The Rock Covenant Church

The Rock Church Worship Service


Jesus Lord Of Heaven (Jesus Your love knows no bounds)
Beautiful Savior
One Thing Remains (Higher than the mountains that I face, Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me)
Ed. Note : nothing that can separate my heart from your great love….except my selfishness…?
Oceans (You call me out upon the waters)
Find Rest (Life was formed in Your hands, I surrender all)

All hands on deck
We’ll have a table outside with sign-up for various ministries that we have here (greeting, children’s, setup, cleanup, etc)
We’re contemplating whether to move back to 5pm or not, please vote

Introducing our speaker tonight, Dan Parkins from Peninsula Community Church

I don’t want to share my testimony too much, that should come through in my sermon without effort
3 liver transplants, most of my large intestine removed due to disease, 3 years ago one of our sons passed away, parental divorce, defecating blood, a lot of things in my life that God has allowed me to go through
Life is a struggle
Sometimes we want to put on masks and say “I’m good”
When really we’re crying inside
I’m going to talk about wrestling with God in a proper way
Genesis 32 will be our text for tonight
Inevitably when I come home (sermons are supposed to start out with an illustration, right?)
My son is 7 and is about to become a wolf Cub Scout
When I come home, we’ll wrestle and have a good time
Wrestling with Noah isn’t something I dread
I love being able to do it with all of my children
I know I can be beat my son at wrestling
Does he think he will ever win?
I’m sure there’s a bit of “okay dad, I’m going to beat you today”
There’s this reality when we go through trials, we are struggling with something we don’t like
There were times when I was 24 hours from death and people keep telling me if you just believe, you will be healed
Samuel was born perfect on the outside, but one muscle was missing on the inside
Condition called congenital diaphragmatic ….?
Praying for 20 weeks
He lived for only 19 days
We had over 400,000 people visiting the blog we created for him to pray for my son
I was trying to get my way, I was trying to say “Okay God, do what I want”
As a pastor, I do a lot of counseling
I want to help

Noah’s like an Energizer bunny
So I’ve enlisted some new rules
I’ll tie him down and let him calm down

Greg Laurie says: it wasn’t so much that Jacob was wrestling God to get something but God was wrestling with Jacob to get something: surrender

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.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
‭Genesis‬ ‭32‬:‭22-32‬ (ESV)

Jacob feared his brother Esau, but he had always viewed God as this benign/benevolent friend

God cannot be used for his own means
He has meant to be feared
Like Aslan, he is terrible and he is lovely at the same time
My mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer
She’s a vibrant lady (weird to talk about my mom that way)
She’s out in New Mexico (which I think was a bad decision by the way)
What is the first way we see Jacob in life
We’re shown right away a sense of trembling
He’s deeply afraid of Esau coming to kill him
He coming with 400 people to meet me
I don’t have an army, I have a family
I cannot control what is happening to me and I am terrified
I haven’t had that experience of 400 people coming up to me, I don’t know what that feels like
If Esau comes to one camp and attacks, then the other camp will survive
He sends gifts to Esau to try and appease him
You guys ever do that?
Maybe if I pray a little bit more, maybe if I drops that one sin, maybe if I raise my hands in worship
We get into our heads this idea of doing something which is very anti-Christ for He did everything
He sent gifts to try and appease him

20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”
Genesis 32:20 (ESV)

Despite his devious ways, Jacob is still terrified

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.
Genesis 32:22 (ESV)

Can you picture the restlessness?
He gathers those closest to him and sends them across the river
His family had to notice that something was weird if they didn’t know everything
11th hour, Santa had not given him what he wanted
God what are You doing right now?
My son is dying before my eyes, what are You doing right now?
I was alone in the desert
All I could do was turn my eyes to heaven
And a man wrestled with him till the break of day
As if things couldn’t get any worse
Is this an advance guard from Esau?
A random robber?
Wrestling as if his life depends on it

3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
and in his manhood he strove with God.
4 He strove with the angel and prevailed;
he wept and sought his favor.
He met God at Bethel,
and there God spoke with us—
Hosea 12:3-4 (ESV)

…hold fast to justice….

Most scholars agree that this is the pre-incarnate form of Jesus Christ
This isn’t Jacob wrestling with God, calling Him out
It’s God wrestling with us
He is the instigator
Jacob was not in the right frame of mind for wrestling
It is true that later Jacob begs for a blessing, but not at first
The Lord is not our puppet
The enemy of our souls constantly dogs us
So sometimes God needs to become our adversary until we are broken
A.W. Pink writes:

Jacob was not wrestling with this Man to obtain a blessing; instead, the Man was wrestling with Jacob to gain some object from him. As to what this object is the best of the commentators agree—it was to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was; it was to teach us through him that all important lesson that in recognized weakness lies our strength.

Ed. Note: Google search for “aw pink a man was wrestling with god to gain some object” pointed me to this article from

I want to call out the God doesn’t play by our rules
When wrestling with my son, I make the rules because I know better

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.
Genesis 32:25 (ESV)

The Lord was attempting to show something through the wrestling
Jacob wasn’t getting the point through his stubbornness
So God changed the game using bodily harm
God let Jacob work through his anger until the dawn, age didn’t immediately break him
God can take your anger, your frustration
I’ll let you get your fears and frustrations out, but you have to give in the end
Regardless of how we see the circumstances play out, He does no wrong
My life was put out of joint when my son died
I wrestled with God throughout the whole process
Because I believed that God would heal my son
He did it in such a profound way
In the end, He had his way
God doesn’t do this in every pain
Not our purpose to know everything
He is sovereign
As we can see, the heart of Jacob changes
The one who manipulates man is changed
Jacob is outgunned
Jacob clings to Christ and begs
Clings to the rock that broke him
Such a difference
One was a proud, manipulative man
The other was a broken man, clinging to God
We see the profound account of the Gospel in Genesis retelling of a wrestling match
We see a man become dependent upon God rather than upon his own abilities
To find our lives, we must lose them

1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Genesis 33:1-3 (ESV)

Two profound realities: he came before Esau instead of running from in and he was forever limping
God gave him incredible courage
He wasn’t scared about the future any more
He knew that he was weak but his God was strong
A humble child of God, moving forward in the power of God
Jacob meant heel-grasper
Isaac didn’t like him too much
Esau means hairy
Israel is a compound word: Fight struggle or rule, and God
In other cases, God is not the object of a verb, but the subject
Daniel means God judges
Samuel means God heard
If we follow the same line of interpretation
God rules, God commands, God prevails
Do you get the significance?
Jacob dealt with God and man mischievously
Who was the victor in the wrestling match? Not Jacob
Through Jacob’s loss, he surrenders himself and finds himself
True definition of a Christian
Someone who gets more and more lost in the Gospel every day

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1:1-3 (ESV)

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

Picture of a limping Jacob, now Israel, He rules, He commands, He prevails
When we are weak, God is strong
Culture screams at us to do it on our own
When I’m weak, when I’m poor in spirit, God fills our cup
When we aren’t relying on our own strength, we fling ourselves on the rock of Christ
Every trial we face, God will have the victory
His will will be done
We want that
God is able to work through us to work out His good pleasure
My son died
God didn’t do what I wanted
But God was glorified
I’d rather have the life of everyone I know be about God’s glory rather than my glory
I need Jesus
Do you?

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