Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20 || Jacob Prevails At Jabbok

Deeper Life Search the Scripture 15 May 2022

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ADULT STS LESSON 20 – JACOB PREVAILS AT JABBOK

MEMORY VERSE: “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” (Gen 32:28).

TEXT: Gen 32:1-32; 33:1-20

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | MESSAGE

After sealing a non-aggression pact with Laban, Jacob continued his journey homeward. He met “angels of God” on his way and recognized that “This is God’s host”. Since he obeyed divine instruction by departing Padanaram, God also ensured his protection and preservation through the ministry of angels.

That, notwithstanding, Jacob sent a message of appeasement to his twin brother, Esau. The feedback that his brother was coming to meet him with 400 men of war brought fear and distress. He came to his wit’s end; danger loomed large and near in his thoughts and imagination. His conflict resolution skills and gifts could do little to pacify Esau.

Death and destruction would soon be unleashed on the women, children, servants and flock. The wealth acquired for twenty years was soon to be plundered and wasted. It was this painful premonition that drove Jacob to pray with unparalleled intensity and wrestling with a divine personality at Jabbok.

The outcome of this encounter was impressive and teaches a vital lesson on the power of importunate and fervent prayer. Esau’s heart that was filled with hatred and murderous intention was melted. Rather than hurt Jacob with his four hundred men, Esau embraced and kissed him.

At last, both of them wept over each other’s shoulders and Esau accepted Jacob’s presents and went away with his men in peace. God answered his prayers by turning his aggrieved brother to a friend. The account teaches the benefits of obeying God, absolute dependence on Him at difficult times and the possibilities of effectual, fervent prayer of importunate seekers of divine intervention. God is a very present Help in trouble. Life’s challenges will turn to testimonies to the glory of God if we tread the path of obedience and pray with fervency. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

1. JACOB’S DISTRESS AT THE NEWS OF ESAU’S ADVANCE Gen 32:1-21; 17:7; Matt 5:23-24; 18:15-18

Jacob’s goodwill message of his sojourn with Laban and his peaceful return with wealth was no value to his offended brother. His servants returned with frightful news of Esau’s coming to meet him with four hundred men. “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” (Gen 32:6).

Time does not always heal hurts and injuries done to our neighbors. What is the use of gifts without repentance and restitution? Scriptural principle must be followed to mend soured relationships (Matt 5:23,24; 18:15-18).

Jacob responded to the imminent calamity by dividing the people that were with him, including the flocks, herds and camels into the bands; “And said if Esau come to the one company and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape” (Gen 32:8). Who would adjudge his fear unnecessary though he had left Laban for home on the strength of divine directive?

The Lord had recently graciously mollified Laban from executing his cruel intent against him. And Jacob had recently had a vision of angelic host around him. All these, coupled with the divine support he had consistently enjoyed, should have emboldened him to move on without fear. But they could not because of a lingering reconciliation he was yet to carry out, saints are enjoined to exercise themselves “to have always a conscience void of offence towards God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16).

The word of God commands that we should follow peace with all men. There is no account of scriptural promises and assurance, coupled with living testimonies of various deliverance, that will hide us from God’s wrath if we are guilty of wrong doing against our fellow men.

Confession, repentance and full restitution must be done in order to be reconciled with the offended person before we can enjoy the promises of victory and protection from the Lord, Restitution is an act of making amends for wrongs done against our fellow men, restoring stolen items to their rightful owners, paying debts, giving back where one has defrauded, making confession to the offended and apologizing to those slandered to have a conscience void of offence towards God and men (Gen 20:1-8; Lev 6:1- 7; Matt 5:23,24; Acts 23:1-5; 24:16; James 4:17).

Unsatisfied with his strategy, Jacob resorted to praying. This is a commendable response to the light of scriptures (Ps 56:3). When faced with challenges, believers should pray as Jacob did. In his prayer, he acknowledged God’s covenant relationship with Abraham and Isaac and His instruction that he returned home. The believer in Christ has God as father by virtue of adoption through Christ (Rom 8:15; Eph 1:5).

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

Jacob was humbly thankful as he expressed his unworthiness of God’s favours that, “…with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now, I am become two bands” (Gen 32:10). He asked God to deliver him and his family from being wiped out by Esau. “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” (Gen 32:11). His prayer was hinged on God’s promises. The realization that gifts would not pacify Esau drove him to the place of prayer.

