Gen. 32:22-32 JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS
Intro: This is the second spiritual encounter of Jacob's life. The first was
at a place called Bethel, Gen. 28:10-22. At Bethel, Jacob saw a ladder, as
Jabbok, he saw the Lord. At Bethel, Jacob became a believing man, at
Jabbok, he became a broken man. At Bethel, Jacob became a son of
God, at Jabbok, he became a saint of God. At Bethel he died to his sins,
at Jabbok, he died to self. He left Bethel with a spring in his step, he left
Jabbok with a lasting limp but with a forever changed heart.
Now, all men need a Bethel experience. Every person in this room
needs to be able to recall a time when you met God personally, you
received Him and became His child. Isn't salvation wonderful? However,
many never go beyond that experience. They get saved and that's as far
as they go. They never seem to be able to produce anything for the glory
of the Lord. While we must have a Bethel experience if we expect to get
to Heaven, we also need a Jabbok experience if we ever hope to be useful
to the Lord.
The very thing that happened to Jacob needs to happen in the life of
every believer in this room this evening. He spent the night talking with the
Lord and He was never the same. I would venture to say that 99% of all
Christians need to have a little talk with Jesus like old Jacob had. Let's
spend some time this evening looking into these verses and see what
transpired during Jacob's talk with the Lord.
I. V. 24a JACOB WAS VERY MUCH ALONE
A. Jacob was facing a serious time of testing. He had left his home
behind and he was about to face a brother he had wronged many
years earlier. At this juncture in his life, he needed to seek counsel
from the Lord. The fact that Jacob spent the night in prayer is
evident from Hosea 12:4. As he entered this time of prayer
meeting, Jacob found himself very much alone. (Ill. All he had was
gone. Family, servants, livestock, wealth, everything. Jacob was
forced to face God all alone!)
B. Ill. Many people fear this kind of loneliness! People structure their
time to be as full as possible. The reason? When we are alone and
unoccupied, then we have to come face to face with God, Ill. Judas,
Matt. 27:3-5! People fear that kind of intimacy with the Lord! Yet,
the very thing they fear is the very thing they need the most in their
C. When we are busy, we can occupy the heart and the mind. When
we are alone and still, it is easier for us to hear the Lord when He is
speaking. (Ill. Many sinners tend to fill their lives with busy work so
that they can avoid the voice of God.)
D. If we Christians are going to be strong in the Lord, then we must find
time to be alone with God. (Ill. The value of a daily quiet time is
clearly demonstrated in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He took
time to be alone with the Father - Matt. 14:23; Luke 6:12) Ill. You and
I should never fear being alone with the Lord. He only has good
planned for us, Jer. 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think
toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end."
I. Jacob Was Very Much Alone
II. V. 24b-25a JACOB WAS VERY MUCH ALIVE
A. As Jacob prayed that night, it appears that he experienced a
Theophany. That is, he was privileged to be in a place where the
Lord decided to manifest Himself in a personal manner. A
theophany in a pre-Bethlehem appearance of the Lord Jesus
Christ. The angel was unable to overcome Jacob. Of course, we
know that God could whip Jacob with just the thought of His mind,
but He allowed Jacob to fight to bring Jacob to the place where he
was willing to see himself as he truly was.
(Ill. At this point in time, Jacob represents the fleshy nature of man.
He represents our old, sinful nature that is constantly fighting
against the Lord. These natures that we are born with are
stubborn, unyielding, fighting and self-sufficient. The old nature of
man is everything the saint of God should not be.)
B. The fact is, many of us are just like Jacob! We fight the Lord at
every turn in our lives. God will tell us something is wrong and the
old nature rebels against the Lord's truth. God will tell is
something is right and our flesh will rise up in defiance. (Ill. Paul
struggled with this dilemma - Rom. 7:15-25.)
(Ill. May I remind you this evening that the old nature is not fit to
live! It deserves on thing and that is to be put to death, Col. 3:5-10; Eph. 4:22-24; ***Gal. 5:19-25***)
(Ill. We are called upon to reckon the old man dead, Rom. 6:1-18.
However, we like to drag the corpse around with us don't we? Ill.
