February 16, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 32

Until this point, Jacob has come across as a guy who grew up in church who did things that worked out in God’s sovereignty without going to God for help or guidance.

Think about it, he first deceived his father for his brother’s birthright and inheritance in Genesis 27. Next he is the one deceived in to marrying an older sister of the woman he actually wanted to marry and although he later marries the woman he originally pursued, the 1st wife feels hated and unloved, in which God chooses to love her and bless her with many children (including the kingly line to Jesus because of Jacob’s neglect toward her (Genesis 29). He then was accused of theft and trickery from his father-in-law that led to lies from his wife and making a peaceful pact with his father-in-law despite his families overall shadiness (Genesis 31). And now his brother is coming after him with full-force revenge for his original deceit, and although we’ve seen many interactions between God and Jacob we finally see a side of humility and fear for God in his actions.

We first see Jacob telling God he’s unworthy of his love and faithfulness in verse 10 of chapter 32. Before, Jacob got his way by tricking others and putting matters into his own hands but now he’s recognizing his need for God’s help and intercession. He prays for deliverance and thinks about the women and children he wants to protect. We’re starting to see a life change in Jacob and that is confirmed as he wrestles with God (talk about God interceding) and Jacob’s name being changed to “Israel” to signify how he strives with God. This important event shows how he struggled with obeying God but in the end saw his need to fear Him, walk with Him and be grateful for God’s blessing upon his life and children’s future.

Many times we try to take our life and future in our own hands just like Jacob. Sometimes that’s through manipulating the situation or not asking for God’s help in our decisions & action steps. Like Jacob, God is sovereign over these times but it doesn’t mean that we won’t suffer consequences for not going to Him in all areas of our life. As Francis Chan once said in his book Forgotten God:

“I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power.”

Questions to wrestle with:

  • Are you doing anything in your life without seeking God and the Holy Spirit inside of you?
  • Is there anything in your life, that on the outside appears to be working, but internally you know your motives aren’t pure?

By: Erik Koliser

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

4 thoughts on “February 16, 2016”

  1. Jacob finally met his match and God l eat him with a permanent scar to remind him of his need for God. I can’t read this passage without thinking of the battle scars God has allowed me to carry as a reminder of my dependence on him.

  2. There is a difference between a man wrestling with me, and my wrestling with him. When I strive with anyone, I want to gain something from him, and when a man wrestles with me, he wants to get something out of me. Therefore, I take it, when the man wrestled with Jacob, he wanted to get his cunning and deceit out of him, and prove what a poor sinful creature he was.

    At last, the angel touched his thigh, and showed him his own hollowness, and when his thigh was out of joint, when he fully felt his own weakness, then, and not till then, is he brought to say, “I will not let you go, until you bless me.” 

    He had had full confidence in his own strength, but God at last humbled him, and when all his boasted power was gone, then it was that Jacob became a prevailing prince. We have been hard with Jacob, but we shall be harder with ourselves. Ah, Jacob, why cannot you believe the promise? All other promises have been fulfilled. But no! he could not think of the promise; he was always wanting to live by sight.

    How grateful I am for the testimony of Jacob today. Lord grant a humble heart today, a serving heart, that this clay might not require a leg out of joint to grant You my affections.

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

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