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Series: Faith; Divine Encounters
Sun am 6 September 2015 – Kobus Swart
(John 3:3); Mal. 1:1-3; (Micah 5:7-8); Gen. 25:26-34; Gen. 27:22-29;
Gen. 30:26-43; Ps. 78:1-7, 52-56; (Jude 5); Gen. 32:22-32; Isa. 9:8 (KJV)
God loves the world and He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:3). That love in His heart is still the same; He still loves us. God does not love you only if you are always good. Let’s look at Jacob, who was as human as you and I. I find it reassuring to see how much God loved him. He was one of twins who was born clinging to the heel of his brother Esau (Gen. 25:26). His name means ‘heel catcher’ or ‘supplanter’. There are many Scriptures that refer to Jacob (Micah 5:7-8). Let us put ourselves in that picture.
Jacob was loved by God even while he was in his mother’s womb (Mal. 1:1-3). Jacob always wanted to make things happen and he did not always follow the rules. Esau was the firstborn, a man of the field, a hunter. Jacob was his mother’s boy. Look at what he did with his own father who was old and could not see (Gen. 27:22-29). The value and power of a prophecy like this was non-negotiable, it was going to happen. Even though he was the wrong son, it was a done deal. I feel like shouting, “Jacob, stop your dealings, God loves you! Stop bargaining and cheating your way through life, God loves you!” You have to say that to yourself and to your brother. Realize that God loves you and has a purpose for your life.
Jacob was bargaining with his future father-in-law. He worked for Rachel for seven years and then married the one he thought was Rachel, only to discover it was Leah. Although Laban gave him Rachel within 7 days, Jacob then had to work another seven years. He then had two wives, with Rachel being the one he loved. He wanted to put some distance between himself and his father-in-law. He was allowed to take the spotted and speckled flocks (Gen. 30:26-43). This was serious increase for Jacob.
Even in our wilderness experiences God protects us and feeds us (Ps. 78:52-56). God blessed His people with divine health; there were no doctors, no medicine for the forty years in the wilderness. We under-estimate the love of God. He loves us, He loved Jacob. He loves His people enough to protect them even when they are going through wilderness experiences. The key that was needed for on-going blessings was faith. God destroyed those who did not believe (Jude 1:5). In the wilderness season of our lives, we must not lose faith. Stay true to your true north. In the midst of the wilderness, know that God loves you. Whatever we go through should be a blessing to the next generation (Ps. 78:1-7). He established a testimony in Jacob. God knew a whole generation was going to come out of Jacob. What God prophesied over Abram was going to flesh out in the family of Jacob in spite of all his manoeuvring and manipulation because God loved him from the beginning.
However, God was not finished with Jacob. Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had. Then Jacob was left alone (Gen. 32:22-24). This is key in this story and important that you do not miss it. We have become addicted to having people around. We want company, fellowship and we want to be social. The youth of today cannot be by themselves. Jacob sent his wives and children ahead and he was alone. Then he wrestled with a man who was no less than an angel of God. Not only did Jacob go through some manoeuvring to get his brother’s birth-right and to get his dad’s blessing, but also to get another wife out of Laban. But here he meets God in the person of a man of God, an angel, and he wrestled with him. The angel could not beat him! Jacob would not let this man go. Something in Jacob, the typical carnal nature, persisting to get the best even in this wrestling match, would not let him go until he was blessed. You may get the blessing, but there will be a mark left on you. He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:24-32). That name means, “man ruled by God”. That is, man no longer ruled by selfishness or human nature, but a man ruled by God. It was not just a name change. It was a change of nature; something inside of Jacob was changed forever. Then God touched him in the socket of his thigh, and because of that, Jacob had a limb from that time on. The company of God who will be His achievers in the end time will be a company of limping princes. It will not be people with their own natural gifting and inclinations, it will be people ruled by God. Jacob only moved on as ‘Israel’ after Rachel, the woman he loved, had died. He then moved into the fulfilment of the prophecy and the significance of the name change, the character change that had come to his life.
The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel (Isa. 9:8 KJV). Fulfilment will not come to Jacob but to Israel. Be honest with God about your life, what are you fighting for, what are you struggling to get? God loves you! And He loved you from the day you were born. You are not Esau; you are a company of people who are loved by God. Whatever God is going to do, whatever it is going to take to get us to a place of being alone, allow that to happen; choose for it to happen. Do not shy away from loneliness. Use the time to be alone with God, you may be surprised. The end result was a changed man and all the prophecies that were hovering over his life came into fulfilment only after Jacob had become Israel. The sons of God are not those who are led by their emotions and ambitions in this life, but the sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God.
Each of us is different and need a different set of circumstances to be apprehended by God. Not all of us are going through the same situation, but one thing is foundational, there has to be a God encounter for each one of us. In order for us in this house to taste fully of the land of promise and to come out of the wilderness experience, we need to surrender! Stop fighting, stop running away but surrender.