Summary: Jacob Prepares to Meet Easu. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Genesis chapter 32 verses 1-21:
• James Whistler, the Victorian artist,
• Showed scant respect for the hierarchy of any profession.
• When his poodle fell ill with a throat infection,
• The artist sent immediately for the country’s leading ear, nose, and throat specialist,
• Sir Morell Mackenzie was not amused when he was shown his patient,
• But he conducted a thorough examination, wrote out a prescription, and left with his fee.
• The next day Sir Morell Mackenzie sent the artist James Whistler a message;
• In it he asked him to call on him without delay.
• Fearing some development in the poodle’s condition,
• James Whistler hurried to the doctor’s house.
• “So good of you to come, Mr. Whistler,” said Mackenzie as his visitor was shown in.
• “I wanted to see you about having my front door painted.”
• Well Sir Morell Mackenzie got his revenge;
• And made his point effectively!
Now in Genesis 32 the main character is Jacob:
• He is worried that his brother Esau is about to take revenge on him:
• Esau his brother was a fighter and a killer and Jacob was scared to death of him
• Let me remind you that the last time the two brothers met,
• Jacob tricked his brother Esau and he not Esau got the family blessing.
• When Esau realised he had been made to look a fool and he had missed the blessing.
• It was too late.
• As a result of this deception Jacob had to quickly leave his home and land.
• Because Esau wanted to kill him.
• Now 20 years have passed by;
• And Jacob is commanded by God (chapter 31 verse 13) to return back to his home.
When we pick up the story in chapter 32 Jacob is a worried, an anxious man:
Quote: Navy Law:
“If you can keep your head when all about you others are losing theirs,
may be you just don’t understand the situation”.
• Jacob is a worried, an anxious man all he can think of is, “What will Esau do to me?”
• Despite the promises of God Jacob is a troubled man!
There is a story told about a construction worker.
• This construction worker was employed on a high-rise building project,
• Which required him and others to work after dark.
• He was busy on the edge of one of the walls which was many stories high,
• When he suddenly lost his balance and fell.
• As he fell over the edge,
• He managed to grab the edge of the wall with his fingertips.
• Desperately he hung on hoping that somebody would discover his perilous situation.
• He was in total darkness, just about hanging on to the wall, and crying out loud for help,
• Due to the noise and machinery at the construction site.
• No one could hear him, all his screams were in vain.
Very soon his arms begin to grow weak and his grip began to slip:
• He tried praying, but no miracle occurred.
• At last his fingers slipped from the wall and with a cry of horror he fell!
• He fell exactly 3 feet and landed on a scaffold that had been there all the time,
• But he had not seen it because of the darkness.
This story illustrates some of the situations we sometimes find ourselves in:
• When we face various crises in life.
• Sometimes we feel that we are all alone,
• Desperately doing all we can to save ourselves, crying out for help but feeling unheard,
• Until finally we lose all our own strength and let go.
It is then that we discover that we were never in any real danger to begin with.
• Oftentimes we give in to fear and discouragement in times of crises
• Because we do not know or see that we are safe in God’s hands.
• We do not see because of the darkness that surrounds us,
• Not literal darkness but the darkness of unbelief.
Jacob very much feels like that construction worker:
• Worried and blinded by unbelief, he thinks he is in great danger.
• He cannot appreciate that with God on his side he is not actually in any danger at all!
I want to divide these 21 verses under 4 headings this morning:
(1). Jacob's Helper (verses 1-2):
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
2 When Jacob saw them, he said,
This is the camp of God! So he named that place Mahanaim (ma-han-ian).
• When Jacob left the promised land (chapter 28) he had a vision of angels at Bethel;