Key Passage: Genesis 32: 24-32
Key Word: Genesis 32: 30 – “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”
There are times you look into a person’s face and you can see so many stories on the lined face. Some it’s their eyes that tell you they have a story or two to tell you. They have lived and they have had life leave its imprint on them. Again, some people just by looking at them you can see that they have had some life-changing encounter and they are alive to tell the story. Then there are those that their countenance tells you everything about them. If you meet an ex-soldier you can always tell by their posture. If you meet an athlete, their ‘ripped’ bodies tell you a lot about them. So it is with those who have truly met God. There is an indelible imprint of God on them.
In our text today we see a man called Jacob coming face to face with God and being forever changed and transformed. Jacob was born a struggler, a hustler and a usurper. What we would call a regular con man. He stole his brother’s birthright, skilfully enriched himself at the expense of his father in law and tried to run away with all his wealth. But on this faithful day, he was about to come face to face with his brother Esau from whom he stole the birthright. Esau was going to kill him, so he was in a desperate place. That night he stayed at a place called Penuel. Penuel means face to face with God.
The bible records him wrestling with an Angel all night and when morning was dawning, the Angel asked to be released, but Jacob hung on for dear life, saying the Angel had to bless him. The Angel eventually asked for his name and he for the first time came face to face with himself. He confessed that his name is Jacob. A usurper, manipulator, deceiver and crook. The Angel them said to him, you will be called Israel, meaning a Prince of God. Prior to this, the angel dislocated his thigh joint, so he could no longer run away. From that day on Jacob became Israel, a man who walked with a severe limp. His encounter with this Angel, that is believed to be God, marred him for good for the rest of his life.
There are times in our lives, we need to stop and drop everything and met the God of Penuel. God is able to transform our lives and make us who He wants us to be, but we may need to risk that encounter with Him that will most certainly transform us, but leave us messed up for anything else but Him. If you have a character flaw you have struggled with all your life, Go to Penuel. If you have a long standing personality issue, Go to Penuel. If you are struggling with curses and deep-rooted sinfulness, Go to Penuel. Whatever your chronic situation, remember that there is a God of Penuel.
Penuel is the place where you are alone with God and you come face to face with God. If you survive Penuel, you will be transformed forever. Let’s go to Penuel.
Let’s pray: Father God, you are the God of Penuel. Lord help us to be so fed up with our sins, flaws and chronic issues, that we drop everything and come aside until we meet you at Penuel. Lord help us not to be scared of being changed by you, because you will break us, shape us, fill us and use us for Your own glory. I want the God of Penuel in Jesus name. Amen.