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When Men Have Labor Pains

Alistair Huong

Presenter

Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse

Recorded

  • April 12, 2013
    7:00 PM
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nine to the story tonight is primarily going to take place in Genesis chapter thirty two so I invite you to turn your Bible there with me now but while you're going there let me set the stage for you Jacob has been in somewhat of a self imposed exile away from his homeland away from his family for many years now but God is calling them back to the land that he had promised to Abraham to Isaac and to him Jacob himself and so Jacob is returning now to the promised land not as he left a single man with nothing more than a staff and accrue the oil he coming back heavy lead in the Goldberg with good with flocks that is why with his children with a servant a large company coming back to claim the promise that God has given to him from Lindsay here is hiding that his brother Esau was marching against them the four hundred men of war Jacob and his family and his company completely unarmed unprepared for any hostile encounter Jacob was in dire straits she was in trouble because he recognized he remembered well what led to his brother taking the vow of vengeance upon him it was a guy in the seat his craftiness as of now he finds himself in a very peculiar situation and have any decently minded father would do he tries to save the innocent he sends them gifts that had to try to receive the wrath of his brother leaving the mind is grouped into different company to send them on in different directions of one gets fallen upon none and massacre perhaps the other one might escape and it is here that we picked up the story because there's something left for Jacob to do in Genesis chapter thirty two we begin reading in verse twenty three and he took them Jacob didn't send them over the brook and sent over that he had first twenty four and Jacob was left alone we can imagine the scene well that the babbling brook J Bock is children is why this serving the slots their God the sun has set there is a cool night breeze and the Palestinian wilderness and there we see a lone figure Jacob was left alone but that was not the only way he was alone Jacob that night was alone in every sense of the word he was alone because he had no place to call his home the landing on its promise with before him but the way was barred by Esau and his army he could not turn back to where you come from valid labor and land and we all know how pleasantly the split ways nowhere to go no one to turn to Isaac no help his mother who loved him dearly unfortunately was unfortunately she she wasn't with them anymore but more unfortunately she wasn't really the cause of this problem also even Rachel Hezbollah love and dear wife for whom he labored for so many years what can she do for him now no one to turn to nowhere to high nowhere to go but you got the plan terror he's always been a crafty one he always had a plan or everything in a plan and how he could use a bowl of lentil that leverage in a special deal with his brother for a birthright he had a plan he and his mother concocted a plan remember to get the blessing from the blind father Isaac he always had a plan when he started working with Laban his full business acumen took over and he had a call at the one on his father-in-law but what could any of his human plans help and now he was a wealthy man but what good all his wealth do for him now does this sound familiar to any of us how often we tried to tease the situation and to solve it in our own evil in human way and so sometimes God waits he waits until we are left alone like Jacob but this night more than in any other way Jacob was alone because he recognized that he alone was responsible for this peculiar predicament it was then he cannot plead innocent like Daniel in the lion that he was not in a set like the three young men was overthrown into the fly regard he was not anything he will play with a guilty conscience yes he had already confessed dissenting to God but yet the memory haunted him and you can be sure that they are the accuser of the brethren that night at what not let him forget that Jacob is because of your sin that your brother market against you it's all your while your children together die young why did I die all because of you he was alone there is no law that the loneliness like the loneliness of being guilty for sin that we can no longer remedy yes he was alone Jacob was left alone very a long time that night I believe he remembered another evening many years ago in similar circumstances by himself at midnight in the wilderness with nothing but a stone to lay his head and he sees in his dream that Angel ladder the latter that reaches straight from the earth straight up to the front of the God he saw the angels ascending and descending he heard the voice of God himself speak those words of reassurance of promise of protection and deliverance God was with him that night when he thought he was all alone as though this night Jacob prayed this night he sent everyone away because there's one more thing you got it do she needs to reconnect with that latter he wanted to hear once again the words of that God the same promise the reassuring the protection that God has promised then because honestly he has nowhere left to turn he had