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Jacob#1 Letting Go

Identity / Jacob   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:20
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Are you trying to attain or keep something because of who you think you are?
Genesis 35:16–21 NASB95
16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. 17 When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
Jacob = heal grabber or he strives
Israel = God prevails
We are going to walk through Jacob’s (Israel’s) journey through both identities.
Both as ‘one who strive’ and ‘one who God prevails through’.
If you are heal grabber or one who strives, you would need to attain or keep some things.
If you are one who God prevails through, you would not need to strive, attain or keep those things.
Before Jacob was born, God spoke to Rebekah.
Genesis 25:23 NASB95
23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”
After the twins were born, Rebekah named them.
Genesis 25:25–26 NASB95
25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 6215 עֵשָׂו

Esau = “hairy”.

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 3290 יַעֲקֹב

Jacob = “heel holder” or “supplanter”.

Both Jacob and Esau were named by natural observation.
Jacob was named from an observation of what happened.
Jacob was born second of twins grabbing the heal of his brother Esau who left the womb first.
Jacob needed more then he was born with.
One who strives needs more, so he tricked his way to a birthright and blessing.
Jacob/ one who strives, met a beautiful girl who was tending to her sheep. He had to have her, and it was fitting according to what God had spoke to the family in staying inside the family culture.
Jacob/ one who strives, would do whatever it takes to get Rachel.
Genesis 29:17 NASB95
17 And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.
If you have something beautiful you will be more.
Jacob/one who strives, always needed more to get his father and brothers approval.
When you see something you think you have to have, does it come from a place who He says you are or what you think you are?
Genesis 29:31 NASB95
31 Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Leah had sons
#1 Reuben = “behold a son”
#2 Shimeon = “heard”
#3 Levi = “joined to”
#4 Judah = “praised”
#5 Issachar = “there is recompense”
#6 Zebulun = “exalted”
Leah named all her children based on what God was doing in her life not on how they looked or were born.
They were a sign of Leah’s journey with God and Jacob.
After serving the 14 years agreed to, Jacob wanted to leave his father in law Laban, but Laban knew he was the reason he was so blessed.
Jacob made a deal to get all the spotted and blemished sheep and livestock.
What Jacob does here does not look like the one who strives but more like the one who God prevails.
Jacob puts these stripped branches next to the strong sheep and goats when they are mating and takes away those branches when the weak ones are mating.
After 20 years of serving his father in law, Jacob finally leaves.
God speaks to Laban and tells him not to harm or say bad or good to Jacob.
Anther confirmation that God prevails for Jacob.
Rachel steals idols and hide them under where she is sitting.
On Jacob’s way to see Esau, God wrestles with Jacob.
Genesis 32:28 NASB95
28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”
God is saying you no longer have to be one who strives but you get to be one I prevail through.
Jacob did not go by Isreal after this.
He approaches seeing his brother like one who strives. He sends gifts and bows and calls his brother a lord and himself a servant.
He is right back into that place of being one who has to strive to be anyone especially to his brother.
Genesis 35:1–2 NASB95
1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments;
Another letting Go in Jacob’s life.
Leave where you were and let go fo the gods you have among you.
Genesis 35:9–12 NASB95
9 Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. 12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
He still keeps going by the name Jacob.
This is hard to grasp that someone could have two in person and dramatic encounters with God and still not do what He says.
Its just a name change.
Why is this so hard for Jacob?
Because one who strives had to prove he is one who strives his entire life.
He strived with his mom his entire childhood and young adult to get a birthright and blessing from his father.
He strived for over 20 years to be able to have the wife who would prove he is more.
One who strives sacrificed most of his life to get what one who strives would need in life.
But one who God prevails through would not have needed to do any of that.
One who God prevails through was given 6 gifts from heaven to prove how loved and blessed he is.
God intervened for Laban not to kill or ham him.
God turned Esau’s heart toward Israel.
God provided an abundance and a way to get an abundance to Israel.
Genesis 35:16–21 NASB95
16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. 17 When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
Jacob’s son was about to be labeled like he was at his birth.
Ben- oni = son of my sorrows
Benjamin = son of right hand
Israel (one who God prevails through) stood up and named him Benjamin.
After what Jacob wanted died, he took his God given name of Isreal.
Israel did not take his God given name until what he wanted died.
Jacob wanted Rachel, but Israel was given Leah.
