Sunday, January 29, 2017

God is Here

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 32:22-31

TO CHEW ON: "So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.'" Genesis 32:30

Soon Jacob was a father, once, twice. three times... As he kept working for Laban, God blessed him with wealth and many children. But things were not going well. Laban and his sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. There was quarreling.

One day God told Jacob to move back to his childhood home. He sneaked away from Laban with his family. Though Laban came after him, he didn’t make Jacob come back. Now Jacob and his family were really on their own.

To get back home, he had to pass through Edom, where his brother Esau lived. This worried Jacob a lot. Was Esau still angry with him? Did Esau still want to kill him?

He got ready to meet Esau by preparing a gift of animals and servants. He put the gift in front, with his own flocks behind that, and at the very back his wives and children.

The night before they met, he spent time alone, praying and worrying about what the next day would bring. Then a man met him. They begin to wrestle. At dawn, after they had wrestled all night, the man said, “Let me go.”

“Bless me first,” Jacob begged.

Jacob wrestling with the Angel - Gustave Dore
Jacob wrestling with the Angel - Gustave Dore
“Your name will be changed from Jacob to Israel,*” the man replied. Then with one touch He crippled Jacob’s hip. Now Jacob knew this was not an ordinary man, but God. He felt good because he knew God had not forgotten about him. God would be with him on this day when he met his brother Esau.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that when I am worried and anxious, You are there. Amen.

MORE: Seeing God

God showed Himself to several people in the Bible. (When God makes Himself visible to people we call it a theophany.) Which of these statements about seeing God are true? Which false? Look up the Bible references if you’re unsure.

____ 1. Sometimes when God appeared, He looked like a man. (Genesis 18:1-2)

____ 2. Moses, Aaron and the 70 leaders of Israel died when they saw God. (Exodus 24:9-11)

____ 3. Sometimes God appeared to people in dreams. (1 Kings 3:5)

____ 4. Some people who saw God felt dirty and unclean. (Isaiah 6:5)

____ 5. People thought if they saw God, they would die. (Judges 13:22)

____ 6. God only appeared to people when they were in church. (2 Chronicles 3:1)

*Israel means “he struggles or wrestles with God.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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