Jacob Wrestles with God
Genesis 31-32: Jacob is a Type of each one of us.
Highlights from the lesson:
- Laban got rich because God blessed Jacob.
- Genesis 31:22 - After Jacob quit his job with Laban and put three days' journey
behind him, Laban found out and came after him. God warned Laban not to harm Jacob.
- Genesis 31:30 - Laban was a pagan idol worshipper. His gods were a symbol of family inheritance; The one
who possessed them gained the inheritance. He accused Jacob of stealing them. Rachel had taken
them, without Jacob's knowledge. So Jacob vowed that whoever had them would die (and Rachel was
his favorite. She never made it to Canaan, but died on the way).
- Genesis 31:33 - Laban's search. Rachel was sitting on them, but said she couldn't stand up
in his presence, because "I'm having my period."
- Genesis 31:49 - "Mispah" - A monument of mutual mistrust between Laban and Jacob.
- Genesis 32 - Jacob wrestled with a "man" who couldn't overpower him. Jacob refused to let
the man go until he blessed him. So he did, but touched Jacob's thigh, making him walk with
a limp. He also changed Jacob's name to "Israel" = "Struggled with God (and won)".
- Who was the "man" who couldn't (or wouldn't) beat Jacob at wrestling, yet had the power to
injure his thigh and change his name?
- Most likely: The pre-incarnate Christ. Jacob named the place (I have seen the)
Pen-i-El = the "Face of God".
- That strange event seemed to prepare Jacob spiritually for his dreaded encounter with his
twin brother Esau, who had vowed to kill him.
- That meeting turned out better than Jacob expected, but these two
also parted on a note of mistrust.