no other source of help Jacob had reached the bottom no one plans no more scheme nothing left no one can help them and it is in this part of the story that we expect I yeah we rubber hand and eager anticipation everyone watch this is where God is about to step into our experience God is about to move just like that children of Israel at the shores of the Red Sea push the water before them there was army behind the Rocky Mountains on either side nowhere to go and God delivered the disciples on the storm tossed sea water filling their ship too far from shore to slim they were going to die everyone just the thing but she delivers them Dano then the three Hebrew word these in the fiery furnace nowhere to look nowhere to hide no one to turn to in those moments got specializes in delivering his people but tonight Jacob suspects some divine intervention just like we would expect some miraculous moving of the arm of God for deliverance then we know the end of the story right sure God does move but before we get ahead of ourselves what actually happens maybe it's not quite what we expect let's continue reading verse twenty four Genesis thirty two and Jacob was left alone and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day and when he saw that he prevailed not against him he touched the hollow of his line in the hall of Jacobs lie without a joint as he wrestled with him imagine with me Jacob outflow near the ground prostrate before God is in anguish his mind is tormented with the net rate of his wrong 's the responsibility of the lives of the innocent man of men women and children under his care all of a sudden a strong arm Stephenson and flings into the ground Jacob realized that this was not the gentle touch of a loving Savior this was somewhat significant life he flings around his mind to the world interface probably more not ready to die I haven't gotten that need a blessing I haven't gotten that reassurance I can't die yet moreover how can I die here alone without my family they won't know what happened to me and I can't leave them to die and innocent lambs to the slaughter when you stop buying them tomorrow Lord help large day Lord deliver in his mind he's thinking these things and the physical manifestation takes place as he wrestles as he tackles as he tries to get a headlock if you try to wrestle this man to the ground he tried to get away he's fighting for his life all night long the struggle goes on the struggle both in body and in my were told that the rest of the wrestling goes on from midnight till the breaking of the day probably a good five to six hours last week I visited my brother-in-law sister-in-law to have a young boy playing with them for a few hours was exhausting enough I can't imagine wrestling and for my life or five to six hours Jacob exerted almost supernatural effort we are told at the twilight hours begin in the ease this mysterious stranger reaches out a finger and gently touches Jacob on the five this was no ordinary instantly pain shoots through his body he collapses in a heat on the ground and I only I can only imagine the sharp pain pricing tiers out of the corner of his eyes as he collapses utterly wasted from the nights try that supernatural types in the league click pulls the strong man and we say to ourselves this is not how the story is supposed to go this is not what the public that man Jacob was already at rock bottom yet nowhere left to turn the only God is of help and what happens to get in on the desert floor in that moment in that moment in the death of his despair mentally emotionally physically exhausted the dirt from the desert floor Nottingham Harrison 's ways because of the wet of his physical exertion all night this being of a dislocated hip bracketing his body laying in a heap helpless heap on the ground Jacob looks up and in that moment he realizes something to throw bull Re: tear filled by Caesar he would hit like that he recognizes the God that I had been praying to God that was not only how the God who was not only protection that God had come down and personally kick me in the gut that God had come down and torture my body he had tried to kill me verbalize my hours that God was a God in whom I was hoping can you understand the confusion in the mind of Jake nothing made sense in that moment the pieces did not fit together his sentences and very thing that physically around and could be an X terminal witness told him only one thing and the internal witness of the guilty conscience confirm the same thing Jacob you are done even God himself turned again to one hope do you have left Jacob was a lot man to all outward appearances honestly what more can you do when God himself has come down against you we often say of God before us who can be against us but in this instance and blotted against you cruel can be boring you the despair that must have racked the body and mind object what would you do what should Jacob do well we know the rest of the story what does he do let's continue reading first twenty six and he said the man said let me go for the day breaks and Jacob said I will not let the job except you bless me any set of him one is by me and he said Jacob and he said by name shall be called no more Jacob but Israel for as a prince has no power with God and with men and has prevailed in that moment I want you to understand to experience in your sanctified imagination what it must have been like