Summary: A sermon on the life of Jacob from Genesis 32 he surrendered to God. This sermon surrender to be blessed focus on the blessings we receive when we surrender.
Many times, life brings us to situations where we are pushed to the losing side. Some of you are here with regrets of the past and pain of failure. Some of you are in different crossroads in life. I am here to tell you that God is with you at such times and the way you surrender to God determines your blessings. Surrender to be Blessed.
Open your bibles to Genesis 32. In our study of the life of Jacob, we have come to a critical turning point. Up until this time, Jacob has lived up to his name, taking every advantage he can find to get ahead in life. But all that is about to change.
Jacob has left his father-in-law’s home after 20 years in Haran. Most of the time was hard and difficult as Jacob chafed under Laban’s domination. But now at last he is free of Laban. Laban is history, a receding figure in the rear-view mirror. He’s heading home.
They are now camping on the banks of the Jabbok River. He is somewhere in the mountains of Gilead, literally on the border of the Promised Land. Through the hard times, Jacob has grown rich and prosperous. There is only one niggling detail from his past that still haunts him, Esau! He wondered whether Esau still plans to kill him. Now that Jacob is heading home, he has to face his brother.
If you read Genesis 32, you can understand Jacob was worried about Esau. Some days earlier Jacob had sent messengers to meet Esau with a message of peace and reconciliation. Genesis 32:6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Maybe Esau has decided to get even after all these years. Maybe the 400 men are armed killers. Maybe he’s planning to settle an old score with his brother.
Night has fallen on the Jabbok, and he is left to wonder what tomorrow will bring. In a few hours, he will come face-to-face with the brother he cheated many years ago.
1. God is always just.
Sooner or later everyone will have to go back and face our past. Maybe it’s a broken relationship you thought time would heal. Maybe it’s a broken promise, a job unfinished, a task left incomplete, a lie you hoped would never catch up with you.
You’ve got to face the people you hurt, a time to own up to what you did. We can’t just go through life hurting people saying, “It doesn’t matter because I’ve moved on.” Life doesn’t work that way.
If you been dealt with unjustly, understand we serve a just God. For every injustice and hurt your adversary will have to give an account and regret what has been done to you.
Jacob is learning that truth the hard way. As the memories of the past float back to condemn him, his fears of tomorrow overwhelm him.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them and his possessions across the stream, Jacob is all alone on the bank of Jabbok.
Jacob is watching the stars overhead and wondering what tomorrow will bring when a man suddenly appears before him. Who is he? Jacob doesn’t know. The man isn’t saying anything. Suddenly the man grabs Jacob and begins to wrestle him to the ground. Jacob fights back thinking it might be a thief or possibly someone sent by Esau. On and on the men wrestle; grabbing, struggling, rolling around in the dust, always aiming for some advantage, looking to pin the other man to the ground. They do not talk to each other. Jacob is battling for his life.
Hours pass as neither man is able to gain an advantage. Jacob is exhausted but he does not stop or show any sign of weakness. One o’clock passes, then two o’clock, then three o’clock, then four o’clock. Sunrise is not far away. At length, just as the first rays of light are streaking over the hills of Gilead, the mystery man reaches out and touches Jacob’s thigh, dislocating it immediately. Just a touch, and Jacob feels his thigh bone pull out of its socket. Huge pain and incredible weakness. Later on Jacob will discover that the “man” was really God himself.
2. God is right in your circumstances.
God brings us again and again to crisis points where our self-sufficiency is shattered. There will be nights where we have no more strength and cannot take it anymore. Maybe your doctor has given up on you. There may be a problem with your job or you are worried about your family, children and you are living in fear. Maybe you are standing in the rubble of a broken marriage that you thought would last forever. You cry out, “God, why is this happening. I don’t have any more strength.?” God allows these things to happen so that, like Jacob, we find our self-confidence shattered and we are forced to trust in God in a new and deeper way.