Summary: There is a lifelong wrestling match between the desires of the flesh and the complete surrender of our will to the will of God.
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Pastor James May
The Wrestling Match!
Genesis 32:24-30, "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Jacob was a deceiving human being almost from the moment of his birth. Even in birth, it seems that he had caught hold of his brother’s heel as though he wanted to be the first-born. From that point on, Jacob was constantly doing things to get the inheritance of his father through scheming and deception.
What a picture of lost humanity Jacob has given to us. Mankind has ever been trying to gain Heaven and eternal life without obedience to the Law of God. From the instant we are old enough to think for ourselves, we begin to plan and scheme to have our own way.
As we grow older the scheming only grows worse. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t tried to live for God, or not live for God, in our own way. Man has always and still is trying to find his own way to earn eternal life and to create his own gods to worship.
Jacob eventually cheated Esau out of the family birthright and had to leave home to avoid the hatred of Esau. He was sent on a journey to find a wife among the family of his uncle named Laban in the land of Mesopotamia.
For 20 years Jacob was to dwell with Laban. He wasn’t there long until he found the one that he wanted to make his wife but what Jacob didn’t count on was the deception of his future Father-in-Law.
There’s an old saying that says, “What goes around, comes around.” Now Jacob was experiencing the same deception aimed at his life that he had dealt to Esau and his father Isaac. In darkness of night, Jacob went in to his wife only to discover in the light of day that she was the wrong one. Laban had given Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel.
How many times have we heard this same sob story? How many times have we been the ones living it? Satan loves to deceive us into thinking that the things of this world are satisfying. He loves to make us think that everything is all right. He loves to let us see life through dark rose-colored glasses and lure us into a place of dark contentment.
But when we awake in the light of the Word of God, we can see clearly that it was all wrong. People without God are living in the darkness of sin and Satan has blinded them to the truth. Jesus, the Light of the World, and the church, the bearers of that light to a lost and dying world, are the only ways that man can come to really see the truth.
Jacob had finally had enough of Laban and his life in Mesopotamia. He knew that, even though Laban was his uncle and that there was some love between them, Laban was not totally trustworthy. Jacob’s goal was to get back to his father, Isaac, and to his home where he could find real love and trust. So, he left the land of Padanaram with his family, flocks, servants and all that he owned and started toward Canaan and home.