  1. JACOB’S ENCOUNTER WITH AN ANGEL IN PREVAILING PRAYER Gen 32:22-32; Hosea 12:3-5; Matt 15:22-28

Jacob rose up that night and sent his wives and children over the ford Jabbok. He also sent over all that he had. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Gen 32:24). His resort to prayer teaches us that if a godly desire has not been met, we should pray more and depend on God. There is no alternative for a child of God. Jacob’s prayer was more resolute, concentrated, intense and involving.

As a result of his importunity, he received an unexpected guest, a divine touch and an eventual divine intervention (Gen 32:25; Hosea 12:4; Isa 63:9). The identity of this personality who at different times was referred to as ‘man’, and ‘anger’ was actually divine, despite his human physique (Gen 32:30; Hosea 12:4,5).

The prayer encounter offers valuable lessons for New Testament believers. i. Though Jacob had received divine promises and assurance, this encounter was necessary to transform and purge his life and character of any trace of crookedness. God always desires perfection in those He favors. ii. The Lord was not in a hurry to bless Jacob. Recall that Abraham waited a long time before the promised child came. David waited for some years before his anointing culminated into his coronation; the disciples waited some weeks after Christ’s ascension before the promised Holy Spirit baptism was manifested.

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

Contemporary believers have need of patience to inherit the promises (Isa 30:18; Habakkuk 2:3; Mark 14:34; Lk 24:49; Heb 6:11,12; 10:35-37; James 5:7,8). iii. The wrestling was tough and long; it lasted till daybreak. This man desperate for divine blessing and elevation. iv. The divine wrestler weakened Jacob physically and left him with a dislocation of his hip; “…he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hallow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him” (Gen 32:25). It was also to indicate that lasting victory is not won on the basis of physical strength or human schemes: we must overcome in the strength which God Himself bestows (Ps 33:16, 2 Cor 12:10).

v. It appeared the angel attempted to leave without dropping the much-desired blessing but Jacob would not let go. Believers must learn to be purposeful in the quest for divine intervention in life and ministry (2 kings 2:1-14; Lk 24:28,29). vi.

The angel asked a pertinent question: “What is thy name? And he said, Jacob”. His response was not required for information but for contrition and confession. Recall that Jacob’s answer to a similar question about twenty years earlier was a calculated falsehood through which he deceptively obtained blessings from his father. Christians must tell the truth at all times.

God had unilaterally determined that the covenant blessing was meant for Jacob. Claiming a different appellation was only a shortcut to needless delays, suffering and lifelong insecurity. The grace of God is primarily meant for the unworthy. Poverty of spirit and prayer for mercy make sinners and backsliders appropriate His provision of salvation. vii. Having been considered successful in the night encounter, the Lord blessed Jacob, changed his name and commended him. “…Thy name shall be called no Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Gen 32:28). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

3. JACOB’S MEETING AND RECONCILIATION WITH ESAU Gen 33:1-20; Pro 17:8; Hosea 12:4

Having met God in prayer, Jacob was then prepared to meet Esau physically. As Esau approached with his four hundred men, Jacob marched straight to him. “And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother” (Gen 33:3). It is obvious that he obtained the virtues of humility and absolute faith in God. He discarded all arrangements he had put in place out of fear. Jacob lifted his eyes and saw Esau approach with his men. His warm embrace, hug, kiss and tears were evidence that God had softened his heart (1 Sam 26:2,25; Pro 16:7).

Although Jacob knew he could not buy his way out, he still prevailed on Esau to receive his presents. He accorded him the honour of a superior both in his word and mien. Esau was pleased and Jacob’s family and flocks were spared. The lesson here is that God’s favour is upon the meek. And when we pray for grace, there would be strength to carry out difficult but necessary restitution.

After the reconciliation, Esau offered to leave some of his men as escort for Jacob, but the latter considered it unnecessary. He politely declined. “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” (Gen 33:14). In conclusion, we learn that the Lord knows how to deliver those that depend on Him and seek his help, provided aethey are resolutely committed to obeying Him (Ps 18:2,3,17-19; 22:5; 34:4, Num 20:19-21; Deu 2:32,33; Ps 68:30; 140:1-4).

Tarrying in prayer unto God for precious blessings like sanctification of the heart and Holy Ghost baptism should last until the answer is given. We should learn to pray until the fire fall.

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW:

  1. Why is it necessary to pray before reconciliation and restitution?

  2. Why was Jacob afraid of Esau?

  3. How important is restitution in our walk with God and fellow men?

  4. List some lessons from the encounter of Jacob with the heavenly visitor.

  5. What can believers learn from Jacob’s prevailing prayer and reconciliation with Esau?

  6. Why is prayer indispensable to believers?

  7. Give examples of other men of God who prevailed through prayers.

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