Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Many times what looks like defeat can be an incredible blessing from God.

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

1. Sometimes the “hollow of your thigh” may be your good decisions which cause you to become proud and condemn others for not making the same decisions as you.

2. Jacob did not receive the thing he asked for in GEN 32:11, when he said “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother;” instead, he received something greater, a change of nature and spiritual strength.

3. It is the graciousness of God that answers our desires rather than our requests.

GEN 17:18 - Abraham prayed that Ishmael, the son of Hagar, might be his heir.

GEN 18:23-33 - Abraham prayed that God would spare Sodom because Lot and his daughters were there.

JOB 4:6 Is not your respect toward God your confidence,

PRO 14:26 In the respect for the Lord there is strong confidence,

PHI 3:3 for we being the true circumcision, keep on worshipping in the Spirit of God and glory or boast in Christ Jesus and we put no confidence in the flesh.

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 Jacobs 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 Jacobs 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 Jacobs 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 Jacobs 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, 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” - at times, the Lord must take some severe measures which will give us no alternative but to give in.

Jacob found out that you do not get anywhere with God by struggling and resisting.

1. The struggling and striving are over and from here on Jacob is going to manifest a spiritual nature which is dependent upon God.

2. Jacob won, but he got the victory, not by fighting and struggling, but by surrendering or giving in to the Spirit of God.

What looks like defeat to the world can be an incredible blessing from God.

PSA 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Thy statutes.

Robert R. McLaughlin All Rights Reserved 2002

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