Pastor’s Letter – August 28, 2020 – A Prayer from a Hard Place

And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:

Genesis 32:9

Dear Church and Friends,

We all find ourselves between Laban and Esau at some point in life. We feel like the old fella who said, “I’m between a rock and a hard place.” Usually, there are no good choices or safe choices and we are only hoping to survive the experience.

That is where Jacob finds himself. Here’s his situation.

  • He was ready to leave Padan-aram because of Laban’s abuse.
  • God gave him a command to return home which he and his wives were happy to comply with.
  • After the covenant with Laban he could never go back there.
  • He is afraid to go further South because Esau has sworn to kill him, and is coming to meet him with four hundred men (not a good sign).

What’s a patriarch to do? The command and promise of God is still in force so Jacob keeps moving forward. The Lord encourages him by allowing him to see the camp of angels. Just as he saw the ladder on his way to Laban’s, so now he sees the angel host on his way home. As a matter of fact, they are his welcoming party because the very first verse says, “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him” (Gen. 32:1).

Still Jacob is afraid of what Esau will do. In his prayer he says, “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children” (Gen 32:11). Jacob’s prayer is honest and a wonderful example of how to pray when the vise tightens.

  • He opens his prayer by acknowledging who God is. And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac,
  • He continues by acknowledging who God is to him. He is the promise giver and Jacob repeats the promise. the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
  • Jacob confesses his unworthiness in the light of God’s goodness. I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant;
  • Jacob confesses the way he sees goodness manifested in his life. for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
  • His request is direct and honest. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
  • He reminds the Lord of His promise which ends the prayer. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Jacob teaches us about prayer when we are in the hard place. Having no good choices often drives us to ground, humble us, and lead us to call on the Lord. Once we are there it’s time to take up Jacob’s prayer, change the names, the situation, and call out to the God of promise. He will hear and give you comfort. By the way, He’s already moving the thing you thought couldn’t be moved.

Consider supporting Creek Road Baptist Church through the Amazon Smile program. Use this link to select Creek Road Baptist Church as your designated charity. Once you have made this selection simply begin using Smile.Amazon.com (instead of using Amazon.com). No credits are available using just Amazon.com.  Please contact the church office or Pastor Dave if you need help or have any questions.

Music: Thy Mercy, My God by Sandra McCracken.

Prayer Requests: Please pray for the following.

  • Emma Gooch, is doing better and may be able to go home soon. Please continue to pray for her to recover.
  • Geneva Renfroe, Alan Barker’s aunt, who is having heart surgery today.
  • Tatars of Russia/Central Asia. (TAH-tars) – Simon* has started meeting with a believer to practice speaking and reading another language. They have started reading the Bible together in that language as practice. Please pray that Simon will become open to hearing the truth of what they are reading together and that this believer will be bold when talking about Jesus with him. (*name changed)

Catechism: Craig’s Catechism (1581) [The Second Part of God’s Honor.]

160


What kind of Kingdom does He have?

It is spiritual, pertaining chiefly to our souls.

161


In what does His Kingdom consist?

In God’s Word and His Holy Spirit?

162


What do we get by the Word and Spirit?

Righteousness and life everlasting.

163


What is His Priesthood?

An office appointed for the satisfaction of God’s wrath.

All my best.

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Genesis 32:12

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Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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