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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Genesis 32:9-12

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"THE MERCIES OF GOD"
Intro: Jacob returning home after 20 years. He had fled from home 20 years earlier because his brother was planning to kill him. We now see him at Jordan, the border of his land praying.
I. HIS MOTIVE FOR PRAYER.
A. A last resort.
1. His servants just brought disturbing news. Esau on his way to meet him with 400 men.
2. He had just had a bad scene with his father-in-law.
a. They had made a mark that neither were to pass over.
b. They had departed under strained condition, restraining conditions, Laban wanted to wring his neck, but God spoke to him in a dream.
3. It would seem that his conniving past was suddenly catching up with him.
4. He had no place else to turn.
a. Esau before him, Laban behind him.
5. A rather poor motive for prayer.
B. Fear for his life.
1. Fear well justified.
2. Feared also for his wives and children.
3. Fear is also a poor motive for prayer.
4. Unfortunately some only pray when there is nothing else left.
5. I sometimes wonder if God doesn't get a little anxious to hear from them and thus allows the calamity to fall.
II. THE BASIS FOR HIS PRAYER.
A. The Word of God.
1. At the beginning and the end of his prayer Jacob reminds God of His Word.
2. I find this a real boost to my faith when I pray, to quote the promise of God.
a. Lord you said "If two agree..." "If we ask in Thy name..." "If we ask according to Your will."
3. The mercies of God.
1. Not coming because he had been so good. He was a crook, and he knew it.
2. Some refuse to pray because they are not worthy, of course they are not.
a. If only worthy people prayed, nobody would.
3. God's mercies were evident.
a. 20 years earlier when he was at this same place all he had was a staff.
b. Now God has so blessed him, he has divided his possessions into two companies.
4. "I am not worthy the least of all the mercies."
III. THE PRAYER "DELIVER ME FROM THE HAND OF MY BROTHER ESAU."
A. The rest was honest confession and quoting God's Word.
B. He had no place else to turn, he was filled with fear. He did not deserve to be heard yet... because he came on the basis of God's Word and the mercy of God.
We read in the next chapter:
"And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him and they wept." I do not believe that Esau was planning this kind of a reception, I believe he had a peculiar change of heart the night before, in answer to prayer.
1. Attempt to penetrate into future.
2. Attempt to create order.
Astrology in Scripture: Isaiah 47:13-15
Sermon Notes for Genesis 32:6-12 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Genesis 32:9-12 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Revelation 1 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Exodus 3:1-4 Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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