Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Friday,September 16, 2016
This passage is an illustration God's devotion and dedication to take from us all that hinders our relationship with Him while we resist Him with our human power, human plans and human schemes.
It was not that Jacob wished to obtain something from God but that the Lord had some strife and struggle with this double-dealing crafty child of His.
The faithfulness and the love of God drew near to him on this over burdened and anxious night, to wrestle these things from him at whatever cost.
Jacob was not wrestling with this Man to obtain a blessing, instead, the Man was wrestling with Jacob to gain some objective from him.
It was to teach us through him that all important lesson that in recognizing our weakness lies our strength.
2CO 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
This was TLJC and who argue that if it was God who was wrestling with Jacob for the purpose of bringing him to a sense of his impotency and helplessness then He wouldn't have had to wrestle with him all night.
This wrestling match was not designed to hurt Jacob but to teach him.
Such objections as this lose sight of the tremendous patience that the Lord has toward us and that He exercises toward
His own and how He is longsuffering.
The patience and longsuffering of God is related to the principle of repentance, Rom 2:4, Psa 18:35.
Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
The patience and longsuffering of God is related to the Lord's tolerance and endurance with us, 1Ti 1:16.
1Ti 1:16 And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
His patience and longsuffering allows Him to bear with us but, in the end, He accomplishes His purpose and grace always triumphs.
Jacob is now brought to the point where human devices and human ingenuity can no longer serve him purpose.
Jacob has only the Lord left in this extremity and he learns that even though it costs him something, namely a physical disability for life, that this hard struggle paid off and he learns to cast himself upon the mercy of God.
God does allow the prayers of men to be mighty and meaningful in His sight.
HOS 12:4 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,
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,
This does not suggest that God was weaker than Jacob, but does show that God desires men to persist in prayer and that
He delights to yield to such prayers.
1. It's not until Jacob is left alone with the Lord that his named is changed to Israel, a prince with God.
2. Jacob needed to have his "human-strength" battered out of him.
3. Jacob also needed to be made conscious of his standing with God so that he would stop conniving, plotting, scheming, and using human solutions to try and solve his problems.
4. God initiates this wrestling match which ends in the defeat of the "old" Jacob.
5. This means that TLJC is dealing directly and personally with Jacob to change his life and to give him a new name signifying a change in his character.
6. It is God who is wrestling with Jacob not Jacob with God.
7. The reason why this wrestling match took place was not because Jacob wished to obtain something from God but that the Lord had some strife and struggle with this double-dealing crafty child of His.
8. The objective was to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness and to cause him to see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was.
9. The objective was also to teach us through him that all important lesson that in recognized weakness lies our strength.
Whatever it is that prohibits a person from receiving God's highest and best and stands in his way, God will touch it.
Heb 12:27 there will be the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
For Jacob, it was the socket of his thigh, a small thing but its influence in making Jacob strong in his resistance of blessing was the reason that God condemned it.
There are times that we are apparently unsuccessful but in reality we are really most successful.
The point is that we may not obtain the very thing we seek after at the time, but the spiritual strength we acquire in the effort may be infinitely more important than the thing itself.
There are times when God intervenes between us and a greatly desired goal which we have been seeking to attain and counting upon as we place all of our human efforts into it.
Like Jacob, when it is nearly within reach, and when we are ready to seize the opportunity, we are seized by a strong an irresistible hand, the hand of God.
1CO 1:29 that no man should boast before God.
There's a tendency to fall into the trap of thinking that this accomplishment depends solely on their own endurance, therefore God intervenes.
ZEC 4:6 "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts."
Many believers forget that the possibility of them receiving God's highest and best is not decided by their readiness to pass through any ordeal, spiritual or physical but by God's power and willingness to give it.
ROM 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
1. In choosing and arranging the present for his brother Esau, we see the character and activities of the "flesh" deceiving and scheming.
2. In Jacob's experience with this Wrestler we are shown the worthlessness and helplessness of the "flesh."
3. Our nothingness can be discovered only we get "alone" with God.
4. The fact that the wrestling match lasted all night is a picture of the patience that God exercises toward us and the slowness of His process in dealing with our human nature experientially.
5. In the touching of "the socket of Jacob's thigh" we see the method God pursues with us which is to bring us to a vivid realization of our utter helplessness.
6. Many times that which hinders us in our spiritual growth is not so much our weakness but our natural strength.
7. The laming of Jacob's thigh represents the weakening of the strong part of the old sin nature which can hinder our relationship with God.
8. The failure of his natural power is the turning-point in this wrestling match and it symbolizes the transition in Jacob's life and character from reliance upon self to reliance upon God, his divine Antagonist.
9. If we are ever to become like Jacob, a prince with God, dependence on self must be broken and lamed in order that we may grasp the hand that smites us and find divine power for our weakness.
10. At first Jacob held his own, the "Lord saw that He prevailed not against him", therefore, the Lord must take some severe measures which will give us no alternative but to give in.
JOH 21:18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go."