Immanuel Voices
January 24, 2020, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Wrestling with God 5


Genesis 33:1, 3-4

And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him…[Jacob] went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

 

Thought for Today

God is constantly working behind the scenes for our good and we usually don’t find out what He was doing until just the right moment. Jacob had returned to his homeland in fear that his brother would still be seeking revenge for stealing their father’s blessing so many years ago. God, in the meantime, had greatly blessed Esau and softened his heart towards his brother. As soon as Esau sees Jacob he runs, like the father of the prodigal son, and embraces his brother, showering him with affection. Can you imagine the look on Jacob’s face!?! Then the realization that, while he had been wrestling with God to have his own way, God had already taken care of the issue. All Jacob had to do was patiently trust God. Did you see how much better God’s plan was? Jacob tried to win his brother over with gifts or force him to be merciful by displaying his wives and children. This would have left Esau bitter and conflicted. God broke his heart for his brother and allow him to love Jacob again! And those 400 men with Esau. They were along as an honor guard to ensure Jacob’s safety, not to attack him.

Have you ever received a blessing from God that demonstrated He had been working on the problem long before you were aware of it? After the birth of our first daughter, while we were at seminary, we received the hospital bil,l which was significantly more than we expected. I spent the day fretting about what to do. The next day we received a gift from a group at our vicarage church that almost exactly covered the bill. They put their check in the mail the same day as the hospital bill, but took a day longer to get to us. God had the problem covered before I knew we had a problem! These types of occurrences help me to trust God. Have you had an experience like this? Maybe it wasn’t monetary, but in another area of life. If you are comfortable, encourage others by sharing your story in the comments.

 

Prayer

Loving Father, I praise You for all the times You have been working on the challenges and problems in my life while I was unaware. Help me to have patient trust in You in the future. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. — Martin Luther

 

Quote of the Day

Put your trust in the Lord and go ahead. Worry gets you no place. — Roy Acuff



Comments

01-24-2020 at 2:45 PM
Kim Reynolds
I prayed to have Christian friends in my life. Now today I have wonderful good close friends who are Christian. They help me stay on the right path and grow as a Christian.
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January 23, 2020, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Wrestling with God 4


Genesis 32:13, 20-21, 24-26

So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau… For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

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.”

 

Thought for Today

Jacob’s prayer was not an expression of trust in God’s promises or a relinquishing of control to God. It was simply a cry for help. As soon as he finished his prayer he went right back to trying to manage his brother through manipulation. When he is all alone God intercedes. He shows up in Jacob’s tent and begins to wrestle with him. In the wrestling God takes away Jacob’s last possibility of relying on himself when Esau arrived by making sure he couldn’t run away by dislocating his hip. Now he has only one hope left, God’s promise. So he refuses to let go of God until God blesses him. This was about trust. God turned tables on the greatest swindler of the Old Testament by putting him in a position where his scheme was to fight God for a blessing God had already given. He would have to trust in God to be faithful to His promise, and all the while think that he was winning. What promises has God made to you that you think you need to wrestling Him for? What blessings do you find yourself bargaining for? Forgiveness? Protection? Healing? Care for a loved one? God has already promised all of these. He cannot make you a stronger promise than He did when He connected you to the death and resurrection of His Son. When things don’t appear to be working out according to God’s promises we need to trust Him all the more! This is when our faith truly grows. Stand firm in His promises this week. God will not let you down.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to trust in Your promises this week, especially when I my circumstances challenge me to believe You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The future is as bright as the promises of God. — William Carey

 

Quote of the Day

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. — Abraham Lincoln



Comments

01-23-2020 at 10:35 AM
Scott L
Pastor, told you about your Jacob message! Now Lincoln's Quote great! How cool would it be to sermonize in a series or one time, say between Memorial Day and the 4th of July say, to capture all of our secular leaders/founders and their faith based philosophies, spiritual quotes and references about and praising GOD's glory!!! how awesome Pastor
01-23-2020 at 10:21 AM
Pastor Eric
Thanks BIll! and thanks for the great video link yesterday
01-23-2020 at 8:06 AM
Bill P
For me this is a Top 5 all time best devotional!
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January 22, 2020, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Wrestling with God 3


Genesis 32:11-12

[Jacob prayed,] “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.’”

 

Thought for Today

Jacob’s initial reaction to the perceived threat of his brother, Esau, approaching with four hundred men was exactly right. Jacob goes to God in prayer. It should be noted that he appears to go to God because he knows he is in over his head. This, however, is what makes this so very real. We often go to God when we feel like we are in over our heads. We go to God when we know the opposition is stronger. We go to God when we are overwhelmed by fear. The rest of the time we have a plan or the strength or the wisdom to manage our own problems. We see little need to include God in our everyday issues. Imagine having a friend who treated you this way. She only comes to you when she has a problem. When she is in over her head she looks to you to bail her out. That would get tiresome very quickly. After all, relationships are more than dealing with problems. They are about long conversations over a glass of wine; spending time together on an impromptu road trip or serving someone together. This is the way God longs to be a part of our lives. Certainly, we should go to God when trouble comes, but is that the only time you go to Him? If so, think about how you might spend more time with Him? Maybe set aside a lunch time this week and sit at a table in your favorite place and ask God what He sees. Ask Him to open your eyes to seeing things the way He does and share that time together. You will be amazed what you learn.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I apologize that I have often only allowed you to share in my trouble. Help me to begin sharing more of my life with You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books. ― Elizabeth Barrett Browning



Comments

01-22-2020 at 8:06 AM
Bill P
This is a powerful lecture and breakdown of the psychology of "Jacob Wrestling with God":
https://youtu.be/DRJKwDfDbco
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