Summary: Being alone with God changes you. Jacob had been through enough, he wanted change. He was willing to encounter God as a result.
INTRO: This last week have you had an opportunity to spend time with your best friend?
That is God. Do you know something? He’s been waiting for you to spend some time with him.
Question: Do you guys ever get that excited feeling when you’re going to see a good old buddy who is very close to you? It does not matter if you’re tired or sick, you’ll make an effort to go see them.
Why: Because they’re someone dear to your heart. They mean something to you.
Point: This is how our Heavenly Father desires to spend time with us. You might be thinking, Oh come on Pastor, I don’t know if I really believe that. I’d say he has shown his love by dying for us.
TITLE: Alone With God TEXT: Genesis 32:22-28
I. Alone with God. I can stand here and mention we all need to take time and be alone with God. But somehow we allow the world to steal that time.
-But you know the good thing about God is he is so patient with us.
TS: Look in the text this morning. We see a man who did his own thing for a long time until his encounter with God.
A. Jacob wrestles with God. There are times in our life when we need to get alone with God and just sort things out.
1. Let me give a quick history of Jacob. He had a brother Esau. Jacob’s name means he deceives. When they were growing up, father was about to die.
-Tradition was, before you’d die you’d pass on a covenant blessing to the oldest boy. Jacob dressed up as Esau and tricked his father who was almost blind to get the blessing. Esau finds out and is going to kill him so Jacob flees to his uncle Laban’s household.
2. Jacob goes through many years of serving Laban, all the while God is blessing him. He gets some wives and servants and flocks. He becomes a wealthy man but it’s time to leave and go back home.
3. Jacob hears his brother Esau is coming to meet him along with 400 men. Jacob makes some desperate plans and tries to buy him off but he realizes there is no way he can take on his brother’s army.
Question: So what does he do? (Text this morning.) Jacob gets alone with God.
B. The real problem was not Esau. It was Jacob and God was going to show him this.
1. Jacob finally was coming to an end of his scheming and manipulating, alone at last.
-Walter Landor called solitude "the audience chamber of God." When we’re alone, we can’t escape into other people’s hearts and minds and be distracted, we have to live with ourselves and face ourselves.
2. 20 years before Jacob had met the Lord at Bethel and now God graciously came to him again in his hour of need.
3. Good thing about God is that he meets us at whatever level he finds us in order to lift us to where he wants us to be.
-Jacob had spent most of his adult life wrestling with people – Esau, Isaac, Laban, and even his wives – so God came to him as a wrestler.
Scripture: Psalm 18:26, "To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd."
A.W. Tozer: "During that dark night of the soul, Jacob discovered that he’d spent his life fighting God and resisting his will, and that the only way to victory was through surrender."
C. Jacob passed the test of discouragement.
-V. 26, "Then the man said, ’Let me go, for it is daybreak,’ but Jacob replied, ’I will not let you go until you bless me.’
1. Even though Jacob had been crippled in his contest, even though his strength was disabled, he did not quit, he persevered. He hung on.
Today: Are you hanging on for the blessing or are you ready to quit? We need to understand something about the Lord.
D. The Lord does the shaking. Many times people will blame the devil, or the church, or family, or some fluke situation.
1. The real issue is between you and God. Hebrews 12:26-27, "At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words once more indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
-The promise of God is that everything that can be shaken is going to be shaken.