Summary: Intro: This morning we are going to talk about times in your life where you have to wrestle some opponents by yourself. We are grateful for all the times others can stand with us, but sometimes they cannot.
He Wrestled Alone
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Genesis 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Intro: This morning we are going to talk about times in your life where you have to wrestle some opponents by yourself. We are grateful for all the times others can stand with us, but sometimes they cannot.
Today we will look at Jacob, Paul, David, and Jesus in moments they battled alone, and we will see that it is part of everyone's spiritual journey. We will also pick up a few clues to help in those moments, and trust your faith will strengthened.
We are going to look at passages where the bible talks about wrestling, but I would like also to quickly take an illustration from the boxing world. In both boxing and wrestling, you get in the ring with your opponent and you fight them. Your coach and friends, your pastor and mentors, will not be in the ring fighting with except for that which they have poured into your life. While they may not fight for you, they can call out encouragement from the sidelines, and when the bell rings between rounds they can rush to your aid to give you water, bind up wounds, and strengthen you for the next rounds. So while we can't be there with you, it doesn't mean you will be completely left alone.
The word wrestling is found 5 different times in 4 scriptures.
The most famous one is found in Ephesians 6.
Where Paul says we wrestle with spiritual wickedness in high places:
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Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We wrestle with powers greater than our own. Does that describe you today? Yes it does, but the real question is do you have a handle on it? Don't quit, fight the good fight of faith. God will give you strength, call for backup in Jesus name!
Another place where the bible talks 2 times about wrestling is in the life story of Jacob's wife Rachel,
Ge 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
She had said to Jacob, "Give me children or I die." "Am I God?," was Jacob's response. Rachel wrestled alone with her inability to have a child, though Jacob loved her dearly that was her burden, her battle, her struggle.
Then she, in my opinion made matters worse. She gave her maiden Bilhah to be another wife to Jacob, saying I will have children through her. If she had just looked at her husbands family history, and what Jacob's grandmother Sarah brought on herself by doing a similar thing, she would have never done what she did.
Having a child, that someone else really had did not satisfy the itch she had, but God in His goodness did give her children at the proper time. Having the child was not an error, her forcing the time of it was. Additionally she brought another wife into a marriage that was already strained to dangerous levels.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in a wrestling situation we do stupid things out of fatigue or desperation. Learn from Rachel.
Don't act presumptively, it will come back to bite you.
This wrestling she speaks of has to do with her wrestling her own sister for her husbands love.
It is horribly truth that some people have to wrestle for love from others that rightfully
belongs to them and no other. This is one of the worst wrestling matches a spouse could
ever have. It was made doubly worse because it was her own sister she was battling.
Finally the last 2 uses of wrestling refer to Jacob wreslting with God. So between Jacob and his wife Rachel, 4 of the 5 times wrestling is mentioned in scripture has to do with their little family. Some families have more than what appears to be their fair share of things to have to wrestle with in life.
In fact if you follow Abraham's family tree it is a family that has known from earliest times 2 great truths that seem to be always in dynamic tension and polar opposites with each other. First they are highly blessed of God, and secondly they seem to have a disproportionate amount of suffering and being forced to wrestle for their very lives with the world around them. When you think of Jewish suffering you think of the Holocaust, while it is true that millions died but did you know that they suffer for 350 years under the Spanish inquisition? To this day the Jews are one of the most hated groups of people on the earth, and that is because they are the special objects of God's favor and all hell is stirred against them because of that.