to be Jacob in that moment I imagine this could not be more than a couple seconds maybe a minute at most that all of these things transpire to get flattened to the ground bananas about the leave and Jacob does something in the moment in that pool in the moment in which victory or defeat is to occur there was no time for contemplation of what had just transpired there was no time for Jacob to sit back and line up all of the facts and had an internal debate there was no time for that no time for rationalization no time when academic study of the problem no time for any type of reasoning through in the price that there was only time for instinct that an inch think vividly the arm of faith extends through the midst of uncertainty through all of those medical external internal witness the theme to say one thing on the faith plunges through all of that and cleans with a steely grasp upon the angel and in that moment in that moment Jacob became Israel in that moment in that moment Jacob prevailed with God because nothing is more apparently help but really more invincible than the one who feels that nothingness and cast himself rely wholly upon God it was in that moment when Jacob was completely waste stripped of all self-sufficient strip them all self-reliance set of balls self dependence in that moment when he lay prostrate and broken at the feet of genes that might not when it made no sense his hand cleans the arm of a clean and clean encodings for the blessing it was then that Jacob while invisible this my friends is very fast is afraid we need for such a time as this Jacob recognized at that point when he realized who the angel was he realized it is no longer necessary for me to it is only necessary that I maintain my drafts on Jesus because only in that way will I gain the blessing that I need that my friend is a the demonstration of what faith can enable God 's people to do so we looked at Jacob and we think wow that's intense story but we sure this story not because it is a nice Bible story to put our kids to sleep with but because the experience of Jacob will happen again what do I mean by that let's look together in Jeremiah chapter thirty Jeremiah chapter thirty and will begin reading in verse five Jeremiah chapter thirty in verse five for the saith the Lord we have heard a voice of trembling of fear and not of peace ask you now and see whether Amanda travail with child wherefore do I see every man with his hand on his wine the woman in travail and all faces turned in the paleness alas for that day is great so that none is like it it is even the time of what Jay God is tribal but he shall be saved out of it here Jeremiah foretell the time in the future in which the experience of Jacob will replicate in the lives of God 's faithful people but he doesn't just tell us that it will happen each use of the word picture to describe health theory at that time is going to be he said this is a great day so that none is like it not only the day or that while the testing final result was the leader that it will be annulled and then we'll go through labor man the Hemingway nerve pain I'm not a father I'm not a doctor but I know enough to know then that is not a pleasant experience and Jeremiah I believe he's grasping for the most painful experiences known to man to describe what that data be like there is none like it when men have labored me in Danish at the twelve verse one when Michael jumped on the back percent of food by people there shall be a time of trouble for the nose and throat was since there was a nation the Bible come firm 's in multiple places in Revelation is called the great tribulation me laugh that this last test called the time of Jacob 's trouble will be more severe for the area than any other test over before but we ask how can that be don't we stories of the faithful heroes of God for boyfriend with our lives how do we read those stories one of the dark ages what about the profits among those listed and he was eleven dollars on a thunder they were doing came the world of which the world was not worthy all of these persecutions joy and even today there are persecution stories happening all over the world how can the final test been more severe the answer I believe is given to us by the pen of inspiration signs of the Times November twenty seven eighteen seventy nine Ellen White right this those who live in the last days must pass through an experience similar to that of Jake foes will be all around them ready to condemn and to destroy alarm and despair will see them more it appears to than as to Jacob in his distress that God himself has become an abandoned gene and then me did you catch that in the time of Jacob 's trouble we are told that it will appear as though Shawn himself has become an benzene enemy that my friends there realize that the Barents Sea on the final test because the test is not simply whether we can withstand hunger weariness and delay the test is not physical torture or call being cold or sleepless night or running through the woods running to the mountain that's not the severity does not lie the red the their idea but not within the call one knee there is that in the time of Jacob 's trouble in intellectual one at that point the test is not whether we can should choose the true from the counterfeit that in the task about tech would Elmer if not whether we know to be working on birthday the seventh day the Lockerbie trial