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February 25, 2019

GENESIS 32-35    


Focus Verses for Today: Genesis 32:22-30


Take a few minutes to ask God, in prayer, to give you an understanding of Genesis 32-35. While you are in prayer, you may want to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you.  Read Genesis 32-35. Let our journey begin! 

In chapter 32, we find Jacob preparing to me his brother, Esau. Jacob is afraid, and has taken measures to protect his family and possessions from his brother.  If you remember, Jacob purchased his brother’s birthright for a bowl of red lentil stew and deceived Issac, his father, into giving him Esau’s blessing. Esau threatened to kill Jacob. Jacob sought God’s comfort and protection, informing God that he returned to his father’s land on God’s instructions and sought protection from his brother. (Genesis 32:1-21)


Our focus verses for today:


22That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (Genesis 32:22-30, NIV)


Jacob had separated his family from the others and sought solitude as he considered seeing his brother for the first time in 20 years. Jacob finds himself wrestling a man, who just so happened to be God, all night long. When daylight broke, God asked Jacob to release Him and Jacob refused until God blessed him. Not only was Jacob blessed, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel which means “I struggled with God.”  We are coming back to this later. (Genesis 32:22-32)


Chapter 33 tells of Jacob’s meeting with his brother, Esau. Esau seemed genuinely happy to see his brother, initially refusing his gifts. Jacob insisted that Esau accept his gifts. Esau relented, accepting Jacob’s gifts. Jacob appears uneasy throughout the meeting, and most likely insisted that Esau take the gifts as a covenant of peace. The chapter concludes with Jacob building an altar to worship God. Jacob goes to Shechem in the land of Canaan where he purchased land from the sons of Hamor, where he would dwell. (Genesis 33:1-26)


Chapter 34 tells of Jacob’s daughter Dinah being raped by Shechem, son of Hamor, the Hivite, the ruler of the area. Shechem wanted to marry Dinah, and asked his father to get her for him. Dinah’s brothers were outraged! They deceived Hamor, ruler of the area, into believing that they would give Dinah to his son, Shechem, if all the men of Shechem were circumcised. Hamor agreed. When the men of Shechem were unable to defend themselves, Dinah’s brothers killed all the men of Shechem taking everything for plunder. Jacob was unhappy with what his son’s had done, fearing reprisal from the other Canaanites in the area. (Genesis 34:1-35)


Chapter 35 tells of Jacob’s move to Bethel. Chapter 35 tells of the death of Jacob’s wife, Rachel, giving birth to a son she named Ben-Oni, which means “son of my trouble.” Jacob renamed the boy Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand.” The chapter concludes with Jacob returning to Marme, where Jacob and Esau buried their father, Issac. (Genesis 35:1-29)


Take out your journals! Warm up your brains! Think back to our focus verses of the day, Genesis 32:22-30. Jacob wrestled with God. This was definitely a life changing moment for Jacob. Have you ever wrestled with God? Have you sincerely struggled with what it means to be God’s? Many people think that becoming a Christian means going to church on Sunday, praying, and reading the Bible. What do you think? What about a relationship? Do you have a relationship with God? Jacob’s life appears to have changed that night - he was no longer God’s technician - he was God’s servant. Have you wrestled with God? Godspeace!


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