In our world
today there are often family disagreements, and very often,
the root of the problem is money--brothers and sisters arguing over
an inheritance or who will run the family business. The Bible talks
about these same type of situations. Back in the most ancient times,
they had the custom that the oldest son was to be financially responsible
when the father died, to take care of his mother and everybody else
in the immediate family. But with that responsibility the oldest
child received what is called the "Birthright." He was
the first born and he had this birthright.
What did the
birthright involve? It involved the major part; some scholars say
two-thirds, of the fathers estate. I do not know if that is accurate.
I do not know if the custom was that finely defined. You can read,
for instance, about Abraham. Abraham knew that this kind of thing
could develop in his family because he was a very wealthy man and
this is actually where you have the most trouble where more money
So, do you remember
what the Bible says that Abraham did? He wanted to avoid this problem
after his death. Have you read the story in Genesis what Abraham
did when he got old? He had several children. He had children after
Sarah died and he married a woman by the name Keturah. The Bible
mentions the different sons that he had by her. He had Ishmael,
of course, and he had Isaac. What did Abraham do before he died
to solve this problem in his family?
It says, "To
all his sons he was a very wealthy man so he probably gave some
very expensive gifts to help them get started in whatever business
they were going to be engaged in. "He gave them all gifts and
sent them away." Why did he do that? Because when he died he
did not want them and Isaac in a big fight, so he gave them gifts
and sent them away.
everything but Isaac did not fair so well as Abraham did. Isaac
got into a situation where he and his wife had a disagreement about
who should receive the birthright. They were both vitally interested
in this question. You can see why Rebecca would be interested. The
boy that received the birthright when Isaac died would be responsible
to taking care of her and all the rest of the family.
studied those boys ever since they were born. She knew which one
was the most diligent. She knew which one was the most painstaking.
She knew which one was the most reckless and which one was the most
rash. She was a better judge of their characters than Isaac was.
But Isaac knew that it was his responsibility to make the decision
and so he decided he was going to give the birthright to Esau, the
older of the two.
How do we treat
each other in our family? You know, we will do things to people
in our own family that we would not do to our enemies! I really
do not think that either Rebecca or Jacob were habitual liars or
deceivers. I have thought many time as I studied this story about
Jacob, if I were related to Jacob, I am not sure I would have wanted
to do business with him, because he was a very sharp bargainer.
You read the
bargain he made with Esau and he does seem to be a schemer, but
I do not think that he was a habitual liar. He did cooperate with
his mother. He was afraid to do it. He said, My father is going
to curse me instead of bless me if I do this. Rebecca said, Do not
worry about that, your curse will be upon me. Just do what I tell
you to do. Jacob was used to obeying his mother and he did what
she told him to do. What she told him to do was to deceive his father.
What does the
ninth commandment say? "You shall not bear false witness."
What dies Revelation 21 and 22 say about people that are liars?
In Revelation 21:8 it says that all liars are going to go where?
They are going to hell fire. In Revelation 22:15 what does it say
about all liars? None of them are going to go into the Holy City.
In Revelation 21:27 What does it say about the liars? They are not
going to be in the city. They are going to be lost.
Jesus said that
the devil was a liar. Hell fire is prepared for liars. It was because
the devil was a liar that angels were deceived and Adam and Eve
were deceived and we are here today, a fallen, lost human race that
suffers pain and sickness all as a result of lying. If the devil
had always told the truth, none of this would ever have happened.
Lying is terrible!
God says it
is going to stop and everybody that keeps doing it is going to cease
to exist. When you get to heaven, you are never going to have to
go to a Notary Public or have witnesses that what you said or what
you signed was so--because everybody there tells the truth. Liars
are not going to be there.
But Jacob lied.
He deceived his own father. The Bible shows that when you lie, there
are always consequences. That very same day Isaac found out that
he had been deceived and Esau was furious! He was so angry that
he decided that the day was coming that he was going to kill his
brother so he could get the inheritance. That is not the first time
that somebody got killed so somebody else could get the inheritance.
