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Governed By God Part I Becoming Israel
6/2/2009

Governed By God Part I

Becoming Israel

Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 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. And He said, Let Me go, for the day breaks. But he said, 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. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Genesis 32:24-28 (NKJV)

The story above is an amazing one, and I believe that we can all relate to it.  

His whole life, Jacob had wrestled with trusting God for his safety and provisions verses attempting to provide everything he needed for himself and his family by his own efforts.  He would connive and deceive at times to achieve his goals, and he would justify his actions.  Jacob knew that God was real, but that temptation in his flesh to take care of business was always present within him.  He was about ready to meet the Lord in one final wrestling match and his life would never be the same.

This was the scene.  Jacob was about to be reunited with his brother Esau, as it had been over 20-years since he last saw him.  At that time, Jacob had deceived Esau and had tricked both he and their father Isaac out of the birthrights that were by Jewish tradition rightfully Esau's.  This angered Esau greatly, and he vowed to kill Jacob.  And so Jacob had fled and lived far away.

Jacob had sent all of his servants and family ahead with gifts and offerings to Esau, and he remained alone so that he could pray to the Lord for a blessing. That night an angel of the Lord came to Jacob and they began to wrestle.  This went on all night long.   And as the sun began to rise, the Angel of the Lord asks Jacob to let him go.  Jacob refuses to let go unless the Angel agrees to bless him.  

The angel touches Jacob's hip and he is crippled, but he still refuses to let go.  He is beat.  He is tired.  He is broken.  And he is made a commitment in his heart to hang on to the Lord now until the Lord would bless him.  

The Book of Hosea records this struggle.

Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won.  He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There in Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him Hosea 12:3-4 (NLT)

So Jacob is broke, beaten and humble, and he definitely isn't making his request from a point of advantage.  In fact, it is more like a position of desperation, "Please!  Don't go until you bless me!"

And the Angel of the Lord responded by saying, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel..."

The word Israel literally means "Governed by God."

And so it was that Jacob's name was changed to Israel, because he was now governed by God.  He was done fighting God, and done with doing things his way in life.  He was willing to submit to God, and to God's perfect plan for his life as well.

For many of us, our life is much like Jacob's.  We say that we believe and trust in God, and yet whenever we get the chance, we take matters into our own hand.  We like to hedge the bet, and make sure that we, and those we love are taken care of.  But just as it was in Jacob's case, we are not really trusting in God's protection and provision.  It is a natural fleshly tendency to do this, and God knows it.

When we give our life to the Lord, and we accept Jesus, we also are making Him the Lord of our life; we are becoming Israel, just like Jacob; we are becoming Governed by God.

*   No more wrestling with God
*   No more doing things our way instead of God's perfect way
*   No more trusting in our own provisions, but only in God's
*   No more fear of not having, but we now fully trusting God to supply all of our needs

Hey Christian, let me encourage you today.  If you've made that profession of faith in the Lord for the salvation of your soul, then don't start doubting Him for the provisions for your body.  As Christians, we are now In Christ.  He is our shelter.  He is faithful and He will supply everything we need.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

STUDY QUESTION: According to the scriptures above, what was Jacob wrestling for?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you found yourself doing things your own way at times?  Have you found yourself wrestling with God and His ways?  

APPLICATION: Never compromise on doing things in the way that the Lord wants.  It may seem like it is getting you further ahead, but it is just chaining you back into the bondage that you were delivered from.  If that is the case for you this day, then simply repent of these actions and seek the protection that is rightfully yours.  Trust in the Lord.

Father, Thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for Your provision.  Thank You for Your perfect plan for my life.  I choose to submit to Your plan for my life today Lord.  Help me to remember this when I am contemplating taking matters into my own hands rather than waiting on you.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000