6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Discover the power and the potential in those "Rock Bottom" experiences

“Rock Bottom”

Genesis 28:10-16

INTRO: 1. I like the way the KJV introduces us to this place… “certain place.”

a. I want to take a little ecclesiastical license here and tell you that there’s no place in life that is as certain as that place where you hit rock bottom.

b. No place as common…everybody goes there no matter your socio-economic standing, background or religious experience.

c. There are certain places on your path where you will hit rock bottom!

d. Not a noteworthy place, didn’t even have a name, no reputation…can hit you at the most unexpected places in your life.

e. Like Jacob you may find yourself in that place as a result of poor decisions, or you may find yourself their at no fault of your own.

2. Rock Bottom is a place where you can’t get any lower, things can’t get any worse, where life no longer makes sense…nothing you can seemingly do.

a. A place not with just ’a’ problem—all your problems seem to converge into that single moment. (Life closes in)

b. A place that touches not one area of your life… seems you’ve hit rock bottom in every area of your life.

3. We see in Jacob’s life that this was the place where He hit rock bottom.

a. In his efforts. (conniving had got him there)

b. In his plans and dreams.

c. In his family life.

d. In his emotions. (loss everything precious to him)

e. In his support. (a lonely place)

d. In his faith. (Only family that worshiped Jehovah God he had just left)

e. Even in his future. (on the run, hunted)

f. Gotten so bad that the most luxurious thing in his life was a pile of rocks.

4. Many of us have felt the pain of that moment…but few have felt the power of that moment.

a. With God’s help Jacob turned his “Rock Bottom” experience into a “Rock Solid” encounter.

b. Can’t help but note that God placed this “rock bottom” experience at the beginning of Jacob’s ministry with God… something Jacob needed to face what he would be facing.

c. Don’t be surprised on your divine itinerary a visit to that place called "Rock Bottom."

5. A terrible misconception among believers…that all hardship is a form of Divine discipline, and all “good things” are a result of divine reward.

a. When Job’s wife suggested he curse God and die Job responded

Job 2:10 …What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?…

b. The events in our lives are not always about discipline or even reward… but mostly relationship.

6. But what Jacob did when He hit rock bottom made all the difference.

a. O, the lessons we can learn from him.


a. Traveled about 70 miles… exhausted physically, mentally & emotionally… yet he built.

b. Amazing because of Jacob’s past, knew very little about the outdoors or hard labor, but he knew it was time to do something.

c. How can I build when I’ve lost everything? when everything is against me?

d. It wasn’t a big thing he built, but the fact that he built that was significant.


1. Too often we’re prone to take inventory of what we’ve lost instead.

2. No green grass, no bubbling brooks… just rocks and dirt.

3. Requires we see what’s left not for it’s hurt, but it’s help.

4. What others would see as a hindrance, Jacob saw as a pillow and a bed.

ILL. Short story entitled “The window” of two injured men in a hospital. They where both hurt very badly. One was constrained to lay flat all day, but one was allowed to sit up next to the window next to his bed. The man that could sit up would tell the other man about the beauty he saw outside. The park, the blue skies, the children splashing in the fountain. The other man laid there and visualized it all and longed for the day he too could look out the window. Over time the man began to resent the other for his place next the window and became bitter. Not long after the man next the windows condition worsened and one day he began choking and coughing and couldn’t reach his alert button. The other jealous man while easily in reach of the button did nothing… he just watched him die. The next day they gave the man what he’d dreamed he was moved next to the window. To his surprise as he looked out the window he saw a brick wall.

5. Like David, we have to get up from our crying party and encourage ourselves in what we have left.

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