Genesis 32

Genesis 32 is the story of Jacob heading home per God’s instruction.  “Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him”.  When Jacob obeyed God’s direction – God keeps up His part of the deal and meets Him – He sends His angels to be with Jacob.  Sometimes we tend to think we are all alone when we are doing God’s will God’s way.  But God is consistent and dependable – He sends His angels to be with us.  There are angels that are constantly watching over us.  We need to be sure we are walking in God’s path.

Jacob is heading to a place where he will have to confront Esau his brother.  So he is trying to figure out how to soften that meeting by sending ahead some gifts.  “I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight” is what he decides to ask his servants to tell Esau.  Remember that Jacob has taken Esau’s birthright and blessing – so there are some potential hard feelings that may need to be dealt with.  So Jacob sends some messengers ahead to find out the status and they return saying “he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him”.  This doesn’t look good.  Jacob goes into defensive thinking and divides his people into two camps so at least anything bad would be slowed down by the distance between them. 

Jacob knew this was God’s plan – so he prays and seeks God’s protection and direction.  That is the right response for us when we face challenges and trials.  “I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant….deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me”.  The SOS prayers are flying.  Jacob prepares a huge gift from his herds – hundreds of goats, ewes, camels, cows and the like.  And he sends his servants ahead in individual groups to deliver the gifts to Esau one by one.  Jacob got up that night “and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok”.  He takes what is most important to him and puts a little distance between himself and the rest of his stuff.  You can’t be too careful.

During the night as Jacob was alone, “a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day”.  All night they wrestled and Jacob hanged on.  As morning approached the wrestling needed to end so “he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint”.  That doesn’t really seem fair, but Jacob still holds on and won’t let go.  Then “Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me”.  Jacob knew he was wrestling with God – maybe not God Himself – but at least an angel or representative of God.  So Jacob just held on until the blessing came: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed”.  Jacob received another blessing – this one from God Himself – so Jacob names it Peniel because he has “seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered”.  Are you seeking God the way Jacob did – crying out with your fears and concerns – seeking His face?  God wants to hear from us – He wants to meet us where we are – but too often we never even seek Him.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it all yourself.  Seek Him today!

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