Summary: The sermon shares how we all struggle in life and with God.
“Struggling with God” Genesis 32:22-32
WE are likened unto Jacob. Jacob had a situation where wrestled all night with an angel.
Jacob struggled with God He had always had struggles
• He struggled over a birth rate
• He struggled with his brother and he conspired with his mother Rebekah to steal Isaac's blessing to Esau.
• He struggled with Laban over gaining the hand of his beloved Rebekah 20 years labor before he finally got the one he wanted.
• He struggles with the meeting between himself and his brother Esau
1. IN the text we Know "a man wrestled with him until daybreak”
• In verse 30 Jacob says, "He saw God face to face." In the book of Hosea there is a reference to this incident, In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God. He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. (Hosea 12:3,4)
2. Take Note who initiated the struggle It shows us that God is the initiator of this conflict. He starts it. F.B. Meyer writes,
• It was as though God knew it was his only chance. He wanted to lift Jacob up to a new royal life, and so He actually wrestled with him as though to compel him to yield to Him.
3. Take Note the Being allowed the struggle he had the power to have defeated him easily. It was if there was a lesson for Jacob to learn
• . 25When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man God showed Jacob that he could disable him at will.
4. Take Note that God Pursued Jacob Not Jacob pursuing God.
• May be God pursued Jacob to get him to Submit A.W. Pink writes God wanted Jacob to learn in our weakness lies our strength —it was to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was; it was to teach us through him that all important lesson that in recognized weakness lies our strength.”
5. Jacob struggled with Loneliness He struggled with Quiet Time
• Hosea 12:4. As he entered this time of prayer meeting, Jacob found himself very much alone. (Ill. All he had was gone. Family, servants, livestock, wealth, everything. Jacob was forced to face God all alone
• Consider the value of quiet time with God
• Jesus valued quiet time He took time to be alone with the Father - Matt. 14:23 he goes up to a mountain to pray; Luke 6:12) the text says he prayed all night then chose the 12 disciples.
6. Jacob struggled with his identity The angels demands to know Jacob's name. He forced to admit just who he is. Jacob has to share who he really is. = trickster, supplanter, cheat, one who takes you by the heal.
- V. 28- now Jacob struggles with a new identity No more Jacob the "Trickster", but Israel a "Prince with God."
- God's purpose in breaking us always the same. He does it so that He can make us again, The Potter - Jer 18:4. the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
7. Jacob struggled with the mark V. 31-32 - he was limping because of his hip. Everywhere Jacob went after that day, he carried the mark of God upon his body. We all struggle with the Mark
• Paul said he carried In his body the marks of a redeemed Remember take up thy cross and follow me
• Adrian Rogers says a Christian is marked by persuasion, marked by Profession, and marked by persecution. Christians are convinced, they are proclaim, they struggle
• The walk of the believer ought to be different - 2 Cor. 5:17. When a man is walking with the Lord, he will always be out of step with the world!)