On June 14th, Sunday service was offered at Europe Olivet Center, and Pastor Andrew Clark delivered the message from Genesis 32:22-32 titled “Jacob’s Wrestle at Jabbok”.
Through the story of Jacob and Esau the history that was lost because of sin, envy and hatred in Cain and Abel was restored. Growing up, Jacob had the heart of wanting to inherit the faith and history, and through that he could understand God’s time and live the proper way. This beautiful heart led to him receiving the blessings from his father.
However, Esau who had not learned the life of faith well followed the similar path as Cain, and hatred and envy grew inside him towards his brother. The history of hatred and murder could have repeated here, however, it was through Rebekah that Jacob was able to be protected and to be guided on the right path. In faith we need to find and hold on to our Rebekah well; the one who can guide and protect us as we go the path of faith.
In addition, we also need to learn the heart and faith of Rebekah, and we need to inherit this. Her heart was urgent that the history of faith could not just end with her, but the history had to be inherited and passed on. So she is willing to give up everything to the history of God. She even says “Let the curse fall on me”. She is willing to take all the curse and punishment on herself, as long as the history of faith can be passed on well. We need to look into our own hearts and make sure we still have this deep world of sacrifice and love. Through the love, faith and will to sacrifice everything inside of Rebekah, the history of Cain and Abel is not repeated here.
So we are able to see that Jacob survived, but the path of faith can be a long and difficult path through the desert. For 20 years he works like a slave under Laban, who always looks to deceive and cheat for his own gain.
However, Jacob did not fight against Laban with anger and hatred, but he lowered himself and served. He endured faithfully with humility, staying true to the faith he had inherited. A person who responds to adversity and suffering like this can become true Israel, and such a person can be blessed by God abundantly. Even though there was so much suffering and pain under Laban, God still blesses him, and by the time he leaves Laban, Jacob has received so many blessings. What’s more, even Laban could not slander him. This is the result of living a true life of faith and love.
Then we are able to see Jacob on the road towards reconciliation with his brother Esau. He was so close, and the beautiful history of reconciliation is so near, but then suddenly his way was blocked. Why would God not just open the pathway for him as quickly as possible here? Why does Jacob suffer so much wrestling and fighting all through the night. After so much suffering already, he has to fight again. For many Christians who experience this on their paths of faith, it can be a stumbling block. They cannot understand why the life of faith is so difficult, and why they would be blocked.
However, to understand this, we should not look at the outward things, but we need to focus on the heart of God. Do you truly know the heart of God? To participate in this history of reconciliation and experience the amazing joy of finding back the one who was lost, you must have the same heart as God.
God has the heart that will never stop fighting for the ones who have been lost in the history of sin. The Father would lay down everything He has, even His most precious thing, to find back the lost ones. This is the power of the amazing love of God. From creation, God’s motivation was love, and this same love pervades through the history of salvation and even this same love is the love that has captured our hearts and changed our lives today. God’s love is relentless and unconditional. He does not give up, even through all the darkness He doesn’t rest, or give up and just settle for what He has right now. But He keeps fighting to find one more! It’s the love that would even leave the 99 sheep to find the one lost lamb – the Esau, the you, and the me!
Are we willing to fight with the same intense and unrelenting love all through the painful night? How much do we want to save Esau or the one lost lamb? We have to inherit this heart of Jacob, which reflects the same heart as God – the heart that would even fight all through the night until the dawn breaks.
Only by knowing the heart of God, and by the power of love, could Jacob suffer so much pain, and loss and still endure in the battle.
Members were challenged to examine their hearts, and whether they have the motive of love inside of them. Does the passion to take part in this history of reconciliation burn like fire within us? Just like Jacob and Esau embraced each other and wept, there will be tears of joy in heaven and within us when we experience this history of reconciliation. May we all prevail in this fight, having the love of God in our hearts.