Genesis 32&33

Between the Rock and the Hard Place

 Back in Chapter 25 we saw that Jacob was not happy with his position in the birth order. He wanted Esau’s birthright and took advantage of Esau’s hunger to get it. Later he and his mother schemed to get for Jacob the blessing Isaac wanted to give to Esau. The last time Jacob saw Esau he was planning to kill Jacob because Jacob got both the birthright and the blessing.

 Jacob like many people is living for himself and believes he is in charge of his future. Oh, when things are not going well, he might send up a prayer.  He has made a commitment to God but it is more like, don’t call me I’ll call you type of commitment. Well, as is often the case with people like Jacob, he has put himself between a rock and a hard place. He has burned his bridge with uncle Laban up north and can’t go back there.  To the west is the ocean and the east the wilderness and coming from the south is Esau. His life and his family are in jeopardy and there is only one place to turn, God.

 Jacob spent the night away from His family and wrestled with God.  What is interesting is the Bible says that he prevailed! Let’s take a closer look. In Hosea  12: 4 we are told that Jacob wept and made supplication. Jacob was pleading for his life and his family. He wanted God to bless him. But even in this it appears that Jacob’s will needed to be broken so that he would be dependent on God rather than himself.  The One who wrestled with Jacob touched the socket of his thigh so Jacob would have limited mobility. He won’t be able to run from Esau if things go wrong. He will have to face Esau and trust God for the outcome.

 This is one of the places in the Bible where the sovereignty of God and the free will of man meet. God will not violate the free will of man, yet God will always remain sovereign.  So, in this sense, Jacob prevailed, but God also prevailed. God had to break Jacob’s will to make Jacob willing to trust God in order for God to do for Jacob what he was asking God to do for him.

The same is true for us. We might find ourselves between a rock and a hard spot one day. We can go to God and ask Him to fix our situation all the while planning what God should do. It may well be, that like Jacob, our free will is blocking the way for God to intervene on our behalf. If that is the case, expect to be broken, but know this, God disciplines those He loves.  God is for you and not against you.  It would be well to read Hebrews 12:1-13. Pay special attention to verse 13.  

Have a blessed journey!

Pastor Dave