January 11, 2007
Thought for the day:
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- And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
- And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
- And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
- And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
- And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
- 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.
- 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;
- And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
- Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
- Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
- 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.
- And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
- And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
- 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.
- And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
- And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
- 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.
- And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
- And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
- And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
- Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
- And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
- And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
- And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
- And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
- And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
- Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
- And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
- And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
- And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
- And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
- Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
- And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
- And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
- Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
- And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
- So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
- And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
- And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
- And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
- And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.
- And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
- And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
- And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
- And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
- And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
- And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
- And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
- And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
- And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
- And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
- And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
- Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
- And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
- And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
- But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
- Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
- But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
- And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
- And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
- And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
- These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
- Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
- Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
- And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
- And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
- And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
- The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
- They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
- And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
- And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
- And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
Thought for the day:
You may click on verses for Scripture
Genesis 32:24-30 tells us of Jacob's great wrestling match. It is my opinion that he is in fact wrestling with Jesus, for he calls the name of the place Penuel, (which means "the face of God") because he "has seen God face to face". The circumstances surrounding this event are as follows. Jacob and his family are returning to Canaan from Laban's home. Jacob has been gone for twenty years, and he knows that his brother Esau is still waiting for him. Esau threatened to kill Jacob in
Genesis 27:41, and as far as Jacob knows, Esau has not had any softening of heart. To try to placate his brother, Jacob sends a large quantity of gifts on ahead, and also divides his company into two groups, hoping that he can save at least half of those travelling with him from Esau's wrath. The night before he was to re-enter his homeland, he sent his family and all his belongings over the brook Jabbok, and he remained behind alone. It was at this point that the wrestling match began.
The Bible does not spell out everything that went on that night, but I believe that it is clear that, while this wrestling match truly happened, it was also a picture of Jacob wrestling with God spiritually. In
Hosea 12:4, the prophet is speaking of this incident when he writes,
"Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us."
I think that Jacob got alone that night in prayer with the Lord. He was tired and afraid
(Gen. 32:7), and he knew what type of person he had been
(Gen. 32:10). He also knew that God had promised to bring him back to his father's house
(Gen. 28:13-15), and that he had returned directly under the Lord's leading
(Gen. 31:3). If ever Jacob needed the Lord's intervention in his life; if ever he needed the Lord to be faithful to His promises, this was the time. Through his physical wrestling with the Lord, he showed us the power of prayer. Jacob was not going to let go of God until he had the answer that he needed. In
verse 26 he cries,
"I will not let thee go, except thou bless me".
Hosea 12:4 mentions that Jacob "wept, and made supplication". He is begging God, with tears, to do something special. Even in the face of physical pain, Jacob keeps it up
(vs. 25). Finally, the Lord does bless him, and changes his name from Jacob, the Deceiver to Israel, the Prince with God
The lesson here is obvious. Much can be accomplished if we will get alone with God and beg him, with a broken and contrite heart, to do for us what must be done. Many Christians spend almost no time in prayer, and the time that is spent is more ritualistic than genuine. Jacob loved his family, and he needed God to keep His promise to bring him home safely. He wouldn't quit praying until he had the assurance from God that his prayer would be answered.
How is your prayer life? Have you wrestled with God, and prevailed? Have you seen Him do great things that can not be otherwise explained? May we determine that we will spend the time alone with God that needs to be spent, and bring our petitions before him earnestly and effectually
Have a great day.