Tuesday, August 11, 2009

David Sebastian: Wrestling with God

The West Virginia Ministries of the Church of God began her annual Rippling Waters campmeeting last night with evangelist Dr. David Sebastian, Dean of Anderson University's School of Theology. He preached from Genesis 32.21-30:
So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp. (22) The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. (23) He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. (24) And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. (25) When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. (26) Then he said, "Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." (27) And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." (28) Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed." (29) Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. (30) So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered." (ESV)
Sebastian took us on a brief tour of Jacob's life, explaining that the patriarch was a conniver and deal-maker who had to come to an end of himself and be changed; he did so at the hands of God.

This encounter changed his name from Jacob (Hebrew meaning: "to take hold of the heel" or "supplanter/deceiver") to Israel ("who prevails with God")

Sebastian applied this to our lives; a person will not rest in God until he surrenders his life to God.