Summary: Jacob wrestles with God

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Key Scripture: Gen 32:22-32 (ESV)

(Genesis 32:22) The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.

(Genesis 32:23) He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.

(Genesis 32:24) And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.

(Genesis 32:25) When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.

(Genesis 32:26) Then he said, "Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

(Genesis 32:27) And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."

(Genesis 32:28) Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed."

(Genesis 32:29) Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him.

(Genesis 32:30) So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."

(Genesis 32:31) The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

(Genesis 32:32) Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

Desperation always comes before deliverance, a theme that flows throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. We need to cry out to God in desperation in order to find and get deliverance. In Genesis 32 we find a story of somebody who is desperate and we also find out what happens to them when they reach out to God in the state of desperation. Jacob finds himself in the position of wrestling God for a reason because he is stuck with Laban on the one side and Esau his brother on the other side and both are angry with him. The night prior to him facing Esau, he comes face to face with God. When do we see Jacob wrestling with God?

1. He is desperate and alone. (Gen 32:24)

1.1 Jacob finds himself in a situation that he has never encountered before: He is left alone. He is used to having his wife, kids and servants with him, but in order to reduce loss he splits with them and he flees from Esau and that is when God shows up.

1.2 Jacob has needed to do some business with God for a long time. He puts it off and we turns everywhere else in order to face his desperation. There are times where we need to be alone with God and wrestle with Him.

2. He has nowhere to run

2.1 When we run out of opinions or options, we become desperate and Jacob finds himself in that place.

2.2 As a result of this, he wrestles with God. There were two outcomes that resulted from this wrestling match. The first one is Jacob is blessed. When you lean heavily on God in your desperation, it allows God to bless you. Hold on to God and don’t let go. Ultimately the blessing will come

2.3 The second thing that happens as a result of this is that Jacob is left with a limp. The odd thing about a wrestling match with God is that He will bless you but will also leave you with a limp. In the process of wrestling with God in desperation, you may walk away with a limp, but also God’s blessing.

Every limp comes from a story of wrestling with God. You can keep running or you can face God right now because of what Jesus did for you. Don’t quit, press in to God and watch how He blesses you and maybe like Jacob, you receive a name change.

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