If you read history, you will find that happened quite often, even
among royalty in ancient times. Many, many people have been murdered
so somebody else could get an inheritance.
Things got so
dangerous that both Rebecca and Jacob decided that for Jacobs own
safety it would be better if he would flee from home than to be
killed. I think I would make the same decision, would not you! it
I thought my child was going to get killed
at home, I think I would figure out some way to get him some place
else. So Jacob had to flee from home. By the way, he never saw his
mother again. That was the consequence she paid for helping him
deceive his father. She never saw him again.
He fled from
home. When he came home twenty years later, she was dead. He never
saw his mother again. When Jacob fled from home, he was having an
experience that many people are having today. I find out about it
quite often. In fact, I found out about it this week on the telephone.
I find out about it in letters I receive. People go through experiences
as a result of it. They go through one experience after another,
sometimes they have made some of the mistakes themselves.
to the point where they say, I do not have any friends in the world
anymore and there is nobody in the world that I can trust at all.
Have you ever met anybody that has told you that? I meet people
like that often. Now maybe if you are not a physician,
a preacher, a teacher or an attorney, maybe you do not meet people
like that everyday. But if you are in one of those categories of
occupation, you will meet people like that almost every day. If
not every day, at least every week.
That is the
situation Jacob was in. He was in trouble. He knew that he was in
trouble and he knew that it was at least partly his own fault. He
did not have any friends or anybody he could trust. He left alone
and as it was getting late in the day, he needed to find a place
to stay. There were not any motels around there in the desert, so
he was going to sleep outside.
of despair just sort of came over him. He began to cry. Now some
people think that men do not cry, but they do. The only difference
between them and other people is that when they have to cry they
go some place where they are alone. That is just typical of society,
especially western society. Jacob began to cry. The reason he was
crying was because he felt so utterly alone and not just alone but
he felt that he was an outcast from his own family. He felt like
a criminal--and he was.
He did what
everybody needs to do when they get into a situation like that.
He began to pray. He told the Lord that he was sorry. By the way,
Jacob is going to be in the kingdom of heaven even though there
will be no liars there because Jacob got down on his knees and said,
I am sorry for what I have done. The Lord forgave him.
But even though
he was sorry, the Lord forgave him and he is going to be on the
inside of the city, there were some consequences. He could not go
back home that night--it was too dangerous. Jacob that night came
to a place in his experience where he finally got into a position
where God could really do something for him. I have discovered that
very often this is what has to happen to human beings today before
God can really work for them.
You know what
had to happen to Peter. Peter was so self-confident that he told
the Lord, If everybody forsakes You and I am the only one left,
if I die with you, it will be all right. I will be faithful. That
is how confident he was. Jesus said, No that is not the way it is
going to be. You are going to deny Me tonight three times before
the cock crows.
Oh, no! What was his problem? His problem was self-confidence. Now
if you read worldly psychology books, you will find out that you
need to build up your self-confidence. But you will not find that
in the Bible. The Bible teaches us not to trust ourselves but to
put our trust in the Lord. In fact, the Bible pronounces a curse
on people that put their trust in the arm of flesh (Jeremiah 17:5).
The Bible does not teach us to be confident in ourselves.
And Jacob had
been such a schemer, such a good businessman, as we would say. He
had been self-confident, too, because he was good at what he did.
You read his later history. He was very good at what he did. Now
the business he was and I want to tell you that he was very talented
in that area. He was self-confident but he had gotten himself into
such a pickle that there was not way he could bargain himself out
In the past
he could work deals, but now he was in something that was so bad
that he could not work any deal. There was no deal that he could
make to get himself out of his situation and the result of that
was he lost all confidence in himself. People say, Oh that is terrible!
No, that is not terrible, if you choose to put your confidence in
the Lord. Jacob lost all confidence in himself. I want to tell you,
friend, if you really want God to work in your life, you and I have
to lose confidence in ourselves and put confidence in Him.
that you have enough power and might so that you can just do whatever
you want to do and you could be right and do good and be just the
power you want to be. Do you have confidence that you can do that?
