Summary: We continue to study Jacob’s walk as he returns to his homeland. God’s host meets Jacob just as he finds out some unsettling news. Esau is coming towards him with 400 men. Let us see the steps Jacob takes to prepare for this and in the process becomes
God’s Protection and Answered Prayer
DBF 1/20/02 Genesis 32
Protection of God in our time of need
Purposeful Prayer in our lives
Purposefully striving for God’s Perfect will
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that is beyond you, without any true means within yourself of getting yourself out?
An infant born with complications…
Spouse injured or diagnosed with an incurable disease…
An impossible boss…
Up the Nushagak River or better yet down river and your motor or boat breaks down…
The relationship that you have worked so very hard on is crumbling…
Facing months or years in confinement…
We as Christians should already know what is the only thing that can really help in these impossible situations--something that we are admonished to do continually by God’s Holy word. The answer of course is to come to God in repentant prayer.
What amazes me is that most people fail—and I think a number of Christians sadly fit this description also-- to pray prior to a major problem coming about in their lives.
Why is this so?
Why do people wait to pray, or accept Christ into their lives until they are at their very last breath…or they are ready to commit suicide…or their marriages are dissolving?
When God waits for you to turn from your evil ways and call upon HIS mighty name and he will you what you need.
We will see Jacob come to this point this week. As pointed out earlier Jacob has allowed the blessed control of God in his life to have great impact in who Jacob has become. Even still Jacob will face possibly ugly consequences for his own misdeeds of 20 or so years ago.
Protection of God in our time of need
1And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: 5And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. 6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
We see as Jacob and his family continue thier journey where God has called him to go he is met by a host from God.
We who follow the call of Christ are in the presence of God’s host in our walk. How can you and I be sure of this?
Psalm 119:105 says;
Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
And Psalm 46:7 says;
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
As with us today, the angels of God go out to meet Jacob, and Jacob names the place Mahanaim. Mahanaim is —“The two hosts”, if read by the points, the angels forming one, and Jacob and his company forming another; or simply hosts or camps in the plural. There was a city built afterwards here, and inhabited by the priests of God, Joshua 21:38.
The doctrine of the ministration of angels has been much abused, not only among the heathens, but also among Christians, and perhaps most among the latter. Angels with feigned names, titles, and influences, have been and still are invoked and worshipped by certain men and women; because they have found that God has been pleased to employ them to minister to mankind; and hence they have made supplications to them to extend their protection, to shield, defend, instruct, etc. This is perfectly absurd. What are they?
1. They are God’s instruments, not self-determining agents.
2. They can only do what they are appointed to perform, with no biblical evidence contrary to this.
3. God helps man by ten thousand means and instruments; some intellectual, as angels; some rational, as men; some irrational, as brutes; and some merely material, as the sun, wind, rain, food, raiment, and the various productions of the earth. He therefore helps by whatever he will help, and to him alone belongs all the glory; for should he be determined to destroy us, all these instruments collectively could not save. Instead therefore of worshipping them, we should take their own advice: See thou do it not—Worship God.