A People set for God: A Bible Survey for New Christians

March 2nd, 2009

Genesis 12:1-3; 28:10–15; 32:22–28 (NKJV)

Summary:
God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of Christ.
Jacob journeys, and has a vision of a ladder.
He wrestles with an angel at Peniel, where he is called Israel.

 12:1.  Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you.
 12:2.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
 12:3.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.''

 28:10.  Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.
 28:11.  So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.
 28:12.  Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
 28:13.  And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
 28:14.  "Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
 28:15.  "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.''

 32:22.  And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok.
 32:23.  He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had.
 32:24.  Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.
 32:25.  Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.
 32:26.  And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks.'' But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!''
 32:27.  So He said to him, "What is your name?'' And he said, "Jacob.''
 32:28.  And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.''

Comments:

Abraham lived in a place with all his extended family. Suddenly he is asked to take what is his and move to an unknown, undetermined place. If
Abraham acted on this faith God promised to make him a great nation, his name will be great, and he will be a blessing. These promises extended to all nations. The nations being blessed in accordance with how much they either blessed, or cursed Abraham.

Jacob was traveling, and stopped to camp for the night. In such a hasty camp site, he simply used a rock for his pillow and slept. He had a dream of a ladder with angels on it, and God (Yahweh) himself at the top. God can speak to us in many ways, and a dream is just one way. God still does talk to his people today.

God renewed the promises that were made to Abraham and extending those to Jacob. The land he was on would be his, he would be numerous, he will be a blessing to all nations. God would be with him to protect him and stay until all the promises were fulfilled. God will remain until everything he says takes place.

Jacob had nothing to his name, except a borrowed rock for a pillow when he left his home. When crossing back over the river he had a large family. He sends them across and again spends the night alone. The Bible doesn't say he dreamed. Instead there was a man who Jacob wrestled with. The man is not named, but due to the circumstance it can be understood that it was Jesus, the bodily form of God himself.

Jacob was intent on not allowing the man to leave without granting him the good word of a blessing.It took the act of the man touching his hip and dislocating it to break off the struggle.

The man asked to be let go. In changing Jacob's name, it is a revealing moment about who the man really is. Jacob had struggled with God and man, and was victorious. In struggling with the man, he had also struggled with God. Who else fits that definition of being both man and God? Jesus is the only one.

Victorious? He ended up with a dislocated hip. It may have been a physical set back. Consider it a battle wound, but the victory is in the spiritual reward. God made us to have a personal relationship with him. He wants us to be close to and desire after his ways. What did Jacob see in this man? What did they talk about that might have started this wrestling match? Nobody can know. Somehow Jacob knew that this man was significant and wanted his blessing. He wanted it so badly that he didn't want the man to depart. He desired after God's presence. Just the thing that God wants of us.

Strive to be a person who is set on God, and pursue a relationship with him.

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