Newsletter #397 - November 2011 - By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/
Physically, wrestling means trying to overpower an enemy. We are going to look at the word more from a spiritual aspect in today's lesson. Let's begin our study in Genesis. Jacob is returning home to the land of Canaan with his family. He is going to meet Esau who has threatened to kill him, and he is frightened. We are going to see an example of how not to wrestle, or contend.
Genesis 32:6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him."
Esau has a small army with him. Are they friends or foes?
Genesis 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8 And said, "If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape."
It is good to plan ahead, but don't forget to include God in the equation. Remember, Jacob's children are the future tribes of Israel. God has plans for them.
Genesis 32:9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, 'Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:'
What was Jacob to fear? He is following God's plan.
Genesis 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Jacob is showing a lack of faith. He was doing what God instructed, but yet he had split up int two bands. God didn't tell him to split up. Jacob is demonstrating a lack of faith. He was hoping to save half his family.
Genesis 32:11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 12 And thou saidst, 'I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.' "
God never breaks a promise. When Father tells you to do something, do it boldly and without fear.
Genesis 32:13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; 14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, 15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
You can not buy friends. A person is your friend, or they are not. Gifts don't change that. We should learn that applies to our nation today, as well.
Genesis 32:16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, "Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove."
He is spreading out the gifts. Jacob is thinking they would soften Esau up and buy his friendship. The leader of the nation is acting like this, when God told him to go there and it would be well for him.
Genesis 32:17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, 'Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?' 18 Then thou shalt say, 'They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.' " 19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, "On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
Jacob is a contender wrestling without God. He has completely left God out of his plans. Man usually messes up, when God is left out. Just look at our nation today.
Genesis 32:20 And say ye moreover, 'Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us.' " For he said, "I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me."
Jacob seems to be more concerned with pleasing Esau than God. It is alright to please God and man. But if you are pleasing men and not God, you had better reconsider your actions. Don't leave God out of the picture.
Genesis 32:21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company. 22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day.
When God appoints someone to do something, He will test them. Jacob isn't passing the teat. He is trying to buy Esau's friendship. A purchased friendship doesn't come with any loyalty whatsoever. Jacob is leaving God out of the equation. The Man he is wrestling is God. Who do you think is going to win?
Genesis 32:25 And when He saw that he prevailed not against Him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaketh." And he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me."
Jacob didn't give up, but he is fighting against God. Don't ever fight against God, or you are going to lose. In asking for a blessing Jacob is turning to prayer.
Genesis 32:27 And He said unto him, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 And He said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
This Scripture gets a little twisted in some minds. This verse means that from this point Jacob would be the prince that prevails with God over men. The lesson is for us is to not leave God out of the plan. I is the power of God that gives us the victory. Leave God out of the equation, and you are a loser. Let's continue our study in Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Are you plugged into His power? Some would ask, "How do I plug ito God's power?". He is getting ready to tell you.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
You are going to need God's strength, when the devil appears on earth as antichrist. His strength is the only power that will allow you to stand against the evil tricks of Satan.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Our was is not with flesh men. Our was is a spiritual war against Satan. When you are contending with demonics, you had better be plugged into the power of God.
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
God's elect will stand against the antichrist. The truth of God's Word is part of the Gospel armor you will need.
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Do you understand how powerful faith is? Faith to know that your Father is on the throne, and He is in charge.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
The Holy Spirit will speak through the mouths of God's elect. We are not to premeditate what we will say. If you have the Gospel armor on, you are plugged into the power of God. You will prevail, because God always prevails.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, "Peace and safety;" then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
If you have studies God's word, you know the final generation before Christ returns is this generation. You know a fig shoot was set out in 1948, when Israel again became a nation. Many will be caught off guard as a thief in the night catches some off guard. They will not escape the deception of antichrist, because they don't know God's Word.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
You are girt with God's truth. Truth is light, and light dispels darkness. You are ready to make a stand and wrestle against Evil. You will prevail, because God is with you.
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Many of you are going to witness for Jesus Christ against the antichrist. The fiery darts of Satan mean nothing to you, because you have the shield of faith.
1 Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
You will hold the line. You are ready to wrestle against evil. You will make that stand with the gospel armor on and in place, until our Lord Jesus Returns.
1 Timothy 6:15 Which in His times He shall shew, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Plug into God's power. You will prevail. In conclusion, let's turn back to Romans.
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
The day of the Lord is a lot closer than a lot might think. It is tim to cast off the darkness of the world, and put on the gospel armor. You have a destiny.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Be on alert and soberly watching. There is no time for jealousy and strife among ourselves.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Don't ever leave God out of the equation as you plan and prepare to wrestle against evil powers and principalities. As long as God is with us, we shall prevail.