Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Genesis 32 - 33

Genesis 32:1-21 – Panic and Prayer

Surrender is to give oneself up to the power of another; to yield to possession or power to another.  Transformation means to change in form, condition, nature or character.

Do you know how to yield to God and be His possession?
Do you want to be transformed?
Do you want the way you think and love to be like that of Jesus?

Jacob needed to learn how to let Jesus be Lord.  It begins with a Savior and then becomes Lord.  Jacob learned a lot of lessons while working for Laban.  He learned how it felt to be deceived. 

When Jacob left Canaan, Esau was plotting to kill him.  Jacob had tricked Esau into giving him his birthright and Esau was very angry.  Jacob had to flee for his life.  Now Jacob was returning to Canaan and knew he would have to meet Esau sooner or later.  He was fearful and thought Esau was still wanted to kill him.  There was scary uncertainty ahead.  God did not want him to feel alone so He sent His angels to help him.  When Jacob sees the angels, he named that place Mahanaim meaning 2 camps – Jacob’s camp and God’s camp.  Jacob sees the angels, but still panics. 

Angels are real beings and God commands them to guard us.  The word “angels” means messengers.  Facts about Angels:
Genesis 32:1-2 – God send angels to help us.
Psalm 34:7 – Angels protect those who fear the Lord.
Daniel 6:22 – God sends angels to protect us.
1 Corinthians 6:2-3 – The saints (Christians) will judge the world and angels.
Hebrews 1:14 – Angels are sent to serve those who inherit salvation.

Esau had 400 men and Jacob knew that he could not defeat Esau.  Jacob sent messenger ahead of him to his brother Esau.  He told them to say, “Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.  I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants.  Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.”  - Gen. 32:4-5.  Jacob was in great fear and distress so he divided his people and his flocks into 2 groups.  Then if Esau came to attach one group, the other group could escape. 

Jacob knows the pain of deception and what it means to be taken advantage of.  Now he understands how Esau feels.  Quilt and fear produce panic.  So Jacob prays. – Gen. 32:9-12.

Jacob’s prayer is a good example of how we should pray.  Each part of the prayer is important, because it guides us to focus on God and not our situation.  He likes to hear us praise and thank Him.
Seven points to Jacob’s prayer:
Praise - He called on God, recognizing who He is.
Remember - He reminded God of His promises.
Confess - He repented.
Thank - He thanked God.
Pray specifically - He asked God for specific help.
Pour - He poured his heart out to God about his problems.
Believe - He confidently reminded God and himself God’ Word and purposes.

In verse 12 Jacob reminds God that He would make his descendants like the sand of the sea.  But wait!  God didn’t use those words to Jacob.  He used them when He made His promises to his grandfather, Abraham.  As a grandchild of Abraham, Jacob was listening and remembered.  So all you grandparents take note of this.  Your grandchildren are listening to you so take every opportunity to teach them about life and about God and His love and promises.

His attitude changed after he prayed.  Instead of running away he stayed the night.  He was not just sorry.  He repented.  To repent means to be convicted, to be sorry and turn away from sin.  Before he prayed, he showed panic and quilt.

Principle:  Prayer is a place for truth and transformation.

Prayer is where we go to align with God.  Jesus’ death removed the barrier.  Now we can take everything to God.  Prayer is a place of truth.  It’s where we invite the truth.  It’s a place for healing, hope and purpose.  It transforms fear to faith and cleans out our heart by confessing our sins.

Do you have quilt over an attitude?
What do you need to confess to the Lord?  The truth will set you free.
What are you going to thank Him for today?

Genesis 32:22-32 – Wrestle and Surrender

Jacob said all the right things to God, but was not ready to trust Him.  Scriptures say that night Jacob wrestled with ”the man”.  They struggled all night.  Jacob wanted God’s blessing and would do anything for it.  Jacob overcame and his name was changed to Israel, because he struggled with God.  “Your name will no longer be Jacob but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcame.” Gen. 32:22-32.  Hosea 12:4-5 tells us that it was Jesus he struggled with.

As they wrestled God touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it.  When we wrestle with God we lose, but when we wrestle with God, we win.  Jacob was left with a limp to remind him of God’s power is perfect in our weakness.  Jacob did not force God to bless him, because you cannot force God to do anything.  Jacob just realized and accepted God’s blessing.  Jacob was always interested in spiritual things, but now he personally knows God.

Do you ever wrestle with God?
Do you try to do your will instead of God’s?
Do you think up excuses of why you should do or not do something?
Is God wrestling with you?  We don’t see God like Jacob did, but He still breaks us down so we will surrender to Him.

Principle:  Surrendering our will to God brings His transforming power and purpose to our life.

Genesis 33:1-20 – Faith and Reconciliation

Jacob made peace with God and his deception, but has no idea how Esau feels.  Both Jacob and Esau changed over the years.  Jacob finally met up with Esau.  Jacob showed great humility and bowed 7 times as Esau approached.  God changed Esau’s attitude and heart.  They kissed and wept together.  Both were very happy to see each other.  Forgiveness can produce many emotions.  Jacob did not deserve the kiss and the embrace.  Jacob insisted Esau accept the gifts he had brought for him.  Esau tried to refuse the gifts and offered to accompany Jacob and his family back home.  This showed that Esau was not selfish and wanted to protect Jacob.

Principle:  God’s power and grace are displayed in our brokenness.

What changes are in your character for others to see God’s grace?
What circumstances will you surrender to God so you will grow?
Do you want people to be impressed with your or who is on the inside?

Jacob is not perfect, but has changed.  God is the reason.  He had to learn that you don’t go get stuff from God.  He got a new name and purpose.  God was at work in him before Jacob was born.  He is pursing you persistently.  He wants you to change and have a life He has planned for you.


1 comment:

Life and Breath and Everything Else said...

I was blessed reading this today, Thank you.