that one would have been already older in this time the test will be a test of our loyalty and our relationship with Jesus the test will be even when it appears that Jesus turned his back on we know the end of the story he does not leave his people along but it appeared that way in that moment when it appeared that way when it appeared that God himself it appears that he raises his arm to strike us went in up here and no all hope is lost will we still collating with the arms of faith that my friends is the tax I read in the same paragraph in signs of the times it is the design of God to all growled the dormant energies of his people to look out and away from self to one we can bring help and salvation the promise is given for just such a time may be seen in the preciousness and relied upon with on wavering trust notice the last sentence here being is through a feeding issue in the time of Jacob 's trouble is there is a burden in the great controversy that something has to be proven the faith of the righteous have to be tested you have to be demonstrated that it truly is goal pure gold refined in the fire and in that day when God 's people don't need when they don't have the luxury of time to cognitively line all the ducks up in a row and to analyze and to think through things but you think that we instinctively they reach out through the darkness and they hold onto the throne of grace when they do that in heaven God before the watching universe before the Angels before the unfallen worlds before thinking and of evil angels themselves to God said behold my people behold finally God can say indeed the right shift to adjust truly do live by faith and in it enough that they let by not making the head live by faith and look at them they do live by faith they are able to live free mole even when it appears as though I have left this is the result not that of a life of pain this is a result of Jesus sacrifice on the cross more than genes of the work in the sanctuary for them and Christ dwelling in that God said that is the result of the plan of redemption what other arguments do you have in that day in that day God will show that indeed he does say to need more terminals that are only rated an arm of the way people in that well they trust in him oh why this is fire and brimstone but remember Christ never leads his people down the path that he himself has not walked remember in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ Bal download before the father the weight of the world on his shoulders and he cries my God my God thereof before he said that he said that it be possible that this cup pass from me nevertheless not my will but nine be done on the cross alone hanging between heaven and earth his disciples had pled NG this one alone outside the fifty he cries my God my God why has thou forsaken me in that moment when the darkness invalid send went then separates his father 's fate when it appears when that God himself has turned against him as he drinks that come up filled with the wrath of God to a drag Jesus walked alone suffering the consequences we deserve that we might be treated as he deserved in that moment in that moment it appeared as though to write that God himself had become an avenging and the darkness of sin so that but he could not in that instance see through the portal but until we could not be installed rising on the other side of the victim in that moment but nevertheless infinitely even though that the crowds around them were saying the same thing that the sins of the world was crashing out of line cried you are a favorite at the document and he cries into thy hand I commit my spirit my friends that is the fate of Jesus and so in the end times at the time of Jacob 's trouble God will hold up with people at the day here is the patience of the saints here are they looking for commitment commands of God and have the faith gave us and so the great controversy in the time of Jacob 's trouble will find an answer to that question is it enough to live by faith in Jesus so what about today we talked about Jacob in the past and how his story reflects or foreshadows experience in the future but what about today and about our high calling page three hundred and twenty one I read this let none be discouraged in view of the survey severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob 's trouble which is yet before them they are to work earnestly anxiously not for that time but for today what we want is to have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ now and a personal experience now in these precious closing hours of probation we have a deep and living experienced again we shall thus form character that can shore our deliverance and the time of trouble God in his immersing shows a picture of that beer cast in the future not in Hawaii was to despair today but in his mercy he has given us the answers to the final exam final exam of the Earth 's history and the time of Jacob 's trouble got that I will show you what that test will be so that today you can be studying and you can be preparing so that you shall be delivered in that day and evening Jeremiah chapter thirty nine on the heels of discussing the time of Jacob 's trouble Jeremiah immediately interject but he shall be delivered out of it so how do we stand in such a time and then it means we must live by faith for such a time at this today now is of God in his mercy today