Genesis 32:9-12, 22-32
Wrestling Match with God at Peniel
(Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Scripture: And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’” (Genesis 32:9–12).
The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So, Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore, to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. (Genesis 32:22–32).
Main Point: When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, surrender to God, and don’t let go until God blesses you.
Personal Question: What are you wrestling that you need to give over to God?
I. Desperation comes before deliverance: struggles are natural. “And a man wrestled with him until the break of day.”
II. You can’t run from yourself: admit that you are the problem. “And he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.”
III. A fresh start means a willingness to change. “Then he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”
IV. Face your fears: you are weak, but He is strong. “When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.”
V. The secret: hang on tight; God has your best interest at heart. “Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him.”
VI. It’s time for you to do business with God. “So, Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’
Challenge: Are you ready to surrender your life to God’s control and let him deliver you from your most profound problems and fears?
No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37–39).
Invitation: Stop struggling and give your heart and life to Jesus right now!