Summary: Jacob found himself in a tough spot and alone when the Angel of the Lord came and wrestled with him. Are we willing to put ourselves in a position for an encounter with God?
n Jacob was a man who had always done things his way and he was the kind of person who wanted to be in charge and know how things were going to play out.
n How many times do we get in that same place with God? We know what we are used to and we know what we expect and don’t want to see that change.
There was a night in Jacob’s life where everything changed. He had an encounter with the King and was never the same. I fear that today in many churches and in many of our lives, what we experience is not true change, but emotional stirring.
To move slightly; arouse or excite To make or become different; alter; to replace with another
Moving around the present ingredients Emptying the present ingredients and starting over
Mixed or refreshed Reformed, transformed or refined
*How many times have we approached God with the notion of “God, you can do this or this, but not that . . .”?
Jacob’s Night of Change:
1. Jacob was restless and unsettled.
a. It is not a coincidence that Jacob’s encounter took place during the night. Quite often will we find our biggest victories come in the darkest of times. Our response determines our destiny. How we respond in the darkness often determines how much we see the light.
b. He was about to meet his brother and didn’t know how that would go.
c. He knew things had the potential to be bad. He was worried. As it turned out, he had nothing to worry about, but he didn’t realize that at the time.
d. Restlessness is not always a bad thing. The danger is when we respond to restlessness with foolishness.
2. Jacob took action.
a. He moved forward. That is always the best direction.
b. Many times in our restlessness or worry we find ourselves moving backward or retreating.
c. “Jabbok” means “EMPTYING”. Jacob’s move was an emptying of himself. It went against his very nature to flee and deceive. He was making a choice to confront his issues head on.
d. Jacob let everyone go and was alone.
i. This is quite often the best place to be and the best condition to find ourselves in.
ii. There are times when a personal, private reckoning is necessary.
3. Jacob wrestled with God.
a. This is not a symbol of prayer, but rather a sign of breaking.
b. Jacob needed to come to the point of deciding once and for all who was going to be the authority in his life.
c. It literally translates to get dusty or get down and dirty.
d. Jacob was getting real with God. Nobody was around to see it. All the false pretenses were gone. This was mano a mano.
e. God wasn’t looking to destroy Jacob’s personality or break his spirit. He was reminding Jacob that much more could be accomplished in God’s strength.
f. For Jacob, the battle was long and lasted through the night. But, the length of the battle is not the issue. The issue is how we come out on the other side.
4. Jacob was never the same.
a. Jacob’s thigh was disjointed as the wrestling went on. This represents our strength and ability.
b. Jacob would never walk the same again.
c. But the issue is that Jacob didn’t give up. He asked for a blessing.
d. Jacob realized that yes God could break him, but He could also bless him. How often do we just think that God is looking to break us down and mess us up and forget that He wants to bless us even more?
e. The blessing that God gave to Jacob far surpassed the breaking that he had to endure to get there.
f. Jacob came out of this encounter much differently than he entered it.
g. The name “Jacob” implies a crafty deceiver, but the name “Israel” means he struggles with God. Being the people of God is not a passive thing.