he sends us build little quizzes to prepare us for that final exam and we are kidding ourselves my friends when we think oh yes I will stand in that day when we flunk every single quiz today when God leads us through uncertain times uncharted waters do we question do we doubt it we shake our fists tenant and lose our confidence when we experience pain may be inexplicable pain in our experience do we question God do we wallow in discontent in impatience with a God show me the answer now when God brings circumstances to let them make them uncomfortable we complain do we question or do we cling my face we are often too often fair weather Christians when the troubles come and they will come those are God 's opportunities to format this strength in that arm of May to build on that muscle memory so when the time comes that there is no time to think the arm of faith will reach out and the way and so friends halfhearted cultural Christianity will not cut it the time is done for that sort of thing and even more than that I hasten to add an intellectual Christianity and boy we haven't as we sure are intellectual Christians it is not enough because it is not enough to simply know what day of the true Sabbath it is simply not enough to know that the data do not speak because all mercy if we reach that day in the time of Jacob 's trouble me whether the mark of the beast read we meet we make it through the test of spiritualism we do not offer the deception of the false Christ and the false prophet because we know all the apologetic meanwhile Bible verses we have the intellectual capacity to disapprove the hop addition but when the time that God himself had our loyalty and our relationship with an all will be one day we find our arm of a advantage of the wall reads was when the day we realized we just simply lack the strength the region and we still miss the blessing when I say let's not forget the basics because they just in the scale must live by a as though that the appeal tonight as we wind down our mess how is your faith in Christ tonight does your arm of faith need a workout have you grown Lisi lacks the vehicle in the intensity after which you search for Jesus as the study of the Bible and integrated into just a treasure hunt and Easter egg can't looking for the next as an additional piece of text that we can while our friends doing just that in the Bible to teach the next that was the lesson or are we studying the Bible and no Jesus do we want to know Jesus I remember when I was according my wife picked in Kansas City that I pursued her hand every waking and sleeping thought was on winning the prized to get to know this person maybe it's time that we invest nothing level of passion in Jesus do you need to have your strength your faith in Jesus strengthened by maybe it's time to put down that smart phone to close that laptop computer and to give Jesus our undivided attention for a change for others of us perhaps may have been truly segregated compartmentalized in our lives with a gene is used to construct on Sabbath in my decision during the week in my studies in my business dealings in my work in my career and all of these things you stay out maybe it's time for us to say Jesus you can have all and perhaps it's time for us to let Jesus make some decisions for us perhaps we been convicted of certain things to do certain things to stop doing and we are fighting like Jacob bought the angel maybe it's time to stop by and say Lord Jesus I surrender but I won't let you go until you bless perhaps it is time for us to make that recommitment today Lord Jesus may I know you as it is my privilege to know you may I gain that respect that first love experience once more so that when the test when our relationship is trying at this point what my senses tell me despite what everything around me my say may I in that day maintain fidelity to God on the earth MMI on the baby strengthened that instinctively I will still cling video how many of us tonight want to say Lord Jesus takes me all of me I am yours and police be my executors do you want to staff ready in that great day to be ready for such a time as this that is my prayer and why you now just a value has with me as we commit our life to Jesus gracious heavenly father we are so thankful that you and your mercy do not want to see a swallowed up in despair but did you long to deliver us and although we see that drastic measure that you're willing to take the leg cheek and down broken before your meeting tonight Jesus and me ourselves come contrite and broken at your asking that you might fill our hearts that Christ might dwell in us the hope of glory that we might have the faith of Jesus and the art arm of faith might be strengthened to caress the coupling and to not let go train us today we know that there will be difficulties and that that is your means by which by which you train us but we consent tonight floor you can have all of us every square inch because we long to know Jesus as it is our privilege to know him that in that day we will stand faithful for he blesses to this end be witnessed the Sabbath and me walk with us we Jesus to the I will rule in the name of a media list is my hobby is a website dedicated to spreading God 's word two three seven audio and much more I would like to know more about hothouse is more so than please visit www. .net verse .org

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