In 2nd Kings, we read of a woman who lost her husband. Now the creditors are trying to take her sons to be bondsmen. ‘Talk about a grave situation!
“So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.” (II Kings 4:5)
In 1st Samuel, we read of Hannah, who is devastated because she has no child, which made her a reproach in her day. She goes to the temple and pours out her heart to the Lord. We know God honored this petition.
“And Hannah answered and said, No, my Lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” (I Samuel 1:15)
What comes to your mind when you think of Jacob? Wow, what a character! Like David, he had a lot of good, and bad. In the first part of his life, we see him as a deceiver. Yes, we reap what we sow, and he had his fair share of being cheated and lied to. When he decided to go back home (in Genesis 32) he was afraid of his brother Esau, from whom he cheated his birthright and blessing. Perhaps Esau would kill him, and possibly even his family. So, he sends messengers, camels, herds, and gifts. He separates his family, hoping some of them would be spared while he stayed at Jabbok.
Strong’s Concordance defines Jabbok as “pour out” [H1238] as “to empty, figuratively.”
While throughout the night, he wrestles with an angel. His thigh is changed for life, and he walks with a limp.
“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” (Genesis 32:38)
Just what did he pour out at Jabbok? I believe he poured out his past — all his sin, disappointments, fears, griefs, and losses. I’m sure you can add to the list. Yet, as he poured out, God poured in. He was never the same again; God even changed the name with which he was identified. The pouring out may have been painful, but the outpouring of God was life-changing.
“And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.” (Genesis 32:35)
This outpouring of God won’t come until we, like Hannah, the widow, and Jacob, pour out all of our past as well as our hearts.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...” (Joel 2:28)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Let’s make room; I’m ready for an outpouring, aren’t you?