Well, you are in trouble. Peter could not do it. Paul said, thing."
Peter had to lose confidence in himself--and he did that by experiencing
terrible fear before he learned the lesson that he had to trust
in the Lord and depend on divine power in his life.
Jacob was now
in a position where he had lost all confidence in himself because
he could not make a deal to solve the problem like he had been able
to do in the past. Now he was in such a mess that he could not make
any deal to solve this problem. He had to just keep going. So he
lost confidence in himself and then he got in a position where God
could really work for him.
Jacob got to
Canaan. It is an interesting thing as you study Jacobs life. God
allows things to work out in our life. I have been amazed at this
so many times. I have just been aghast as I have watched it happen.
I have seen it happen myself over and over again. Somehow it happens
that whatever I give to you, however I treat you, somehow the very
same thing comes back to
me. In fact, it comes back to me more than I gave it out.
Jacob was a
deceiver, but I want to tell you that there is no man whose story
is written in the Bible that I know of who experienced being deceived
more than Jacob did. He got down there, dealing with a crafty man
who later became his father-in-law. He got to dealing with somebody
else who knew how to deceive and who knew how to work sharp deals.
Now Jacob was on the receiving end of a sharp deal.
He had made
some sharp deals, but now he was on the receiving end of some sharp
deals. In fact, some of the worst deals that I know of in all the
Bible are the deals that Jacob had worked on him by the Laban, his
father-in-law. Jacob had some heart breaking experiences, one after
the other. He was deceived in regard to his wife. How would you
like to be deceived so that you marry the wrong woman?
that. He was one person who deceived his own father. How would you
like ten of your twelve sons to gang up against you and to deceive
you so that you think your other son has been destroyed by a wild
beast and you go on under that deception for twenty-two years of
grief? How would you like that? Jacob experienced that.
But of all the
grief that he experienced the most awful was down near a place that
was later a city called Bethlehem where Rachel died. She was the
one bright spot in his whole life. You see, Leah had been a party
with Laban to trick Jacob into marrying her. Now how could you love
somebody who had been involved in a deceit like that? Rachel was
the only one he really loved--and then he lost her.
The death of
Rachel is used in the Bible as a symbol of the great heartache and
separation that comes to loved ones as a result of sin. In that
very same place near the city of Bethlehem Jesus was born. When
Jesus was born what did Herod do? He sent his army and killed all
the baby boys two years and under in Bethlehem. The Bible says,
"Then was fulfilled the word of the prophet (Jeremiah 31:15)
when he said, There is Rachel weeping for her children and
she would not be comforted because they do not exist anymore.
And so the death
of Rachel is used in the Bible as a symbol of the great sorrow that
comes on the human family when families are separated by death.
In fact, at the end of Jacobs life as he was looking over all the
past of his life, all the deception that had been practiced on him,
all the awful things, his daughters shame, her brothers revenge,
Judahs unnatural sin, Reubens sin, the hatred of Joseph, the deception
that had been practiced on him by Josephs ten brothers, he was looking
over everything in his whole life. In Genesis 48 he only remembered
one thing: the death of Rachel. That is all he remembered. That
is how much it hurt him. Everything else that hurt him he lost sight
of it at the end except he remembered that one thing.
I have thought
for many years, I want to be up in the clouds when Jacob and Rachel
get together again. I think that is going to be very exciting. There
is going to be a reunion one of these all these experiences since
Jacob confessed his sin, God started working in his life.
Over the next
twenty years when he was being deceived by his father-in-law, not
only deceived in regard to marriage but also deceived in regard
to his pay. His wages, Jacob said, I will make you a deal. You do
this, and they made the deal and then Jacob would work and Laban
would look at the situation and say, This is not a good enough deal.
I am not getting a good enough deal out of this. So he changed it.
He did this ten times.
