn't want to do it.
Pure and simple.
So into the ring the Lord and I went to say how that worked out for you. Well, I lost that's how it worked out for me.
I went ahead and did exactly what he asked me to do, but it's okay that I lost. That's what I want you to understand it's okay that I lost because 45 years ago.
I dedicated my life to the Lordship of Christ, which means listen that I agreed to lose every wrestling match between me and the Lord gives them that I agreed on the lose mall Lord I may go in there and I'm a huff and puff and try to blow the house down. But when it's all over. Lord I'm in a lose because that's the commitment I made I'm coming out of the ring having capitulated to body understand what I'm saying: say what I'm saying you okay you say will lawn. Frankly, I think if you were really spiritual enough you wouldn't even have any wrestling matches with God and I will you know what if you that's spiritual you come up you and you preach, I'll be happy to let you come of your bridge never ever wrestling match with God. You will all appear.
I have a don't you don't you sure we do.
Sure we do. It's okay to have the match as long as you make sure you lose the understand is the blessing of God.
This is one of the great paradoxes of the Bible. When we lose we win when we lose to God's Lordship we win God's blessing. Amen. And that's the reason I made this commitment 45 years ago because folks. I want God's blessing more than I want my way. I want God's blessing more than I want my will. I want God's blessing more than I want my plans and that's why I made the commitment to the Lordship of Christ.
Hudson Taylor said Christ is either Lord of all or he is not Lord at all. So listen here, if you came in here tonight with an ongoing wrestling match with God over some of these things I mentioned. Or maybe some else. Whatever might be, as your pastor tonight is someone who loves you as someone who's been praying all week for you. Knowing this message was coming to. I want to beg you. I want to beg you to lose tonight.
I want to beg you to capitulate tonight.
I want to beg you to say uncle tonight. I want to beg you to to agree to obey God and do it his way.
Tonight and then trustee. Whatever the results may be trusting friends and I don't just want you to do this for just the one thing you're wrestling with them now about I want you to make this a commitment for the rest of your life that you are under the Lordship of Christ and every wrestling match with him. You agree ahead of time you gonna lose you with me okay*heads together and here's what I want to ask you to do if the Lords really spoken to you tonight about some wrestling match urine you're willing to capitulated lose your willing to say uncle. Maybe not just for this thing before your whole life that I want to invite you in just a moment to come forward and join me down on the floor here and by coming forward and standing here.
I want us to say Lord Jesus, you are Lord not me you are master not me, you will is what I obey. #. Lord, I'm sorry for wrestling with you. I give them do this your way. If that's you were to sing a song about surrender and I want to invite you just come right on up and stand with me right down here on the floor.
Here we go any of you guys standing here in the front have a child is not walking with the Lord ration him or mother brother or sister you love.
That's not what the Lord ration hand okay about some of you out there yeah if you do want to come up here and join us. Let's surrender these people to the Lord and I don't know about you, you do whatever you want, but I'm getting on my knees I got a son away from and I'm not prepared to approach the Lord standing up about, but you do whatever you want to come join us.
Let's surrender these people board and a Lord Jesus, here we are on our knees before you, Lord Jesus. And as we've just song we know you hear our cry God as we cried for children away from Christ. As we cry for mothers and fathers we cry for brothers and sisters and friends who were lost Lord as we surrender our hearts to you and say God I'm done wrestling I'm done fight. I'm tired of that old God uncle uncle, do this Your Way, Lord I'm just going to trust you not just for this one. Situational God. I'm talking about. Good change my name Lord in heaven because as of today my characters change in I'm not doing it myself anymore not doing in my way anymore could do it your way. Oh Jesus what a cleansing moment. This is how much we all needed Lord and father I pray that it would sweep through this church family this moment that this would be a focal moment and not just our life.
The life of our church family that we might become not just a church of prayer for the church of obedience, God and the church of surrender all Lord Jesus, you hear our prayer.
And we know that is the mighty God of the universe you're going to answer those prayers for these people. We pray for you to take our surrender and you're going to turn it in, the more blessing the Lord we could have ever imagined doing it our way. Here we are. Jesus, we may not be much but everything we got yours and I love the fact Lord you take what we give you when you do more with it we ever could. So do that with us, Lord, with the people we love. We pray these things in Jesus name God's people said and then