Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Because we all want to be blessed, we can have a tendency to force a blessing, whether from God or from someone else, when God freely gives blessings!

In general, what does it mean to be blessed??

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines to bless as to be cared for, to be spoken well of, to prosper, and to be happy.

How many of you think that every person in the world wants to be blessed??

Of course, everyone wants to be blessed!

We need to be careful! Because we all want to be blessed, we can have a tendency to force a blessing, whether from God or from someone else, when God freely gives blessings!

A simple example is the statement “God bless America!” We want blessings from God but yet we continue to take God out of everything in this country. Can we force God’s blessings on us? We can not force God to bless us, but we still do it don’t we?

In actuality, God blesses those who are humble!

See if you can see yourself in the story of Laban, Rachel, and Jacob? Lets us read Genesis 31:25-35 and Genesis 32:22-32………..

Idol gods were important to Laban, weren’t they?

How do we know that those gods were important to Laban?

Laban chased Jacob to search for his idols!

And why do you think those idols were so important to Laban?? Those idols were Laban’s good luck charms!

Laban had idol gods for he desired blessings.

And look back briefly to Genesis 30:27-28……

Laban was not a godly man but he desired supernatural blessings. Laban was willing to pay money and worship idols to try and get supernatural blessings. Laban was looking for magic in his life. Are you looking for magic in your life? God tells us that you can not buy joy that is permanent! Good luck charms and superstitions will only give you false hopes! Do we really need anything else when we have God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word? True joy is a free gift from God to be received.

And what about Rachel? Rachel stole her father’s idols.

Why would Rachel steal the idols of her father Laban??

Yes, Rachel was probably mad at her father. But, why not just steal and throw away the idols? Rachel sat on those idols and lied directly to everyone, because she wanted those idols for herself!!

Rachel coveted those good luck charms. Rachel kept her father’s idols because she wasn’t satisfied with God alone!

Do we covet anything else besides God or are we completely satisfied with God?

And we read Jacob wrestling with God. What did that mean?

Let’s take a closer look at this story.

First of all, who initiated the wrestling match?

We know that in context, “the man” who wrestled with Jacob was God Himself! And we note from v24 of Genesis 32, God initiated the wrestling match.

The second important question to ask is, “Could Jacob really win against God?” God of course could beat any of His created ones. And so, why do you think God wanted to wrestle with Jacob? Look again at v25……..

And so after a long wrestling match, God decided to end it.

God could have hurt Jacob from the very beginning!

God wrestled with Jacob to test his perception and intention! God wanted to see how long it would take Jacob to learn that he was wrestling with God and what Jacob would want.

You may be wrestling with something right now.

Like He did with Jacob, God may be trying to get your attention!

Now, we note in v30 that Jacob did realize that he wrestled with God. And what did Jacob ask from God??

Jacob forced a blessing from God!

Did Jacob really had to wrestle with God to get a blessing?

Look at v9-12……………..

Jacob knew he already had the blessing from God.

Jacob did not have to wrestle with God for a blessing; Jacob already had the blessing! You see, Jacob did not yet fully trust God and he thought he could fight with God to get a blessing!

Did Jacob learn a lesson here? Turn briefly with me to Genesis 35. Look at v1-5………..

We note no fighting with God; Jacob simply obeyed God!

What about our trust level with God right now?

Do we still need to be tested?

There is one more thing we need to note from this wrestling story.

Why was Jacob so confident in asking a blessing from God??

Jacob thought he was in control of God and therefore could make a request. Jacob thought he had God pinned down and Jacob was telling God, “say uncle, say uncle!” Do we ever think we have God under our control?

Did God say uncle? It is interesting how God responded!

God asked Jacob, “What is your name?”

What’s significant about this? Remember how Jacob got his name? Jacob was born after his brother and Jacob was holding on to Esau’s foot. Names during those times were very significant and Jacob meant a heel grabber!

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