Wrestle It Out (Part 2)
In this lesson we will see how God used a physical and spiritual struggle in Jacob’s life to bring about Four major changes. We will learn that we also must wrestle with God about some things in our own lives so that God can bring us through it with a whole new outlook and change in our walk with Christ. Just like Jacob, we will receive blessing if Wrestle this thing out and do not give up! Praise You LORD!
Handout: Wrestle It Out
Teachers Guide: Wrestle It Out
In last week’s lesson, we learned about Jacob and his background and the meaning of his name. We studied in God’s word how he was a schemer and always trying to get ahead by means of trickery. Jacob had stolen his twin brother, Esau’s birthright and then had to run away so that Esau wouldn’t kill him after their father died. We see now that after many years God has spoken to Jacob and told him to go back to the land of his father. Jacob headed back with his wives and his children and all that he has even though he is afraid. He sent his servants ahead of him with livestock and gifts for Esau thinking it will appease his brother who is coming to meet him with four hundred men. Jacob then sent his wives and children ahead and is left alone. This brings us up to our scripture.
“24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Wrestling with God, let that sink in for a moment. This is a defining moment in the life of Jacob. It would be his first honest struggle! One of which is not scheming and acting deceitfully to gain what he wants. An honest to goodness struggle with God and it would change him forever. He would have to face Esau, but God had a plan. First, Jacob had to face God before he could receive the courage to face his brother.
So we learned that with this struggle, Jacob receives a new courage. If he could wrestle with God (verse 30) and live, then he could face anything! I would like to point this out. The Bible tells us that no mortal man has seen God’s face and lived. (Exodus 33:20) The Bible doesn’t tell us for certain who the man was that Jacob was wrestling, some think an angel others believe it was God Himself. In verse 30 Jacob suggests that it is God Himself in human form. Some scholars believe that it could very well have been a preincarnate Christ. We read in verse 26 the man told Jacob to let him go because it was getting light from the morning. No man can see God’s face and live. What an amazing thought.
Many times in our own spiritual walks with God we must also wrestle something out. We must be like Jacob and refuse to let go until we come out on the other side of it blessed and with a new courage. We also like Jacob will gain a new intimacy with God when we wrestle something out with Him.
2. Deeper Intimacy
The Bible is such an amazing book. Not only by what it tells us but the way in which it is written. Many times in God’s word we find a play upon words that we who read in the English version can miss. The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language. In doing a word search, you will find that the Hebrew word for wrestle is chabaq the word for embrace is abaq. The two words are VERY similar. I love this next point. Think about what it means to wrestle. In order to wrestle someone, you must be very close to them. In order to Wrestle you are in a full body embrace during that struggle. Sometimes we believe that only when we are feeling happy and Spiritual that we are closest to God, but sometimes it’s in those deep struggles to get through a situation, to understand a circumstance, or to overcome a temptation that we are the closest to Him. Wrestling it out with God and refusing to let go until we get a blessing! Refusing to turn loose until we have the victory.
That is what Jacob did. Notice in verses 26 through 29 of Genesis 32
26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
These verses are not suggesting that Jacob is winning this struggle or that he is beating his opponent. We see in verse 25 that all this man did was to simply touch Jacob’s thigh and it was out of joint! Hosea 12:4 tells us of this story and it says that Jacob wept and begged or made supplication while this wrestling was taking place. When you are beating someone in a struggle, you are not begging and weeping. Let me suggest to you that Jacob received his blessing not because he won the struggle, but because he refused to give up! He was locked in this struggle and He was determined NEVER to let go until he received a blessing! Praise the Lord.
You and I MUST NEVER LET GO! When we are in a struggle with God over a situation, we must purpose in our hearts that we will not give up, we will not let go until we come out on the other side with blessing and victory. Never think that when you wrestle out something with God that you will lose. I’m not saying fight against God when He is leading you one way and you wish to go another. What we are studying here is when you are in a struggle and you need a word from God, a new strength, a new courage to face whatever it is that you must face and you get in God’s word and you go to Him humbly in prayer and you latch onto Him and you refuse to give up until you come out with a new out look and triumph.
When God places us in a battle or allows a struggle to occur in our lives, we are meant to come out the winner! God doesn’t allow these things to come against us with the intentions of letting us fall and fail under it. NO! He always makes a way to where if we are obedient to Him we will be a victor, more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37) God is a winner EVERY SINGLE TIME, there is no possible way that if we are latched on to Him that we will lose! Praise the Lord he is our strength. The battle is His and not ours. He is our refuge in all things. Thank You Lord.
Psalm 62: 8 “Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Don’t be afraid to just get alone with God in your situations and wrestle it out with Him because you will come out with victory and deeper intimacy with Him when you hang on to Him and refuse to let go! Praise the Lord!
We praise You today that You are our strength. You are a warrior and the battle is Yours. Father we thank You that we can come into a new intimacy with You in relationship even in times of hardship and struggle. Father we ask today that You help us to never give up and to always go with You even in the dark places in which we are afraid. We know that You are our strength and our refuge. Help us to always know that and to follow You wherever you may lead. Father help us to grow and become closer to You with each passing day. We love You and we Praise You. Father lead us, and help us to follow, please keep Your hand of protection and peace upon Your children. Thank You Lord for hearing and answering our prayer. In the Lovely name of Jesus we pray…Amen.
March 31, 2013