The Placement, the purpose, and the Promise
Genesis 32: 24-26
As the 32nd Chapter of Genesis opens, we find Jacob fearing for his life at the hands of his brother Esau.
You will recall, Esau had been tricked by Jacob out of the birthright that was actually meant for him.
This caused Jacob to hated by his brother and, on the advice of his mother Rebekah, flees to Laban
until his brother’s anger was gone. This however, was not easy because the anger lasted longer than
Jacob had anticipated. Over the next few years Jacob stayed with Laban, he had dreamt one night of a
ladder that had come down from heaven. It was then that the Lord appeared to Jacob and told him that
the very land that he lied upon would be given to him and his seed. We soon find out that this promise
does come with a price as Jacob himself has now fallen victim to the same trickery and subterfuge that
he had gotten him to this point in his life. Now trouble is on the horizon. Esau sets out to find Jacob and
so that he could settle the score that had been eating at him for so many years. In light of this
impending conflict, Jacob divides his possessions, animals, servants into two camps in order to not have
everything taken by his brother.
What is resident in this word is that sometimes, even by our own doing, God will allow us to be set in a
placement that will not only be uncomfortable for us to but, will most assuredly be
difficult to handle. In other words, we are where we are and it is what it is. Even after all of the events
that had taken place in his life; even after marrying two wives and fathering twelve children; even after
becoming very wealthy in every sense of the word, Jacob found himself in a placement where he was
all alone. Many of us have been and will go through this same scenario. Just when we think that we are
sitting on top of the world everything seems alright in our lives, just when we think we have it, as they
say, “made in the shade with a glass of lemonade”, and just when we get to a point where we
actually forget what God has done for us, it is then that we are put in a position where no one is around
but HIM!!! Just like Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:16-17:
16He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
17And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.
Not only will God place us where no one is there but Him but, there is always purpose for our
placement. If we go back to verse 25, it says that:
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”
Jacob was definitely placed where he was mostly because of his own doing. He was there because the
decisions that he made had put him in a bad situation. He was placed there because there really was no
other place to go but, God had plans for Jacob and the only way to get him to see God’s ways are not
our ways nor are his thoughts our thoughts was to give him a purpose for his placement. In other
words, God will place us in a position for the purpose of getting our attention!! Jacob knew he was
there all by himself but he really didn’t know why. Sometimes we come to a point where we really don’t
want anything from God but most times, in fact, AT ALL TIMES, God wants something from us. That’s
why “the man” came down to wrestle with Jacob which in fact, was yet another special appearance by
Jesus Himself in the Old Testament. If you notice, Jacob did not wrestle with “the man”. In actuality
“the man” actually wrestles with Jacob. He was there to wrestle all of the scheming, all of the deceit, all
of the trick and every bit of the slick that Jacob had and was there to take from him by any means
necessary. God will get our attention in one form or another. It may be the loss of a job and the
increase of debt, or it may be that loved one that we really can’t seem to see eye to eye with, or it may
even be the fact that we sometimes will not take God at His word but make no mistake about it, GOD
WILL GET YOUR ATTENTION!!!
Not only is there a reason why we are placed in difficult situations. Not only is there is also a purpose
we are in the situations to get our attention. But the reason why God needs our attention is
because He has a promise with our names written all over it. If we look at verses 26 – 28 we see that:
26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28And 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.
What these verses are telling us is that God’s promise is there for us but, we have to want to hold on in
order to get it. We can’t sit back and wait for God to do his thing. There needs to be some action on our
part. Jacob held on for dear life because he knew there was a promise waiting for him. That’s what is
required of us when we’re expecting a promise from God. Sometimes you may go through a few things
and sometimes the road will get a little rocky. The storms of life will come crashing and the hounds will
come knocking at your door. But in the midst of the struggle that you’re in and in the very pit of your
deepest difficulty, GOD ALWAYS KEEPS GOD’S PROMISE!!
The promise was that:
– Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever
– For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
– For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
– And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
That is the promise. We just have to be ready to hold on in order to get it. Just like the songwriter said:
Standing on the promises I shall not fall,
List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call.
Resting in my Savior as my All in all,
Standing on the promises of God.