Face to Face with God

 
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Essential to sustaining life is preservation. Due to the promises of God, such would be the legacy of Jacob, being the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Even before Jacob's birth, preservation was outlined to his mother Rebekah by God Himself, in regards to her own womb. God referred to Jacob and Esau as "two goyim" or "two nations." This speaks of ancestry, posterity... offspring. Esau, Jacob's elder brother, went on to marry strange wives and it was a grief to his mother, and father Isaac. Esau had taken wives from those not of his kin. Therefore Jacob, was purposefully sent back to his kindred to find a wife. Though his kindred were pagan, they had not mingled their seed, which was essential for this exclusive preservation.

Understanding the scope of the Scriptures is impossible without being able to identify these "two nations." So it was for exclusive preservation purposes that Jacob travelled to Laban's house; for it was of utmost importance whom Jacob would marry.

GENESIS 32:24-30

24 And Jacob was left alone;and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

So who was Jacob struggling with? Hosea 12 looks back on this with Jacob: "He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him..." Jacob is struggling with an angel or messenger of God.

Christ said in Matthew 18: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." The struggle is in correspondence with the angels of our Heavenly Father. For while Jacob and the messenger were struggling, there was a conversation between them.

 Jacob was having a private conversation with the LORD (Hebrew: Yahweh) without any outside interference. That was the purpose in His allowing Jacob to struggle with His messenger. Jesus (Hebrew: Yahshua) Christ said in Matthew 6: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into THY CLOSET, and when thou hast SHUT THE DOOR, pray to thy Father WHICH IS IN SECRET; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Prayer could be defined as struggling with God while having a private conversation with Him.

Therefore God is 'hands-on' in the process of our struggle. You might think you're struggling with circumstances or people, while all along, it's all been orchestrated by God. For the answers we long to embrace and the difficulties we long to part with, have more in common than we know.

When Yahweh allows trials and pain, we become exceedingly more desperate. Our tendency is to wallow, fret, and complain, yet thru Jacob's example, we recognize how his desperation turns into determination. God allows His people to struggle to see how much we need Him. Even though his thigh was put out of joint, Jacob still didn't give up: "I WILL NOT LET YOU GO EXCEPT YOU BLESS ME." His determination reveals how much he wanted God's blessing! This is all about God and it begins with wanting God to be pleased above all else. Is that you're determination? Or will you continue to worry over the circumstances that led to this face to face opportunity?

The angel is concerned about the breaking of dawn. Though God Himself transcends time, He has chosen to use time in our lives. Jacob realized this opportunity with God was limited. Remember, your Creator knows exactly how much you can take and for how long. Like Jacob, don't let go! Yahweh is about to speak:

GENESIS 32:28

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

Jacob was determined to hold on- God made him aware of his identity. In your struggle, it may seem God's a million miles away, when in reality, He's the One holding you together! You may be hanging on by a thread, but that's more than God needs to get the job done. For He's the only One Who knows who you are. Identity is of absolute importance to Almighty God.

MALACHI 4:5-6

 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

IDENTITY STRUGGLE IS THE ESSENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH!

The "father of communism" Karl Marx said: "Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily persuaded." The world today, doesn't want us to know or teach our children about who they are or who they came from. Yet in the culture of the Scriptures, identity is the most important thing!

Being Jacob didn't matter anymore. Being Israel meant everything. He was beginning to understand why everything existed the way it was around him, through simply learning his identity from God! The purpose of this struggle is for God's people to recognize and assume our identity. According to Christ when this happens, it changes everything.

LUKE 9:23-24

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:but whosoever will lose his life for mysake, the same shall save it.

Jacob was told to deny himself, "thy name shall no more be called Jacob." Now it was his to assume the position as "a prince" or son of God.This was Jacob's awakening and the struggle was worth it.

God would go on to make even more promises to Israel. One in particular is Isaiah 45:25: "In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." Paul basically repeats the same promise in Romans 11:26: "And so all Israel shall be saved."

Here we have two witnesses in the Scriptures, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, plainly stating that every physical descendant of Jacob/Israel will be saved- exclusive preservation. God makes no such promise to any other people.

It is necessary to come to know exactly who these people are.

REFLECTION

Times were uncertain and dangerous for Jacob and his family. He had just sent his servants with the gifts of flocks and herds in hopes of a peaceful passage with Esau. Fear marked the way Jacob dealt with his struggle, until this moment. 

Face to face with God, the Scriptures can put it together. The struggle isn't to find out just what we can get from God, but if He requires anything of us. Jacob thought all he needed was to be blessed by God. But the best thing for Jacob was to assume his position as THE blessed of God, and raise his family accordingly.

What if it was revealed that you are of Israel? Would it change your life? Would it drastically alter your decisions with your children? A new day may be dawning.

"Who is Israel today?" one may ask. "Oh that would be the jews," so we've been told, but upon what basis? Obviously there must be a Scripture that verifies this. We find such a Scripture in Genesis 12:3. Yahweh God said to Abram (therefore Jacob and all his offspring): "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee."

At least from the 1940's all the way up to this very day, who has blessed supposed 'Israel,' the jews, more than the United States of America? No one. Yet if modern day 'Israel' and the jews are God's chosen people, why is America 'cursed'?

The only conclusion is that Genesis 12:3 has been grossly misapplied to the wrong people. The United Nations' invention known as 'Israel' today and those referred to as 'jews,' are not God's chosen people. The Scriptures and sound history succintly bear this out. 

You can take this opportunity to get emotional and turn away from the Scriptures. Or you can pursue your determination by THINKING FOR YOURSELF.

"Well if the jews are not the Israel of the Scriptures, then who is?" The Scriptures contain the identity of God's chosen people Israel. Take hold of the Scriptures and don't let go until you're face to face with Him, finding out who you are.