Summary: I Can’t Go Home Like This

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I Can’t Go Home Like This

Gen. 32:24,26

Who is your favorite wrestler?

Today’s television wrestlers are professional entertainers -- athletes who have captured the imagination of Americans of all generations. Though their names change from generation to generation television wrestlers, complete with costumes, gimmicks, rippling muscles and a lot of hype has an unparalleled following around the world.

Perhaps the most famous is Hulk Hogan, who has had cartoon shows, records, comic books and television shows based on his wrestling persona. Others familiar names of our time include: ’The Rock’, ’Kurt Angle’, ’Triple H’, The Undertaker’ and others. Each combine entertainment and wrestling skills to thrill audiences everywhere.

The stronger and the cleverer of the two wrestlers usually win.

But suppose you had to wrestle God, who do you think would win?

Unlikely as it may seem there are many people who wrestle with God everyday. Some win and some lose. Those who win arise from their experience with a stronger, fuller, faith. Those who choose to refuse God’s will in their lives, walk away as losers.

As Christians we can reflect on Ephesians 6:12 which reminds us that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

As we wrestle with this we should resolve that we will not leave the ring until we are victorious and receive our blessing from God.

I. Our text first considers Jacob as returns home after being away for 21 years. He managed the herds of his uncle Laban during this time and had become wealthy.

Jacob is noted for his frequent tendency to cheat, deceive or take advantage of others. He is often remembered for his boyhood act of cheating his brother out of his divine inheritance in exchange for a bowl of soup. That caused a great division in his family and prompted him too leave 21 years earlier. This text finds Jacob returning home a wealthier man, but one who still possessed the same old habits and traits that caused him to leave. After 21 years of tricking and being tricked, Jacob decided it was time to go home.

As he drew close to home Jacob sent messengers to his brother, Esua, to inform him that he was coming home and that he wanted to make up for the wrongs he had done. The messenger returned to announce that Esua was coming to meet him but he was bringing 400 men with him.

Jacob was disturbed and afraid for his life because he thought his brother was coming to avenge his bad deeds. The night before his return home, Jacob pondered his fate and considered his options and it was to the point he had his third encounter with the Lord. His first encounter came when God spoke to him in a dream and told him to go home (Gen.31: 13). As he returned home he met angels of the Lord along the way (Gen. 32:1-2) and had his second encounter with Lord. Now in his moment of indecision the Lord seized him bodily and spiritually as Jacob wrestled to decide whether to go home or flee.

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