Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:22-24
“So the present passed over before him (Jacob); and he himself lodged that night in the camp. And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two handmaids, and his eleven children, and passed over the ford of the Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had.” (Genesis 32:22-24)
Jacob had come to the Jabbok, a tributary of the Jordan river, which is situated halfway between the Sea of Galilee on the north and the Dead Sea on the south.
Jacob knew that “zero hour” had come, He would meet his brother on the morrow. He had arrived at the eve of the greatest crisis of his life. Within twenty-four hours he would either be free of the curse and anger of his brother, or he would be dead — his blood spilt on the ground.
This was not a night to be spent in visiting with his family, or taking a wife to his bed. This was a night to meet with God — a night when one must be cut off even from one’s nearest and dearest relationships.
There are times in each one of our lives when we need to get alone with God to seek His face and pray through to victory. How many times we have come to a dead-end place in our lives! Like Jacob, we face a formidable foe — an impossible situation — one that seems to be altogether overpowering and overwhelming. We are filled with dread and fear. And we cannot turn back because back “home” is Laban, with all his cruelty and treachery, and there is nothing that would make him happier than to see us return, defeated!
When we come to such a place, there is only one thing we can do, only one Person to turn to, and that One is God! He will surely meet with you. He will change you, and when He does, He will also change your circumstances.
The name “Jabbok” means “to pour out” or “to empty out.”
God permits His chosen ones to go through experiences where we must be emptied of all that is self-pleasing and self-seeking. It is only when we permit the Holy Spirit to empty us of those things that do not please the Lord that we can qualify for the Peniel experience in our lives where God will change our character and our nature so that we will be fitted for a higher dimension of service to Him.
God allows certain difficult circumstances to come into our lives so that He can bring us to the place where we will be desperate enough to let Him change our character. And when the character is changed, the circumstances will not be necessary any more, so He will remove them quickly.
It is then that we will say with Paul, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Are you facing a difficult future? Get alone with God, and He will surely meet you on the other side of the brook “Jabbok,” the place of emptying of self.
In the Beginning by Gwen Shaw
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