Sunday 03 August 2014
Sermon by Dennis Jones
God never gives up
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Ps. 46:7
Why Jacob? Why not Joshua, Abraham, Moses even Joseph. But Jacob?
Let us take a look at Jacob’s life.
Born a twin but not an identical twin.
First: Hairy and Red. Called Esau means red
Second was smooth skinned but was delivered at birth holding on to his brothers heel and so was named Jacob
“the one who grabs or the deceiver, Jacob lived among the tents. He also lived up to his name
Jacob proved to be an extortioner by withholding food from Esau in order to get his birthright.
Then he shows up as the deceiver when he lies to his blind father and steals Isaacs blessing intended for Esau.
Esau angry plans to murder Jacob. Jacob makes a quick exit.
Following his father’s advice to not marry a local foreign woman he traveled north to his uncle Laban.
When negotiating his wages With Laban he agrees to work seven years if he could marry Labans daughter Rachel
Jacob suffers as he made his father suffer’ and is deceived and finds he has married Lila
He does marry Rachel a short while later but only on the condition that he works another seven years.
Then having served those years when Jacob is negotiating wages again Laban agrees to let Jacob cull his herds of any imperfectly marked sheep.
Jacob then breads more sheep that are his. Laban and his sons are not happy with this
Jacob then heads for home with all he possesses without saying good bye.
He hopes Esau will have cooled off.
The men he sends to tell Esau he is coming. They return with the news that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men
In a panic Jacob shows his self-centeredness and splits his family in two and sets them apart so he can escape with whichever half Esau dose not attack.
He is therefore willing to sacrifice half his family to save his own skin.
Left in the valley the wrestles all night with an Holy being
In the morning this Holy says “Let me go.” Jacob answers “Not till you bless me.”
He wants a true blessing not one on behalf of someone else as he had done when he lied to his father..
But this Holy being asks the same question his father asked him
What is your name? Jacob says “I am Jacob” the deceiver; the liar, the extortioner.
The Holy being blesses him and says “Your name will be Israel” No longer Jacob the Deciever, But Israel (He who wrestled with God.)
This was an Epiphany for Jacob. He had met God
A decisive moment a metanoia; a complete change of direction
Jacob is a new man. It is as if he was born again
When Esau arrives Jacob faces him together with his with his whole family and there is a reconciliation.
So, what do we learn from all of this? What do we learn?
We all wrestle with God?
We can see from this why God is the God of Jacob.
He is some one we can identify with.
Not Joshua, Abraham, Moses or Joseph.
“God of Jacob” reminds us that he is the God who came to earth in the form of a man and died on the cross for you and me (The Jacobs) and rose again;
for us, who are willing to meet him and confess, like Jacob, to who and what we are and experience a metanoia, as we are born again.
God did not give up on Jacob in spite of his sins.
God doesn’t give up.
God never gives up
Likewise we should never give up.
Do you have family or friends who have not accepted Jesus ?
Dont give up praying them into the kingdom.
Are there things you are working for? Don’t give up.
We are praying for Transformation; We must not give up
We will not give up because,
The Lord Almighty is with us. The God who didn’t give up on Jacob is our fortress.