During all this
as Jacob was enduring all this, he was up night and day taking care
of all Laban s sheep and livestock. He was becoming a very wealthy
man but he did not have very much happiness because he had woman
fighting in his family over him. And he had children that were fighting
among each other because they were born to different women. So he
had constant contention in his family. And all the time that this
was going on, in his mind what was happening inside that other people
could not see, "I am suffering all this because I deceived
my father!" And he was. It was true.
him night and day. He talked to the Lord about it over and over
until finally the Lord said I am going to get you over this. That
story is recorded in Genesis 32. Jacob is now returning to Canaan.
It says starting in Genesis 32:7, "So Jacob was greatly afraid
and distressed and he divided the people that were with him and
the flocks and herds and camels into two companies. And he said,
If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other
company, which is left, will escape. Then Jacob said, Oh, God, (Notice,
he is starting to pray now) of my father Abraham and God of my father
Isaac, the Lord who said to me, return to your country and to your
family and I will deal well with you."
He was returning
to his homeland because God had told him to do it. Now he is in
trouble. It looks like they are all going to get killed as you can
see in verse 6. He says, "I am not worthy of the least of all
the mercies and of all the truths which you have shown your servant
for I am crossed over this Jordan with my staff and now I have become
two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother,
from the hand of Esau, for I fear him lest he come and attack me
and the mother with the children. For you said, I will surely treat
you well and make your descendants as the sand of the sea which
cannot be numbered for multitude."
So now he is
praying. He separated his family into two groups thinking that if
one group gets attacked, the other group maybe can escape. Esau
is on the way with four hundred armed men. It is nighttime and he
is left there on the other side of the Jabbock River, a little stream.
His family and everything he holds dear is on the other side of
the stream. He slept on this side all by himself. And he is praying
that the Lord will some way have mercy on his and deliver his family.
happens. Verse 22: "He rose that night, took his two wives,
his two female servants, his eleven sons and crossed over the river
Jabbock. He sent them over the brook and sent over what he had and
then Jacob was left alone." He sent everybody else across but
now he is left alone. Notice what happens. "And a man wrestled
with him until the breaking of day." It is nighttime. He gets
This is a place
where there are thieves and robbers and all sorts of lawless people.
He does not know who it is. It is dark. But he gets attacked so
he is trying to save his life and so he is now in a fight. Verse
25: "Now when he saw that he did not prevail against
him, he touched the socket of Jacobs hip and the socket of Jacobs
hip was out of joint as he wrestled with him."
What did Jacob
know then? If I put my finger on your thigh, does your hip go out
of joint? Of course not. What did Jacob know when this happened?
He knew that he was not fighting with another human being. He knew
he was fighting with a heavenly messenger because when this messenger
just touches him, his hip goes out of joint and now he is in pain
and he really cannot fight anymore. He is a cripple. Now what is
he going to do?
He said, Verse
26: "Let me go for the day breaks. But he said (that is Jacob);
I will not let you go unless you bless me. So he said to him, what
is your name? He said, Jacob. 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. Then Jacob asked saying, Tell me your
name, I pray. And he said, Why is it that you ask about my name.
And he blessed him there."
30: "So Jacob called the name of the place Pinniel for I have
seen God face to face and my life is preserved." Now in our
Scripture today in Jeremiah 30 we read the prophecy of Jeremiah
who declared that in the last days Gods people are going to go through
an experience that was called the time of Jacobs trouble. Now we
just react about the time of Jacobs trouble in Genesis 32.
And what is
this all about? Why did God come down there and wrestle with a man
all night? What was going on? What did Jacob learn from this experience?
Well, as I was studying it, I put down ten points that I want to
learn from it.
No. 1) First
of all, why was Jacob in this experience? Why was Jacob in this
trouble? Where did it go back to? Back to the time he deceived his
father. Did God sanction this and say, I know that you just did
it because your mother told you to, so I am not going to hold you
guilty? Did God sanction what he did? No, He did not. Jacob recognized
that God did not sanction what he did because notice what he said
here in the early verses of Genesis 32. In verse 10 he said, "I
am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth,
which you have shown your servant."
