Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20 || JACOB PREVAILS AT JABBOK
Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022
Youth 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” (Genesis 32:28).
TEXT: Genesis 32:1-32; 33:1-20
Youth 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 recognised that “This is God’s host”. 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 was looming large and near in his thoughts and imagination.
Death and destruction would soon be unleashed on the women, children, servants and flock. It was this painful premonition that drove Jacob to pray with unparalleled intensity and wrestling with a divine personality at Jabbok. God answered his prayer by turning his aggrieved brother to a friend.
The account teaches the benefits of obeying God, absolute dependence on God at difficult times and the possibilities of effectual, fervent prayer of importunate seekers of divine intervention. God is a very present Help in a trouble. Life’s challenges will turn to testimonies to the glory of God if we tread the path of obedience and pray with fervency.
1. JACOB SENDS PRESENTS AND MESSENGERS TO APPEASE ESAU (Genesis 32:1-21; Matthew 5:23,24; 18:15-18;2 Peter 1:4; Nehemiah 1:8,9)
The purpose of Jacob’s gifts was to pacify Esau. He sent messengers ahead with presents. Christian youths must not employ carnal methods to solve their problems.
Question 1: What are some carnal methods youths employ to get rid of their challenges today?
Youths facing academic failure hire mercenary to write examinations for them and engage in other malpractices. Those facing financial difficulty resolve to have boy-friends, sugar daddies and mummies to have their needs met. Some girls give their bodies to get marks from teachers and lecturers, etc. Jacob’s goodwill message of his sojourn with Laban and his peaceful return with wealth was of no value to his offended brother, Esau. His servants returned with frightful news of Esau’s coming to meet him with four hundred men. (Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20)
Jacob thought within himself, “I will appease him with present that I sent before me, and afterward I will see his face” but he was wrong. “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” (Genesis 32:6).
Time does not always heal hurts and injuries done to our fellow youths. What is the use of gifts without repentance and restitution? Thus, scriptural principles must be followed to mend soured relationships (Matthew 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 two bands; “And said, If Esau come to the one company and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape” (Genesis 32:8). But all these could not solve the problem because of a lingering reconciliation he was yet to carry out.
Youths are enjoined to exercise themselves “…to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16). The word God commands that we should follow peace with all 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 apologising to those slandered so as to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men (Genesis 20:1-8; Leviticus b:1-7; Matthew 23,24; Acts 23:1-5; 24:16; James 4:17).
Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20
Question 2: What should be our attitude as Christian youths when faced with challenges?
Unsatisfied with his strategy, Jacob resorted to praying. This was a commendable response in the light of the Scriptures (Psalm 56:3). When faced with challenges, youths should endeavour to seek for divine help through prayer.
Jacob was humbly thankful as he expressed his unworthiness of God’s favours saying, “…with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I anm become two bands” (Genesis 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” (Genesis 32:11). His prayer was hinged on God’s promises (Genesis 32:12).
Christian youths are to pray with God’s promises in His word. We need to search the Scriptures and find promises that relate to our situations as Christians. To remind God of His promises is the privilege we enjoy in prayer.
2. JACOB’S POWERFUL AND LIFE TRANSFORMING ENCOUNTER WITH AN ANGEL (Genesis 32:22-32; Hosea 12:3-5; Matthew 15:22-28)
Jacob separated himself from his family, his servants and his livestock. He decided to do this in order to free himself of distractions in prayer. This indicates that he meant business with God. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Genesis 32:24).
Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20
Question 3: What can Christian youths learn from the prayer of Jacob?
Christian youths are to emulate Jacob by not allowing anything or anybody to distract them from praying earnestly and fervently. His resort to prayer teaches us that if a godly desire has not been met, we should pray more and depend on Him. 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 (Genesis 32:25; Hosea 12:4; Isaiah 63:9).
The prayer encounter offers valuable lessons for New Testament believers. One, though Jacob had received divine promises and assurances, this encounter was necessary to transform and purge his life and character of any trace of crookedness. God always desires perfection in those He favours. Two, God 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 manifested. Contemporary believers have need of patience to inherit the promises (Isaiah 30:18; Habakkuk 2:3; Mark 14:34; Luke 24:49; Hebrews 6:11,12; 10:35-37; James 5:7,8).
Three, the wrestling was tough and long; it lasted till daybreak. This man was desperate for divine blessing and elevation. Four, the divine wrestler weakened Jacob physically and left him with a dislocation of his hip; “…he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him” (Genesis: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 (Psalm 33:16; 2Corinthians 12:10). (Youth DCLM Search the Scripture 15 May 2022 | Lesson 20)
Five, 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 their quest for divine intervention in life and ministry (2 Kings 2:1-12; Luke 24:28,29). Six, 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.
Seven, having been considered successful in the night encounter, the Lord blessed Jacob, changed his name and commended him. “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” (Genesis 32:28).
3. JACOB’S PERMANENT REUNION AND RECONCILIATION WITH HIS BROTHER (Genesis 33:1-20; Proverbs 17:8; Hosea 12:4)
Having met God in prayer, Jacob was then prepared to meet Esau physically. Question 4: What are the results of waiting upon God in prayer?
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…” (Genesis 33:3,4).
It is obvious that Jacob 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 approaching with his men. His warm embrace, hug, kiss and tears were evidence that God had softened his heart (1 Samuel 26:2,25; Proverbs 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.
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” (Genesis 33:14).
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 falls.
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