"God Fights"

Study Guide

We are quick to look at our disappointments, failures, physical wounds, and trials as “losses” when really these markers are a great mercy as they remind us daily of our need for and dependence on God. When we lose sight of our need and walk in independence instead of humility, we miss out on what God has for us.
Application
  1. Jacob was fearful to face Esau years after he had wronged him but appealed to him with a humble countenance. When have you had to face someone years after a conflict where you wronged them in some way? Is there someone currently to whom you need to apologize where you have let time or distance be your excuse?

  2. In this passage, we see Jacob finally showing some humility, recognizing that everything he has is from God. In the same way, it should be a daily part of our worship to humble ourselves before God and say, “I came here with nothing, but you have given me everything.” Why is it important that this is a part of our daily worship? Where in your life have you seen negative consequences from perceiving earthly things or people as yours instead of God’s provision and blessing?

  3. We heard multiple examples of God using circumstances in people’s lives to get their attention and redirect them to dependence on him. What situations in your life has God used to consistently remind you of your dependence? What puts you in a position to call out to him?

  4. It is God’s mercy that Jacob’s wound will, for the rest of his life, remind him of his need to be dependent on God. How might you be living with the illusion that you have things under control? Can you tolerate the idea that when you serve him he might take away your hopes and dreams? What is a time in your life when God destroyed everything you wanted to give you something better?

Key Points
  • The one who loses when they fight with God is the one who wins. If Jacob wins the battle, he doesn’t recognize his need for God and misses out on all that God has for him. We face this same reality as we lose in our fight with him yet at the same time gain a deeper dependence on him.

  • For the believer: It is an act of worship to express your dependence on God.

    For the non-believer: Surrender to the gospel—it is an issue of humility.