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Summary: Are you struggling with anyone?

INTRO: What Do We Do Daily.

-It’s something we don’t enjoy.

-We would rather see other people do this than ourselves.

Look at someone who struggled, with God as well as others.

TITLE: The Struggle

TEXT: Gen, 33:22-32

I. Description of the struggle: Gen. 33:22-32 (READ)

A. Event: Common event that happens daily, a struggle with God. An event that happens within our very being is played out in the natural.

1. Scene: Jacob is on the north bank of Jabbok. Jabbok (In the original Hebrew language) means [to empty, to pour forth, to struggle].

2. Time: Night - a time when the soul exercises self-examination.

-Psalm 63:6 - “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.”

ex Struggling through the night - Vibbert Church.

3. Circumstances: Jacob was alone, human soul discovers the most of itself when alone. We can reflect who and what we are and what we believe. Know type of person we are.

a. Encounter God: Best time to meet God is when we’re alone, greatest truths.

-Individual tutor, one-on-one teaching, question and answer time.

1. Quality time - principle same married life [husband and wife alone]. [parent and child relationship] [no other friends, TV, etc.].

-God wants a relationship with no outside influences, just wants one-on-one communication-quality time.

B. The Combatants:

1. Jacob - meaning supplanter, deceiver.

a. Background: Birth, Jacob grasping Esau’s heel, naming him Jacob meaning “grasp the heel” -figuratively supplanter, deceiver.

1. Jacob’s bargain - Gen: 25:29-34 (READ)

a. Birthright:

-Official authority of the father.

-Double portion of the father’s property.

-Functions of the domestic priesthood.

b. Esau Sells Birthright - price is a bowl of soup.

-Esau gives his future away for a bowl of soup.

2. D-Day - Isaac’s old, ready to give blessing, Rebecca overhears, Jacob fools father (goat skin clothes of Esau).

a. Jacob thru deception receives blessing from father.

ex Story of melon patch, farmer losing melons through the cover of night. Sign with skull and crossbones. . .one of these melons is poisoned, next two nights he noticed none were taken, after third night he noticed his sign had been altered. It said “two of these melons are poisoned.” Farmer thinking to save his crop tried deception, result was he lost his whole crop.

See. . .Walter Scott writes about deception: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive.”

The deception Jacob spins is going to cause him great difficulty!

3. God/angel - The one that is wrestling with Jacob. Verse 30 - Jacob describes the one wrestled with as God.

C. The Combat - Jacob and this divine being wrestle until daybreak.

Verse 25 - man could not overpower Him/God could not be overpowered---No.

1. I believe God could not overpower him without hurting him. So he touched his hip and wrenched it.

-God does not want to injure us; but if it helps us spiritually, he will allow it.

2 Cor. 12:7 - “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me!”

-Paul cried out to God three different times to remove it, but He would not.

a. God’s patience with Jacob: wrestled with him all night, verse 26, like he ask permission to depart (he could have just left).

II. Significance of the struggle - Lord wants to mold and shape us into the image of His Son.

Jer. l8:6b - “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, 0 house of Israel.”

A. God will mold our character - the way He sees fit, if He thinks the pot needs to spend more time being

Melted on the wheel, it will be so. If he wants to put us in the furnace, it will be so.

1. One way God deals with our character flaws is to bring others into our lives who are just like us.

a. Story continues - Jacob receives blessing, Esau comes home and finds that he has lost his blessing. So he is going to kill Jacob (going to get even).

1. Flees to Uncle Laban - who works out a deal with Jacob that he would work for him for 7 years, then get Rachel. After 7 years is a big party (feast). Laban switches Rachel for Leak Morning comes and Jacob is naturally upset.

29:25 - “When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, what is this you have

done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”

Point: Jacob is getting a taste of his own medicine.

Adage: “What goes around, comes around.”

b. Jacob continues to have trouble with Laban.

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