What were the
mercies that he had been talking about? He knew that he was guilty
of a capital crime. He had deceived his own father. All liars have
their part in the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8. He knew that and
he knew that only God could take away his guilt and he knew that
God would not sanction what he had done.
You know, friend,
sometimes the devil tries to trick us and get us to think that if
what we have done was not too bad, maybe God will overlook it. Jacob
did not kill his father. He did not steal goods from his father,
just broke one commandment. But he did break one, that was the ninth
commandment, he did lie to his father. God did not sanction that.
The first lesson I learned
from studying the life of
sanction any evil in my life. It does not matter why. I cannot
say, Well, my mother talked me into it. I inherited it from my father.
My brother talked me into it. Somebody else helped me, got me into
it. Oh, no, no, no. I am responsible for what I do, no matter what
anybody else talks to me about or tries to influence me. I am responsible
for what I do. That is the first thing I learned from the life of
do not ever listen to all this deceptive, illusive philosophy that
is going around the Christian world today that, Well, if you just
do the best you can. . . Oh, no. God does not sanction evil and
if the best you can do is all evil, God is not going to sanction
it. God will not sanction anyone breaking His law.
No. 2) For those
that have broken His law, what are they going to do? Well, there
is something else I learned from the story of Jacob and that is
point No. 2. Even if I have broken Gods law, even if I have deceived
my own father, even if I have done something in my own family and
remember, sometimes the people we treat the worst are the people
in our own family, that is what Jacob did; even if I have committed
a heinous crime by doing something wrong to somebody in my own family,
IF I repent. . . You know what repentance means,
do you not? Just an aside just for you to think about at your leisure,
just remember this sentence: "Repentance is the opposite of
celebration." Just keep that in your mind in this society in
which we are living today. Repentance is the opposite of celebration.
Repentance means that you are sorry for what you have done. You
are not rejoicing over it, you are sorry for what you have done
and you do not want to do it anymore and you have told the Lord,
I am sorry, I want to be forgiven. I am sorry that I did that. That
is what Jacob did. Even if I have committed a crime against somebody
in my own family. If I am willing to repent, God will not cast me
off. Is that good news? About the best news there is, I think. You
will not be cast off if you return to God with repentance. That
is the way somebody returns to God, by repentance.
some reason is not a popular doctrine today. Yet, that is one of
the principal things that Jesus preached about. Read Matthew 4.
It was one of the principal things that John the Baptist preached
about. Read Matthew 3. It was one of the principal things that the
apostles preached about. Read Acts 2. Repentance is being sorry
that I nave done something wrong. Sorry enough to quit. I am not
going to keep on doing what I have done.
But there are
some other points and we must go quickly to them. Some really important
points that you will learn from the story of Jacob because his story
is a type of what Gods people are going to experience right at the
end just before Jesus comes according to Jeremiah 30. We will cover
several points quickly.
No. 3) How
bad do you want to be saved? Jacob wanted to be delivered from the
guilt of what he had done wrong so bad that he wrestled with this
Man all night and he would not give up. Jacob said afterward, I
have seen God face to face and my life is preserved. In fact, when
the Man said (the Man was Jesus Christ), Let me go because it is
going to get light. Jacob said, I cannot! I cannot let you go! I
have to be blessed. I have to know that my sins are forgiven and
that I am cleansed. I have to know that the guilt of what I have
done against my father is going to be forgiven. I nave to know that.
Jacob was blessed. Why? Because he was persevering and determined.
Are you that persevering and determined? Have you ever said to the
Lord, Lord, I cannot quit asking You? Someone says, Oh, Pastor John,
I have fallen into this sin one hundred times and I cannot get the
victory over it. Do you know what Jacob did? He said, Lord, I am
not going to quit calling upon Your Name until I have victory. I
have to have something changed in my life and I am not going to
quit. Are you persevering and determined? Jacob was.
