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Summary: Jacob wrestles with God in the dust before he returns to his homeland to face his brother Esau.

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Down and Dirty – Genesis 32: 22 - 31

Intro: “The young man, Jacob was the kind of person that could enter a revolving door behind you and come out ahead of you.” --- Ever known anybody like that? --- If you don’t and everybody is looking at you, it’s probably you!

I. Jacob – means trickster, supplanter, and deceiver. – Born holding his brother’s heal. – His past had been one of trickery and deceit.

A. Conned his father (with his mother’s help) – cheated his brother – wanted birthright – representative to men and God.

B. Get even with Laban, father-in-law, by selective breeding of sheep. – not illegal / not exacly moral or right either.

C. Jacob had done fine on his own – he knew he wasn’t the person God wanted him to be – often, so do we.

II. Verses 22 – 24 – Jacob was alone – done all he could do, even prayed to God who’s answer Jacob’s prayer with a wrestling match. Why?

A. Hebrew for wrestle (ye’abeq) used 3 times in OT. – Comes from the root work that means “dust”. – Literally means “to get dusty” or “to sit in the dirt at someone’s feet”

B. Verse 26B - Dusty, dirty prayer with God. – “down and dirty” – Jacob won’t stop praying, won’t stop struggling until God blesses him as promised to Rebekah before Jacob’s birth.

C. In the end, Jacob is a broken man, physically and spiritually and that is right where God wants him. – Why?

III. Jacob crippled by God – can’t rely on self – needs God. Can’t do it alone. – move beyond shortcomings. Verse 31 – Jacob moves on.

A. I need a limp. --- We like Jacob – troubled, worried, anxieties, unsure future, seeking God’s blessing and deliverance.

B. We must go to God in prayer – get “down and dirty” – don’t let go – we may limp away.

C. Meet God in prayer – we are changed; not God. God will leave a mark on our lives & we will find a new strength in a new weakness.

Conclu: James Dobson – “Focus On The Family” tells of his father who was known as the man with no leather on the toes of his shoes. He spent 3 to 4 hours a day on his knees in prayer. – look down at your shoes – are they even scuffed? Maybe your shoes need to get down and dirty.


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