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Genesis 32:22-32

Talks for Growing Christians

The Wrestling Match Between Jacob and the Angel of the Lord

Genesis 32:22-32

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Lesson Number 74

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Broken before blessed will be Israel’s testimony in the future.
  2. Broken before blessed should be the believer’s testimony in the present.

Practical Application

  1. Are we limping forward?

Questions

  1. When Jacob heard that Esau was coming with four hundred men, he was afraid. He did three things. What were they?
  2. Why did the Lord touch the socket of Jacob’s hip?
  3. What is the divine principle seen in this wrestling match?
  4. How is this true of the nation Israel?
  5. Compare the wrestling of Jacob with how God wrestles us.

Answers

  1. He prayed, he divided his company into two camps for security reasons, and he sent a large gift ahead to Esau.
  2. So he couldn’t run. Jacob was at the end of himself, so all he could do was ask for help. (After all, he was ninety-seven years old at this point).
  3. God’s people must be broken before they can be blessed.
  4. The spiritual revival of Israel is coming (see Romans 11:26-27), but before that spiritual blessing can come, Israel must be broken and turn to her true Messiah, Jesus Christ. See Zechariah 12:10.
  5. God wrestled Jacob when he was alone; we need to spend more time alone with God. The wrestling match went on all night; God’s wrestling match is not a five-minute match, and sometimes it goes on for years. Jacob had to own up to who he really was (supplanter, deceiver); we need to own up to who we really are. God broke Jacob down in the area of his greatest strength; God may have to touch us in our area of greatest strength. Job was broken, then blessed; it can be the same for us.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Review God’s wrestling match with Jacob. Now review this match putting yourself in Jacob’s place. Have you been broken, then blessed?
  2. Jacob, in his dire need was afraid for his own security, but God protected him. When you have been afraid, have you sensed God’s protection?

Challenge

  1. God wrestles with us to break us of our pride, selfishness and independence. He must bring us to the end of ourselves so we will learn that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. See 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Have you sensed God’s strength in your weakness?

Key Verses

  • “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. When He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.” Genesis 32:24-25
  • “The Man said, ‘Let Me go.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let You go unless you bless me!” Genesis 32:26
  • “Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: ‘For I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:30
  • “Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.” Genesis 32:31

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