Genesis 32:24-31, 33:1-20
May 19, 2019
preached by Don Willeman
Time of Reflection Quotations
“A powerful physical metaphor is intimated by the story of wrestling: Jacob, whose name can be construed as ‘he who acts crookedly,’ is bent, permanently lamed, by his nameless adversary in order to be made straight before his reunion with Esau.”
~Robert Alter (1935-present), professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley on Genesis 32
“A perfect faith is nowhere to be found, so it follows that all of us are partly unbelievers.”
~John Calvin (1509-1564), French-Swiss reformer and theologian
“I learned the first rule of repentance: that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin…. Repentance requires that we draw near to Jesus, no matter what. And sometimes we all have to crawl there on our hands and knees. Repentance is an intimate affair. And…intimacy with anything is a terrifying prospect.”
“I think that churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin.”
~Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, former professor of English at Syracuse
“When fear rules your theology, God is nowhere to be found in your paradigm, no matter how many Bible verses you tack onto it.”
~Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
“Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with himself; he is not at peace with himself, because he is not at peace with God.”
~Thomas Merton (1915-1968), American monk, writer and social activist
“There is tremendous relief in knowing His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me….”
~J.I. Packer, British-born theologian
Genesis 32:24-31, 33:1-20 (ESV)
24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this companythat I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead ofyou.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came safelyto the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, he bought for a hundred pieces of moneythe piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.