No. 4) It is
not enough to be persevering and determined. You have to apply that
in a certain way. Jacob laid hold of Gods promises in earnest. Look
again in Genesis 32:12. This is what Jacob said to the Lord, "Lord,
You have promised me that this is what is going to happen. And now
it looks like my whole family is going to get wiped out. But Lord,
You promised me something else. And Lord, you cannot go back on
what You promised me. Jacob
laid hold on
divine promises and said, Lord, this is what you promised. Let me
ask you this question: Has God promised you that He will deliver
you from the guilt and power of sin? He certainly has. Read John
8, 1 John 3, Romans 6, Romans 8.
Has God promised
you that? He has promised you. Are you claiming that promise? Do
you know what Jacob did? Read verse 12. He came to the Lord and
said, Lord, You promised me this. He laid hold on what God had said
and he said, Lord, You promised me this and You cannot go back on
what you promised me. Have you done that? You say, Lord, I have
fallen into this problem a hundred times or a thousand times but
You promised me that You would deliver me from sin and I am not
going to quit asking. I want your word to be fulfilled in my life.
That is what Jacob did.
No. 5) It
says here in Genesis 32 that he wrestled. Some people do not get
very much out of that, but it is very significant. He wrestled with
this Man all night. What is this wrestling all about? Turn in your
Bibles to Hebrews 12, maybe this will help you understand what this
wrestling is all about. Hebrews 12:4. Now remember, Jacob had been
living with a guilty conscience. He had confessed it probably a
hundred times but he still felt guilty. He had been living with
a guilty conscience for twenty years and he said I have to have
the victory over all this deception that is going on in my life.
I must not be this way anymore; I have to have victory over this.
Notice what it says in Hebrews 12:4. "You have not yet resisted
to bloodshed, striving against sin."
He was resisting
and he had the overwhelming sense of his guilt come upon him as
he was wrestling with the Man. He was thinking to himself all night
long, My wife, my children, everything is going to be destroyed
and now I am wrestling for my own life, but I cannot stop.
Here is what
Ellen White wrote about Jacobs experience. You will find this in
The Great Controversy, 621. She said, "Jacob prevailed
because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence
of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of Gods
promises as he did and be as earnest and persevering as he was will
succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to
agonize before God.. ." That is what
Jacob was doing. That was what the wrestling was about. Have you
ever agonized before the Lord? Gotten yourself in a problem some
way that was so big there was no way over it, around it, through
it, under it, you were stuck and you said, Lord, I have to have
help and I cannot quit asking. I am not going to quit asking until
some way You show me the answer to this problem. I have to have
victory in my life. You know there are a lot of Christians that
do not have victory in their life because they are not serious.
God knows whether I am serious or not. He knows whether you are
serious or not. He knows whether you have made the decision, I am
going to obtain victory in my life and be a Christian and follow
Christ, no matter what happens. He knows whether I am determined
Jacob was determined
and he wrestled with that Man all night. He agonized in prayer.
No. 6) When
Jacob was praying that the Lord would deliver him from this situation,
he refused to give up even though he did not get an immediate answer
to his prayer. I have had people say to me, Well, I pray for such
and such and it did not happen. So they just gave up. Like a little
child comes to his father and asks for something and if the father
does not give it right then, the child says, Well, I guess my father
does not love me anymore. That is the way it is. Sometimes God sees
that before He can give us what even He wants to give us, something
has to happen in us so that we are ready to receive it. The sixth
lesson is that Jacob did not give up when he die not get the answer
to his prayer right away. He kept on praying.
No. 7) Jacob
did not quit when he felt discouraged. Have you ever felt discouraged?
People that are discouraged come to pastors and elders all the time,
because they say, I have tried this over and over again and I have
fallen into this mistake over and over again and I cannot get out.
What am I going to do? I doubt that God is real and the Christian
religion is true because I keep falling into this trap over and
over. I pray and nothing happens. I just feel totally discouraged.
That is the way Jacob felt, but he decided that he was going to
keep on, no matter how he felt. Are you that serious about being
Let me read
this to you also from The Great Controversy, 621. She said,
"Wrestling with God, how few know what it is. How few have
ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire
until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which
no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling
with unyielding faith to the promises of God."
