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Genesis 32:7-11, 22-30; Luke 19:9-10; John 3:17

Genesis 32:7-11, 22-30; Luke 19:9-10; John 3:17


I. Background

1. Sibling rivalry and divided families
2. Trickery (tricked Esau twice, Isaac ones, and Laban several times)
3. Self-efforts to gain prosperity
4. Deceptive practices
5. Cowardly, hiding behind wives and children
6. All about self
7. (This is the hallmark of a person with a hole in his/her heart!)

II. None of what Jacob acquired through his trickery and deception helps him at the “end of his road”

1. The abundance of wealth and resources did not make Jacob strong
2. Prays to God (Genesis 32:9)
3. Acknowledges his limitations (Genesis 32:10)
4. Expresses his vulnerability (Genesis 32:11)
5. (are there some among us who employ trickery, deception, etc., to bless ourselves)

III. God visits Jacob at his “breaking point”

1. Jacob’s name changed to “Israel” meaning “God fights” (Genesis 32:27-28)
2. Until now, it was Jacob who strove for himself (human efforts) (cf. Genesis 32:27-28)
3. Henceforth, it will be God who would fight for Jacob-turned-Israel (cf. Genesis 32:27-28)
4. None of Jacob’s life earned God’s favor (in fact, Jacob deserved opposite of God’s favor)
5. God’s choice of the trickster is purely based on His Sovereign choice
6. Choice of Jacob over Esau was God’s Sovereign choice (we call it “election”)

IV. God changed Jacob’s “breaking point” and he was no more at the “end of the road”

1. Jacob gained a new ray of hope—Peniel (Genesis 32:30)
2. Jacob takes the leadership and he faces his fear (Genesis 33:3)
3. Jacob himself went ahead of his family and servants (reversal of using people as shield) (Genesis 33:3)
4. Jacob, the grabber, became a gracious giver (Genesis 33:8-11)
5. Jacob, the selfish, shares his resources generously with his brother (Genesis 33:8-11)
5. (When was our Jabbok experience?)

V. Jesus brings about similar transformation in Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-8)

1. God has provided a permanent help, Jesus the Savior, to us—present day Jacobs
2. Jesus meets us at our “Breaking Points” and “End of the Road” experiences
3. Are you taking matters in to your own hands by using any and every means and
deceptive practices? (are you consumed so much about yourself?)
4. Those “Jacobs” who are unable to face your “Esau”s, you need God’s provision, JESUS

VI. Take Away

Come to Jesus by acknowledging your vulnerability and inability to face life (Genesis 32:10)

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at