Summary: A teaching message on Genesis 32 and 33.
Genesis Series #57 August 18, 2002
Title: What to Do in a Time of Crisis
Welcome to New Life in Christ. Today we continue with message #57 in our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Genesis.
Read Genesis 32:1-21
There is a story, from many decades ago, about a construction worker that I wish to share with you. This construction worker was employed on a high-rise building project, which required him and others to work after dark. He was busy on the edge of one of the walls which was many stories high, when he suddenly lost his balance and fell. As he fell over the edge, he managed to grab the edge of the wall with his fingertips. Desperately he hung on hoping that somebody would discover his perilous situation. He was in total darkness, barely hanging on to the wall, and crying for help, but no one could hear him due to the noise and machinery at the construction site. Very soon his arms begin to grow weak and his fingers began to relax. He tried very hard to force them the hold on but eventually and slowly his grip began to slip. He tried praying, but no miracle occurred. At last his fingers slipped from the wall and with a cry of horror he fell! He fell exactly 3 in. to a scaffold that had been there all the time, but he had not seen it because of the darkness.
This story illustrates the situations we sometimes find ourselves in when we face various crises in life. Sometimes we feel that we are all alone, desperately doing all we can to save ourselves, crying out for help but feeling unheard, until finally we lose all our own strength and let go. It is then that we discover that we were never in any real danger to begin with. Oftentimes we give in to fear and discouragement in times of crises because we do not know or see that we are safe in God’s hands. We do not see because of the darkness that surrounds us, not literal darkness but the darkness of unbelief.
This was the situation Jacob was in. He was re-entering the Promised Land as God had instructed, but he was fearful because of the anger of Esau. He was in a crisis situation, just like God’s people today when they face: serious health problems or death, financial troubles, ministry problems, family and relational crises, etc… There many things that this passage can teach us. One thing this passage teaches very clearly is what we should do in a time of crisis. I wish to share with you four things that we should do in a time the crisis.
1. In a time of crisis, remember that God’s people do not face their crisis alone; they have divine help.
Read Genesis 32:1, 2
As Jacob’s crisis is growing closer, God encourages and reassures him that he is not alone. He does this by revealing the presence of the angels of God. There’s not just one or two angels, but multitudes, as is indicated by Jacob’s naming of the place and his words, "This is the camp of God." The point of this manifestation and revelation to Jacob is to encourage him that he need not fear, because he has a Divine escort back to the Promised Land. The same thing is true of us. We need not fear, because God is with us.