Have you ever
had those waves of despair just seep over you? It just seems like
everything is lost. Everything is going wrong, do you still cling
to God and say, Lord, I cannot quit. I cannot leave. I cannot stop
asking that you will bless me and deliver me from this situation.
Lord, You promised me.
No. 8) Finally
the time came when the Angel of the Lord, who is Jesus Christ, touched
his hip/thigh and his hip socket went out of joint and then it was
impossible even from a physical standpoint for Jacob ever to gain
the victory. You cannot win wrestling with somebody when your hip
is out of joint and you are a cripple. You are stuck. And so Jacob
grabbed a hold of His neck and said, Oh, You must bless me. You
know, friends, if you are struggling to get victory over some problem
in your life, you can be persevering; you can be determined. You
can try but no matter what you do, unless God blesses you, you are
not going to get the victory. Do you know that? Jacob knew he was
not going to have victory unless God blessed him. He completely
surrendered himself to the Lord and he put his faith in him and
he said, Oh, bless me. And the Lord blessed him. Have you ever had
an experience like that? God's people are going to have experiences
like that before Jesus comes.
No. 9) Concerning
this experience of Jacob, Ellen White wrote the following: "The
greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual
Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education,
by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are
gained in the audience chamber with God when earnest agonizing faith
lays hold upon the mighty arm of power." That is where you
are going to have the greatest victories in your life, in the audience
chamber with God when you lay hold on the arm of power like Jacob
did and say, Lord this is what You promised. This is what You promise
me, Lord in John 1:12, You promised me this. I have fulfilled the
condition and You promised me that I am going to have this experience.
This is what You promised me, Lord, in 1 John 3:4-10. You promised
me this in 1 John5:18. I want this to be fulfilled in my life. That
is where you get the victory in the audience chamber with God when
you put your full trust in what He has told you.
No. 10) Is this
world coming to a time of trouble such as never was since there
was a nation? Does the Bible teach that? It teaches that exactly
in Daniel 12:1. And during that great time of trouble, Gods people
are going to go through a time that is likened to the time of Jacobs
trouble that we have just been studying about. Are you going to
be ready for that time? I want to read you something for you to
think about. We are not going to study this. This is just a seed
thought for you to think about and pray about.
wrote this in the book The Great Controversy, "The
Time of Trouble"--She said: "The time of trouble such
as never was is soon to open upon us and we shall need an experience
which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain."
Did you get that? Some people are not going to be ready for what
is going to happen. Why? Because they are too indolent. They are
not like Jacob. They are not persevering and determined. They are
not agonizing with the Lord in prayer, saying, Lord, I want to be
ready for Jesus to come and I want to have the white robe of character
that you want me to have.
it is good to go to church. We need to get together to worship the
Lord every Sabbath. We need to come together to study and to praise
and to sing. But friend, you must not be indolent. You must be studying
your Bible and praying at home every day that you will have the
experience that you need to have for what is coming in the future
or you will not be ready. She says many people are too indolent
to obtain the experience they need to have.
have learned from studying Jacob. With all his faults, Jacob was
not lazy either in his physical, financial life or in his spiritual
life. He was not lazy. He won that night by the brook Jabbock. He
won a great victory so that his name was changed and the Angel said
to him, You are not going to be called Jacob anymore, (that is a
heel-grabber, a supplanter, a deceiver), Your name is not going
to be called that anymore. Your name is going to be called Israel.
I want to tell
you, friend, if you go through the pearly gates, you are going to
be part of the true Israel. You are going to be part of spiritual
Israel. Who is spiritual Israel? They are the people that have had
the kind of experience that Jacob had. Do you want to have that
experience? Are you willing to persevere and not be indolent and
say, Lord, this is what You promised. I am going to do my part,
but, Lord, I need a divine miracle in my life. I cannot just keep
on going like it has been in the past. Something has to change.
Do you want that experience? Would you like to pray before we close
that the Lord will help you to have that experience. He will if
you do your part. As far as possible, let us kneel and pray that
we may have the experience that Jacob had.