People in Prayer Genesis Chapter 32

Sermon Notes: People in Prayer Genesis Chapter 32

What if God loves YOU enough to wrestle with you because He wants to bring you to a place of fresh surrender, so that He can bless You?

Here’s Jacob in Genesis Chapter 32, one of the most sleepless nights in his whole life. V11 – Full of fear. V7 – Stressed and distressed. V24 – Alone in the darkness. Unsure – uncertain what tomorrow is going to bring. Then out of nowhere this man comes v24, ‘So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.’ Who is this that wrestles Jacob to the ground, struggles and battles with him the whole night long?

This is God, but the truth is that God has been wrestling with Jacob his entire lifetime. This night at the ford of Jabbok v22, Jacob stood alone in the darkness. Wrestling and struggling with God once again because God loved Jacob so much He wanted to bless him. God is the ONE who initiates this, all night wrestling match.

Jacob was a fighter all his life, he has always been a fighter. Even as a baby in his mother’s womb, he fought with his twin brother Esau. Genesis 25:22-23, ‘But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the Lord about it. ‘Why is this happening to me?’ she asked.’

And the LORD told her, ‘The sons in your womb will become two rival nations. One nation will be stronger than the other; the descendants of your older son will serve the descendants of your younger son.’

Esau was born first and Jacob delivered a few minutes later, grabbing onto his brother’s heel not letting go v26, ‘Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel.’

Jacob was a fighter and all his life he fought and wrestled and battled to get what he wanted, to get and go where he wanted to go in life. If anyone stood in his way, he was prepared to get the better of them through lies, deceit and treachery.

Jacob has deceived his own father into giving him his brother Esau’s birth-right. Now wonder Esau held a grudge and swore to kill Jacob as soon as their father died and was buried, Genesis 27:41, ‘Esau hated Jacob because he had stolen his blessing, and he said to himself, ‘My father will soon be dead and gone. Then I will kill Jacob.’

So, Jacob has had to run for his life from Esau, that was 20 years ago and now Jacob’s coming back home. Coming to face his brother’s wrath. But before Jacob meets Esau face to face, God Himself meets and encounters Jacob in the darkness of this night. To wrestle with him once again, to speak in love once again, to bring Jacob to a place of brokenness and dependency once again. Where instead of getting and grabbling, living life depending on himself and his own strength, God will disable Jacob by dislocating his hip, Genesis 32:25. Jacob will be forced to hang onto God, to support his own strength, otherwise Jacob will not stand. Jacob would NOT let GOD go because Jacob could NOT let go of GOD v26. He needed GOD in a way that he had NEVER needed GOD in his life before.

And God gave Jacob a New Name Chapter 32:28, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, the man told him. It is now Israel, because you have struggled with both God and men and have won.’

He is a changed man from this night on. He is a changed character from this night on.

When a person comes to faith in Jesus a New Life begins – a New Person is born, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Do you need a fresh encounter with Jesus?

Do you need to surrender afresh to God, all that you are and all that you ever hope to be?

The biggest danger in ALL our lives is that we live in past encounters with God, living off yesterday’s experiences. We desperately need fresh encounters with God each new day.