Jacob had to be told twice in person who he was by God.
Jacob thought his identity was in his natural father’s acceptance.
He thought it was in how beautiful of a girl he had.
Leah is buried next to Jacob in the family tomb, the Cave of Michaela, while the wife he truly loves Rachel is buried in Ephrat near Bethlehem where Leah’s descendant David (a descendant of Judah) will begin his dynasty. Jacob asks to be buried with Leah (49:31). This is in a sense a most surprising denouement of the conflict between the sisters. Rachel remains the mother of exile,41 the future dream, perhaps because she died giving birth to Benjamin or because she is buried ‘on the road’, not in the Cave of Makhpalah. Why does Jacob ask to be buried next to Leah and not next to his true wife? And why did he not take Rachel to the Cave of Makhpelah, only a few kilometers distance from Bethlehem? Leah is the mother of both Levi the priesthood and David descending from Judah, the monarchy and Messianism, the faithful wife who carries on the succession. Rachel’s descendants, Joshua ben Nun and Saul, however important, are transient figures. Leah and Rachel were never reconciled as were Esau and Jacob.
Are you trying to attain or keep something because of what you think you are?
Let go of what you want, so God can give you what you really want.
When you find a solution to your problems does that solution still fit if you receive who He says you are?
You can not go though the entrance in front of us as the old you.
You will have to let go of many of the ways you thought of yourself.
You will have to let of of the things you gathered to make your untrue self more.
Closing:
We are looking at Jacob’s life and journey to understand better what it takes to accept our true identity. We also see why that is so hard to see and let happen.
Jacob = heal grabber or he strives
Israel = God strives
Jesus, What is one thing You want me to let go of?
Jacob #2 Letting Go
Why was it so hard for Jacob to let go of being one who strives?
If Jacobs entire life experience proves he really is one who has to strive for anything and everything, then it would be very hard to let go of that truth.
God is asking us to let go of what we know is it true from our experiences.
2 Kings 7:3–4 NASB95
3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? 4 “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die.”
If you stay at the gate you die.
If you go behind the gate in the city you die.
If you go out towards danger you may die and you may live.
The news here is that we are going to die.
The good news is that we may live if we are willing to die.
How does this relate to Jacob?
Israel let Jacob stay at the gate and behind the gate to die, but Israel moved out into uncharted territory.
Israel confronted the one he loved most and he let who he wanted die.
Israel named his child Benjamin even though a name had already been given.
I promise you that Israel had so many opportunities to look at challenges the same old way or this new way.
When facing a familiar challenge or new challenge, he had to ask a new question.
What would one who God prevails through do here?
Later on, when they faced famine, one who God prevails through came up with solutions.
Jacob would have faced many other times that looked like he was still stuck as one who strives but he lived out in faith one who God Prevails through the rest of his days.
A sign that you are not willing to let the lies die, is that you feel you have to get everyone to understand.
One thing I can not tolerate and that is when a group of people confirm that lie as truth.
I am a victim and I cant do anything about it.
The gates speak of safe places or stuck places
If you stay in who you are not?
If you stay in your comforts?
If you stay in your coping habits?
These are all things that speak of being behind the city gates.
But if you go out into where you believe danger is?
If you go out into the unknown?
If you go out beyond the place of your familiar?
Holy Spirit will reveal what you need to die to move forward.
In my conversations with people I have heard that many of you are hearing from Holy Spirit what you need to let go of.
To live we must the lies die and move towards unknown and sometimes impossible.
Closing:
We need Holy Spirit help to identify what it is we are to let go of.
This weeks Activation:
Jesus, what are you wanting me to let die?
Jesus, what are you wanting to move towards?
Other Resources:
Genesis 29:31–35 NASB95
31 Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33 Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.
Genesis 32:27–30 NASB95
27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”
Genesis 49:31–33 NASB95
31 “There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
Romans 9:13 NASB95
13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 3485 יִשָּׂשׂכָר

Issachar = “there is recompense”.

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 2074 זְבוּלוּן

Zebulun = “exalted”.

Rachel = “ewe”.

Leah = “weary”.

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 3130 יׄוסֵף

Joseph = “Jehovah has added”.

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1126 בֶּן־אֹונִי

Ben-oni = “son of my sorrow”.

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1144 בִּנְיָמִין, בֶּן־יָמִין

Benjamin = “son of the right hand”.

Ruth 4:11 NASB95
11 All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.
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