by Christina Farris
1 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
5 And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;
8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And 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.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And 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.
29 And 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.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank. Have you ever been to the altar, whether physically or just spiritually, to speak to God to repent, to turn back to God, but been afraid to return to him, because of the reason you left is still etched in your heart? God already knows why you sinned and where you been. Jacob had sinned against his Father, by stealing his brother's birthright that was bought by him for a bowl of soup. He choose to obey his mother and deceive his father for Esau birthright. One without understanding needs to go back a few chapters in Genesis to read the full story of Jacob. However now he on the road home to his family, and he is scared to see his family. He afraid of rejection, afraid he can not make peace with his family. Afraid his brother might make war with him and kill him. Jacob plots to send herds of his flock before him as gifts to Esau. If Esau should kill them, he can turn and go another way to escape his brethren, if his gifts are welcome, he has nothing to fear.
Jacob thought the gifts would make Esau happy. Jacob had sent all before him, and his wife were on the otherside of the ford/brook Jabbok in front of him. He remain on the otherside and that night he wrestle a man that was the Lord. He had power with God and with man. Meaning he was seen as a man of strength but not stronger then Lord, who touch his thigh and it became out of joint, but touched it again and healed him.
Jacob had gone to his mother's people who received him as their own, and even gave him two daughters to marry. Only one daughter would make the complete journey to Jacob's family. However the last baby of Rachel's his name would be Joseph, Rachel died on the road in Bethel giving birth. Leah his first wife would go the full journey.Jacob going back with treasures of the labor of his hands. The prodigal son in the story yesterday returned to his father with nothing but the hope of being a servant in his father's household. Jacob was returning with the strength of his own power, but returning both physically and spiritually he must because he promised the Lord at Bethel as he dreamed of a ladder to heaven. He pour drink offering on the rock that was his pillow, and he made a covenant with God if he made his way prosperous and return to Bethel, and the promise land God would make his ways prosperous, he would serve the Lord. God took Jacob beloved wife,the wife of his heart as she gave birth. She was given the lamb Joseph to be sacrificed by Jacob's other children, who would sell Joseph to slave traders going to the land of Egypt. God would save the children of Israel in a famine by Joseph prosperity from serving him.
Jacob took his sin of betrayal of his father, and turned his journey into one of blessings for his return. Yet Jacob feared returning and yet his father was dead. He knew not if he be received by the one who he bought and stole his birthright from. Jacob was received and told to keep his herds, and possessions by Esau because he was prosperous too. Read the next chapter.
This wrestling with God had to do with his heart because you can not steal or buy the birthright of faith. It is something God gives you, something that can not be bought, only is a part of your own personal choice. Jacob's birthright from his father had to do with land of Israel/promise land of Abraham, yet he was prosperous even outside the land of Israel. He return from the exile of his own doing by the obedience to his mom.
Are we speaking of the struggle of spirituality, or the struggle of human inheritance and the answer is both. For Israel/Jacob would for century try to hold to the promise land, but by birthright it should of been Esau but he cared nothing about the promise land or the meaning of why the promise land was so important for he sold it for soup, because he was hungry because he missed one meal. He did not sell because of real starvation, but one meal, because he had no luck hunting that day.
Are we selling our faith because of a missed meal, or because we could not find the answer to our problem at the time we wanted it. Sometimes the answers lie within just a little talk with Jesus, sometimes that meal is afar off. God even sent the prophet Elijah with enough food in his belly to carry him on a forty day fast. Are we willing to wait for a meal from God of the spiritual kind, to be patient for that food. Can we trust God that the meal we already eaten will be enough for the journey or road ahead where he sending us on our journey. Are we willing to return to God with our prosperity, or only empty handed because we waste our inheritance of spiritual nourishment. Do we fear meeting God because of our wastefulness, or because of our prosperity and feeling we still maybe rejected though we give all we have to offer to God before we give of ourselves.
God does not want the possessions before us, or us to be his servant on the return trip, he wants us as we are. He just wants us to come with our hands spread wide saying I sinned. He just wants us to return to him with that broken spirit of right desire to return because we understand what we lost in our failings to do it God's way, to follow God's leading, to not rely on our own understanding of things. Jacob's vow at Bethel on his trip to Laban was the one thing that held Jacob to the worship of God. For he said he worship God if he allowed him to return. Yet on his return he lost his wife of his heart. He had to decide to worship God to wrestle God over the struggle of why the promise land was even important to him. The land of hope and the land that would draw all men and women to God.
Do not fear God who desires you to worship him alone, that calls you by name, and knows your ever action, fear your response to God as he calling you to return to faith in him, when your road is prosperous by your own hand. Can you in wealth and even proverty return to God because of your ability or inability to do for yourself? Can you aid the people before you with your possessions or go and stand in the welfare line hoping to receive assistance in your proverty and relying on God when the doors of your prosperity has no value and the value of income is not in your poverty. You can not get into heaven based on your ability or inability, it must come with a repented heart. The prodigal repented, and Jacob wrestling with God allowed both to marked by spiritual healing and the signet ring of the King.
Dear Heavenly Father whether like Jacob or the prodigal son, help us to come humbly to your throne asking for forgiveness, knowing you are a God of grace and mercy and open arms, providing either the wrestling ring, or the signet ring off your finger the seal of faith. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study:James 5:1-8 KJV
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.