Summary: Jacob’s Wrestling match with the man of God how it changed Jacob to Israel.
Jacob the Wrestler
Genesis 32:22 – 32:32
Today we’re going to look at Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. Unlike Abraham, who has a reputation for being a Godly man and doing the right thing, we must use different words to describe Jacob;
words like shyster, liar, manipulator, cheater, schemer, con-artist. I guess you could say his character was revealed at birth.
He was the 2nd born of twins and came out holding his brother, Esau’s, heel and has been grabbing things ever since.
I like how one person put it…
“Jacob was the kind of person that could enter a revolving door behind you and come out ahead of you.”
Jacob cheated his brother, conned his father, and swindled his father-in-law. What he did wasn’t exactly illegal but they weren’t exactly moral or right either.
In all that he did, Jacob was his primary focus. And up to now Jacob had done fine on his own. And at the stream called Jabbok (which means pouring out or emptying), he empties himself of all his possessions and relationships to the other side.
Jacob Was A Fighter From Birth
1. Before born – wrestled with brother Esau in womb
2. Later when they were born
a. Esau came first, but Jacob grabbed brother by heel.
b. firstborn = position of prominence in Hebrew family.
c. Jacob was given his name because of this action.
d. his name = "cheater, one who grabs from behind"
C. Jacob’s Wrestling Continued As He Grew Up
1. Esau returns from hunt, Jacob boiling soup
a. Esau asked for soup because he was hungry.
b. that’s simple request – but nothing easy for Jacob
c. He’s looking to do business - to make a deal
d. not through with grabbing Esau by the heel.
e. I’ll sell you some soup for your birthright !
f. Jacob was a wrestler – wrestled for the birthright
2. Listen to what he does to his own Father
a. Isaac, his father is old – almost totally blind
b. Isaac wanting some of Esau’s venison
c. while Esau away, Jacob dresses like Esau, pretends
d. wrestled dad for blessing that belonged to his brother
3. His wrestling cost him dearly – now on the run
a. he had to leave – had put himself of being unsafe
b. would never see his dad again – he died
c. was close to his mother – but never see her again
4. Now 20 years later – wanting to return
a. everything was about to come full circle
b. (Genesis 32:7) Jacob knows he has to face brother
I. A Hard Day and Night!
I. . Jacob Came Face To Face With The Lord vv. 22-26 “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
1. Twenty years before, Jacob had met the Lord at
Bethel; now God came to him again in his hour of
a. God wants to meet us--at level He finds us at
b. To Abraham the pilgrim, God came as traveler (Gen
c. To Joshua the general, He came as soldier (Josh
d. To Jacob had spent most of his adult life
wrestling with people — so God came to him as a
2. They “wrestled”
c. Jacob prevailed – not that he won – but he didn’t
1. God wants to know you’re serious about this
2. Too many give up to easily on God – throw hands
up --God says – stay engaged with me, stay at it
ILLUSTRATION: Scientists studied a native tribe in South America whose people have been dying prematurely for generations. After thorough investigation, the cause of premature death was determined. The disease was transmitted by an insect that lived in the walls of their adobe homes. This new information presented several options. They could move to another area where such insects don’t exist, tear down their homes and rebuild them, use insecticide to rid their homes of the bugs, or, continue as they have and die early. Surprisingly, these people have opted to remain as they are and do nothing about their problem. Many people behave similarly. To save themselves, they know what they must do; instead, they opt to remain unchanged
4. At Bethel, God had promised to bless Jacob
a. from a material point of view, Jacob was
blessed – wealthy
There is more to blessing than flocks,
herds, and Servants--there’s also the
matter of godly character and spiritual
Jacob refused to stop short, but held on for this
b. when you say “bless me, God” – what are you asking
-- flocks, herds, servants, material stuff
-- or true blessing – godly character
-- don’t stop short – to settle for second best!!!
4. Eventually Jacob had to surrender
a. Jacob discovered that he’d spent his life