Dec 10, 2018
INTRODUCTION: The most important thing about you is what comes to your mind when I say the name of “God”. The second most important thing about you is what comes to your mind when I say your name. That, my friend, is your identity. You self appraisal.
Throughout this series on identity we have looked at the life of the Patriarch Jacob a man whose identity was so radically altered that his name was changed from Jacob to Israel.
Remember that so far we’ve said that - Identity is your truest self. It is the fountain head of who you are - you act the way you do because of your identity.
We said, “It is impossible to perform consistently in a way that is inconsistent with how you see yourself”.
Well today we come to a familiar story but also a bewildering story. Nothing about the elements of this story will fit into our preconceived ideas about who God is or how God behaves.
This is the day God decided to be the living daylights our of the Patriarch Jacob. As a matter of fact God will whip Jacob so bad, that he will be left permanently disabled.
CONTEXT: Remember when we last looked at our brother Jacob he had been deceived into marrying two women Leah and Rachel. The two girls basically began competing against one another to see who could give the most sons to Jacob thus winning his attention and affection. A birthing war began between the two women. Once they had birthed all the babies they could produce they convinced Jacob to take their servant girls as wives and a few more children were born till Jacob had 12 sons and 1 daughter.
After some time of dealing and debating with his crooked step father Laban, God appears to him in dream and commands him to go back home to the promised land and he begins to head that way.
But there’s a problem. The problem that seemed to haunt Jacob from his mother’s womb. His brother Esau. The man Jacob cheated out of the birthright 20 years earlier. The man who Jacob saw as his greatest earthly threat.
But nevertheless, Jacob obeyed the command of God to return. Now what have we heard all of our life? If we will obey God even when the going gets rough, God will always bless us. Well… then you have stories like this.
TEXT: Genesis 32:1–32 (ESV)
1 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim. 3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’ ”