Faithlife Sermons

Wrestling with God (6)

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Boxed in

New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 32)
1. Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2. Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s camp.” So he named that place Mahanaim מַחֲנַיִם (mǎ·ḥǎnǎ·yim).
4000 Questions & Answers on the Bible (10. Jacob (Gen. 28–35))
The situation in the text is that after a lifetime of experiencing the pretense and reassurance of God, Jacob has to be brought to maturity in faith. God’s final action in his development of Jacob is mold him in to deep trust in the LORD.
25. How ought Jacob to have felt when he saw this angelic guard?
That he was secure against all harm.“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Ps. 34:7.
Notes v.1 1, 2. The vision of angels. On his way—the phrase is significant: the reassurance was given as he went forward (cf. Luke 17:14; John 4:51), and what came to meet him out of the unknown was God’s host (cf. Isa. 64:5), a reminder and new foretaste of Beth-el.
Remember in Luke’s gospel, the lepers were healed as they went in obedience to show themselves to the priest at Jesus’ directive.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 17)
When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed (Lk 17;4). [the dynamics of faith]
4000 Questions & Answers on the Bible (10. Jacob (Gen. 28–35))
25. How ought Jacob to have felt when he saw this angelic guard? That he was secure against all harm.“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Ps. 34:7.
In Scripture, the purpose of a vision from God, never takes the recipient on a straight path to the ultimate purpose or destiny. Subsequently, you will need faith in this life’s journey with God. I hope your asking why will we need faith?
You will need faith because we are boxed into a world that we do not control. We do not control the weather. We do not control sickness and disease, and we do not control the sum of our days. We are witnessing human power out of control in the gun violence. Those that have power can set limits on those of us without the power. We see it in the Ukrainian War. We can counter many illnesses with treatment but we will ultimately we are not in control of the sum of our days.
Ecclesiastes 3 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die;
There is no better place than the modern battlefield to prove what you believe abut God.
I could tell you of countless incidents that prove that God provided for my safety and security beyond what my personal weapon provided.
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal;
Some questions in the mind of the oppressed population in America, are when will we be allowed to heal; when will time served in prison cease to be a life sentence; when will Flint Michigan have safe drinking water, and when will due process be realized by all. When will the communities of Buffalo New York and Robb Elementary School shooting victims get justice, answers, and peace.
A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
People who survive their lost loved ones to death of any type, experience the emotional crises mentioned in the previous verses. Imagine wanting answers to your time of mourning, mixing it with hatred for what has transpired, experiencing un-controllable weeping, in possession a heart stuck searching through ans eternity of thought for the answer to the season of a time to die.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from …”
Combat was scary, and I had to decide to wake up everyday and handle the business of soldiering with the utmost humility before the LORD.
God was with me in combat, preparing me for for another scary time in my future. In 2009 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I work in a school system and I hold secret stories of students with with guns and foiled plans to use them!!!
I was the lead vehicle in my element moving into a place called Falujah Iraq. I place known for taking American soldiers lives. They were firing artillery at us as we approached as part of a larger task Force. The next day evening we were in full blown combat.
I was supposed to be brave, I was supposed to be one of the best non-commissioned officers in the unit. I spent all day everyday talking to God silently.
The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of what is unseen becomes visible as the believer’s make forward progress despite the danger. God reward’s motion.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 1)
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-5).
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
The way of escape is a package deal with every trial from God
Concerning what brother Paul shared, about not more than you or I are able, I beg to differ from the entirety of Scripture because of the narrative of Joseph in Genesis 50:19-20 “But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
Jacob seeks carnal peace when God has promised lasting peace
Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.” ’ ”
CHOOSING HOW TO LOSE
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 32)
The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies;for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.”
OUT OF MOVES
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 32)
The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies;for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.”

Driven to Prayer

New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 32)
Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.“Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children.“For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’ ”

Appeal to the flesh

New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (Chapter 32)
So he spent the night there. Then he selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau:two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.He delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on before me, and put a space between droves.”He commanded the one in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?’then you shall say, ‘These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’ ”Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, “After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him;and you shall say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.”So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.

No More Games

Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”

He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

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.

So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.

Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.

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