I'm as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs cackled the preacher as his eyes looked about the little sanctuary. "You!" He said. "Stand up!" as he pointed at me. "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! One thing about it, God is really working in your life. If you will humble yourself to seek the Lord. As Jacob wrestled with the Lord, God is wrestling with you."
This week your faithful Kingdom Bloggers are going to write about a Bible character that has meaning to them, and tell you why.
I identify with a host of Bible characters from David to Sampson, to Peter and Gideon. Those are usually the ones that I would say I was most like - especially in the midst of their unfaithfulness to God.
In April 1994 some strange preacher who had never met me, and called himself Brother Arrowood, was ministering at the Sunday evening service at the Mid-Cape Assembly of God. He asked me to stand up and proceeded to speak some things over my life - including the fact that I was wrestling with God. In between the hallelujahs and amens, there was a message for David.
What I love about God, is that His view of us is not distorted or damaged, or filtered by past experiences.
I have to admit it, I didn't know a lot about Jacob. (Gen 25 to 35) I didn't like the sound of the name because there was a kid that used to bully me in 9th grade with that name. Jacob, the Bible character, was one of Abraham's twin sons; the eldest was named Esau.
Esau was a hunter, and Jacob was a quiet man who, stayed among the tents. (read that wimp) Jacob however; was a kaniver or supplanter. (read that cheat or thief or marketing executive) Jacob made Esau give up the inheritance of the first born for some bread and lentil stew. (read that Spaghetti-O-s)
Jacob received Isaac's blessing (Gen 27:1) - another little deception. He took the rightful place of Esau in the lineage of the Israelites. Jacob went on to have some troubles in life fleeing this and fleeing that, I did the same. (read that geographic cure) He moved and spent some time with his uncle Laban working and hoping to snag one of his daughters.
Jacob was not living up to God's call on his life.
Of course Jacob was the one that saw the angels ascending and descending the ladder to and from of Heaven. This was the promise of God to give that land to the 12 tribes of Israel. (Jacob had 12 sons) I had a similar promise back in 1982 - a call on my life - I was serious about it for a few years.
Jacob was running from uncle Laban who cheated him on wife number one; Leah, and things became a bigger mess after he married Rachel. She eventually died giving birth. But I am getting ahead of the story.
One evening he came to the River Jabbok (read that stream), one which he needed to cross. He was on the run from Laban, and Esau was on the other side with 400 men. So, he put his family members in the front of the pack and sent them on ahead. (read that total wimp) It was here where Jacob was escaping Laban, and heading back to the desert in hopes of reconciling with Esau, that he fought with the Lord. Jacob lived through his wrestling match with the Lord and came away with a bit of a limp.
Interestingly the word Jabbok means poured out.
For those of you that have not met me, even those that might have, that is my story. In the 90's I was poured out, and suffered every kind of trouble just as the Lord spoke through Brother Arrowood.
A few years later I met another minister that called me out at a meeting in which he was preaching. And Pastor Emil, an Egyptian visiting the US, said this.
"The Lord says unto you, don’t you know that I have rescued you many times out of the hands of the wicked people who have deceived you many times. But I had a very special precious plan in your life. And I rescued you for my glory, says the Lord. I fought with you, and you were wounded. And you were before crossroads these past few years and you didn’t know where to go. But I assure you that I have opened the door and I have furnished your career. But the enemy envied you and tried to devastate you. But I want to tell you, “I will surprise you” says the Lord. And I will come to you in a special way. I will have a very special visitation and I will reopen doors and I will give you a testimony. Tell my people that I am the God of compensation. Don’t change your mind. I have predestined everything and I will bless you."
God did exactly what he promised. He changed my career, He prospered me, he compensated me for the losses that had occurred.
How about you, what Bible character do you identify with?