The Roman practice of taking a convicted murderer into desert,
staking him down and then laying the corpse of his victim on top
of him. Just as the corruption from that corpse would fall upon that
guilty man until he eventually died, so our old nature eats away at
us bringing death, destruction and corruption at every turn. The
old human nature is fit for nothing less that the fire of hell. It ides
not deserve to live! I join Paul in exclaiming, "O wretched man
that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I
thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the
mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law
C. I challenge you to ask yourself tonight, "Who is alive? My self, that
old man; or the Lord Jesus?" Do you constantly find yourself fighting
against the Lord? Do you find yourself acting stubbornly when faced
with God's plan for your life? Who is alive in you, the flesh or the
Lord? Look again at Rom. 6:6-7; Gal. 2:20.
I. Jacob Was Very Much Alone
II. Jacob Was Very Much Alive
III. V. 25b-32 JACOB WAS VERY MUCH ALTERED
(Ill. This one night in the life of Jacob was the culmination of 20 years of
patient activity by the Lord. Ill. We want instant everything today. Instant
coffee, instant tea, instant grits, instant gratification, instant everything! Yet
there is one thing for sure: Instant holiness is not available to anyone! It is
always the result of prayer, sacrifice and self-denial. It seems that God
always takes His time in bringing us to spiritual maturity. He gently and
patiently leads us along and brings us to the place where we can be filled
and used for His glory. This is evident in the life of Jacob.)
A. V. 25b-27 He Was A Broken man - Notice:
1. He Was Clinging - Jacob is no longer fighting, he is merely
holding on. If we insist on fighting the Lord and His attempts at
growing us, He will eventually bring us to the place where all the
fight is gone. You see, He knows exactly where and how to
touch your life to get your attention. (Ill. Absalom and Joab - 2
Sam. 14:28-32). God's desire for your life and mine is that we
come to the place where stop walking in our own power and
self-sufficiency and we come to the place where we are
depending on Him for everything. He wants us to understand
the truth of John 15:5.
2. He Was Confessing - The angels demands to know Jacob's
name. He forced to admit just who he is. Ill. Jacob = trickster,
supplanter, cheat, one who takes you by the heal. Or, in our
terms, one who twists the arm. Jacog had to come to the place
of seeing himself as he really was before the Lord could use
him. By the way, God can't use any of us until we are will to
admit the truth about ourselves to Him. God can't use us until
we come to the place where we are willing to admit that we are
failures and sinners before Him and that we are incapable of
anything without Him - 1 John 1:9. God will bless an honest
heart, Psa. 51:17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
B. V. 28-30 He Was A Blessed Man - Ill. The Jacob who left Canaan
was capable of deceiving his brother, lying to his blind father, of
cheating a crooked uncle. But, the man who returns is a man with
a new nature. No more Jacob the "Trickster", but Israel a "Prince
(Ill. God's purpose in breaking us always the same. He does it so
that He can make us again, Ill. The Potter - Jer 18:4. He doesn't
throw us away, but He shapes us and molds us until we fit the image
He desires for us to have. He really is still working on us!)
(Ill. Saul/Paul - He was worthless until he was broken before the
Lord. But, once he was broken, the world was touched for Jesus!)
I wonder what God could do with each of us if we came to that place
where we were totally broken and yielded before the Lord?
C. V. 31-32 He Was A Branded Man - Ill. The limp! Everywhere Jacob
went after that day, he carried the mark of God upon his body. (Ill.
When he stood before Pharaoh in Gen. 47:7-10.) Every step he
took reminded him and everyone around him that he was the Lord's
and the Lord had touched him in a very personal manner. Ill. The
believer is no different - Matt. 5:16. We ought to be branded for
Jesus - Ill. Paul - Gal. 6:17. (Ill. The Law of the Bondslave - Ex.
21:1-6. After the hole had been bored into the ear, there was no
doubt as to who the slave belonged to! By the way, folk ought not
have to wonder about us either!)
(Ill. The walk of the believer ought to be different - 2 Cor. 5:17.
When a man is walking with the Lord, he will always be out of step
with the world!)
Conc: Jacob's life was one of contrasts. Before this incident, faulty,
substandard living marked this man's life. After this eventful night, holiness
and spirituality marked him. If you were perfectly honest this evening,
which would you say best describes your life? Carnal or spiritual?
Perhaps this would be a good time for you to come to this altar and let this
be the place for your Peniel experience. Let this be the night when you
come before the Lord and allow yourself to be broken by Him for service.
Let this be the time when you are forever altered. The time when you fully
and finally present yourself a living sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom.
12:1-2. Many of you know you have resisted His call, let tonight be the
night when you find yourself out of step with the world and in step with
God. Will you come as He calls you to Him?