Greetings! Today, I will have the privilege to present the Word at the Hamilton Church in Ontario (twice) during a special celebration. It is always a joy to meet with God’s people and share His love for all of us.
This morning, I would like to consider Genesis 32:30: “… I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” (NASV) This verse refers to Jacob’s experience at the Jabbok where he “wrestled with God” for His protection because of his anxiety of having to face his brother Esau, whom he had deceived 20 years earlier. That was a challenging night and one full of anguish for him. He “fought” with God until he received the desired blessing! Jacob considered himself rich in human possessions, but his “memory” accused him of:
1 – Deceiving and “robbing” the birth right from Esau
2 – A terrifying fear from his brother’s anger and potential imminent revenge against him
3 – The struggle with the disappointing and tense relationship with his idolater father-in-law for years
4 – The times that he broke the Sabbath
5 – Being unfaithful to God regarding His tithe which he had promised Him at Bethel…
Jacob was feeling spiritually weak. His life before and after Bethel, as a young and adult person, was like a roller coaster with ups and downs, certainty and uncertainty, and full of emotions — just like ours. His conscience was the thermometer of his relationship with God. Sometimes it would accuse or encourage him. However, he was tormented because of the sense of distancing himself from God for 20 years! He was 77 years old and was truly willing to return to God, restart his walk with Him, keep the Sabbath, return a faithful tithe, and dedicate more time for spiritual things. The happenings of that night transformed him in a different man to the point that God changed his name from Jacob, the deceiver, to Israel, the victorious. His conversion made him a humble and repentant man.
Somehow, we all have experienced similar situations after abandoning God and trying to do things our way instead, just to realize that all our human efforts were in vain… “Yet, Jacob’s history is an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. It was by self-surrender and confiding faith that Jacob gained what he had failed to gain by conflict in his own strength. God thus taught His servant that divine power and grace alone could give him the blessing he craved. … But all who will lay hold of God’s promises as Jacob did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.” (EGW, PP, 202, 203) Let’s depend on God alone!
Please find below the link for the first 2020 stewardship video, “God Listens When We Pray” a heart- touching testimony of Izabella and her family. We will be blessed by watching it!
In His Service,