Angelic Conflict part 122: Human history – Gen 32:22-32; 37; 2Ti 2:12; 4:5; Heb 11:24-27; Rom 5:3-5.
length: 59:52 - taught on Jul, 18 2013
When you’ve exhausted your concern for the face of man, including your own, God presses His face into yours so that you may become occupied with Him.
GEN 32:22 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.
GEN 32:23 And he took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.
What Jacob did after transferring family and possession over to the south side of the Jabbok River was that he crossed back over to the north side of the Jabbok.
The river separated him from everything and everyone else. Jacob does a very wimpy thing by sending the women and children up ahead of him while he stays at the farthest back from danger. He likely goes back across the river to be alone in self-pity. The point is that God used the opportunity for isolation anyway.
Jacob’s isolation sets the circumstance for God’s third appearance to him. The conflict between believer and Christ is worked out in private.
God’s not only working in the believer’s life when he is doing well but also in his weakness, despair, self-pity, etc. That is not to condone those things. I didn’t say God blessing, but God working. Jacob is going to be a better man after this, but he’s also going to have a limp for the rest of his life.
GEN 32:24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
Again we have wonderful word-play in the Hebrew in which God shows His inspiration of the writers of scripture.
“wrestled” - javeik. So… Jacob javeik at Jabbok.
This is the poetic way of the Hebrew, especially in Genesis.
“wrestled until daybreak” - a long, indecisive, struggle until the Lord prevails.
GEN 32:25 And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched [can mean a blow or punch] the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
The Lord is much stronger than Jacob. Jacob’s strength is mental strength or perseverance. The Lord could have pinned and crushed him at any time, but the Lord limited his strength to see if Jacob would give up.
Though the Christian way of life might “seem” as a long struggle at times, even with Christ, it is perseverance that will end up in blessing.
Whether in the silence of God, the discipline of God, or just misjudged circumstances make the believer feel like the CWL has become a struggle, it is the believer that endures who comes to realize the blessings from God in all circumstances.
2TH 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
2TI 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
2TI 2:12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;
2TI 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2TI 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
2TI 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
2TI 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
HEB 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
HEB 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin;
HEB 11:26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
HEB 11:27 By faith he left Egypt [40 years in the wilderness], not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
1PE 2:20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
ROM 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation [affliction] brings about perseverance;
One does not persevere unless he is in tribulation.
No one says, “I persevered in collecting my lottery check.” “I endured the constant bell ringing when my slot machine hit the jackpot.”
“perseverance” - u`pomonh,[hupomone] = patience, a remaining under, patient endurance.
ROM 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
“proven character” - dokimh,[dokime] = experiment that shows the purity of something, the process of proving or testing. This shows you what you’re made of.
Just as Jacob would learn of his own perseverance with God in the wrestling match, the process of testing is to show you because God already knows.
“hope” - evlpi,j[elpis] = confidence in future deliverance, favorable and confident expectation, happy anticipation.
ROM 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The love of God has been with you since birth. The love of God for a son has been with you since you were born again. To witness the process of patient endurance from affliction and see that turn to proven character and happy anticipation is to see with the eyes of your soul the work of a loving God in your life and then you know without doubt that the love of God has been poured out within our hearts by means of His word and the revelation work of God the Holy Spirit who was graciously given to us.
One must see through the eyes of his soul the love of God working in his life in order to have true hope. Affliction is the beginning of this.
GEN 32:26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
Despite the blow that dislocated his hip, Jacob hangs on. He is determined to be blessed by God.
The Lord limited His strength to see if Jacob would hold on. Naturally the Lord knew what Jacob would do, so really, the one who needs to learn about Jacob holding on is Jacob.
God tests us and disciplines us so that we will learn about ourselves.
This is quite different from the “not me, I shouldn’t get anything, I don’t deserve it,” attitude. Of course you don’t deserve it. We all deserve death. It’s not an arrogant position, but one of perseverance in receiving God’s highest and best.
Perseverance in receiving God’s highest and best is a humble attitude from the vantage point of grace:
PHI 3:12 I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
GEN 32:27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."
He knows his name. He wants Jacob to say it out loud because He is going to change it.
GEN 32:28 And he said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."
Israel = “he who strives with God” or “he will rule as God.” God has fought for Jacob and now God will fight for Israel.
HOS 12:3-4 In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel, And there He spoke with us,
Jacob has striven with two categories: with God, to gain the blessing; and with men, such as Esau and Laban, and has prevailed. Even after his loss of strength by the dislocated hip, he has still prevailed in that he received the blessing of God. That was what he had striven for, and that is what he received.
GEN 32:29 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.
“Why is it you ask My name?” = Think on it and you will know who I am.
Believer, when you are wrestling with God in whatever area, don’t do it blind, think on it and know who it is. He is only doing so for your good, so that you will separate unto Him, and that you will find endurance in life; a priceless virtue.
Manoah, the father of Samson, had a similar question:
JUD 13:17-18 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, "What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?" But the angel of the Lord said to him, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?"
The enduring, persevering, positive believer will witness the hand of God in his life and marvel, and God will respond in His infinite and creative way, “Why do you marvel, did I not say that I will never, no never leave you or forsake you?” “Am I not wonderful?”
GEN 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."
Peniel = the face of God. This is the beginning of Jacob getting over the faces of others, i.e. caring what they will do to him or what they think of him.
“my life has been preserved” - God blesses the believer, even in discipline, and doesn’t destroy.
We all must go through this and come to this place. Note that some may have an easier time with this than others, but don’t compare of compete. It doesn’t matter how long it takes one to get here, what matters is that they get here.
GEN 32:31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel [no longer Jabbok and he is no longer Jacob], and he was limping on his thigh.
Israel moves on, even with a limp. Perseverance makes Jacob (God protects or heel catcher) turn to Israel (God rules). From years of protection and having God on our heels we come to know that God rules and we must decrease.
GEN 32:32 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.
Jacob will still divide his company, but will go to the front rather than hide in the back. He still calls himself the servant of Esau, but as I said, the wrestling is the beginning of the great transformation in his life. He still has a long way to go and none of us ever arrive.
The conflict in Jacob’s family; Joseph hated by his brothers, Gen 37.