Theme of the Week: Receiving and Being a Blessing
Bible Verse: “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.” Genesis 32:30
Scripture Reading: Genesis 32: 22-32
Jacob was a son of a promise.
God showed up one day and told Abraham that he would become the father of a vast nation. Through him, all nations are going to be blessed. Jacob, the younger twin brother, son of Isaac, the grandson of Abraham, was going to receive his blessing according to the promise of God and continue his lineage of blessing.
Jacob knew he was destined to receive a blessing and somehow be a blessing.
The interesting thing is that, in that culture, Jacob, as a second son, would never receive any blessing, much less be the one responsible for the family’s lineage. Jacob could not see how his promise would happen, so he needed to do something about it. The ironic part is that Jacob came out of the womb literally holding his brother’s heel. Because of that, he was named “Jacob” = “wrestler,” “heel-grabber,” “someone who always tries to get ahead.”
That blessing became his pursuit. Jacob did everything he could to receive it.
In Genesis 32, what we read in the scriptures and takes place at this point in his life will mark him forever. Literally.
On his way back to the land God had promised him, Jacob wrestled with a man all alone in the middle of the night. And it turns out that this man was God.
In the original Hebrew language in the book of Genesis, chapter 32, we can read in verse 24 that “a man(God) wrestled (jacobed) with him (Jacob) until the breaking of the day. 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”
While Jacob moans on the ground, completely undone, he asks God for His blessing. Jacob’s spent his life trying to get the blessing on his own strength until that point. At that very moment, when God “touches” Jacob, he then realizes that he has been fighting with God his whole life. Jacob has been sabotaging himself his entire life. And God was not going to allow that to continue any longer. God was not going to allow Jacob to think that he was in control.
That moment was as if God was saying to Jacob and us: Jacob, I have been for you all along. Had you trusted me, I’d never let you down; had you trusted me, you’d not have to try to get the blessing on your own strength and plans. I have been there for you, for your good, all along. If I wanted to kill you, I would not only touch you; I’d have crushed you.
From that day forward, Jacob limped. The limp was God’s sign of His grace in the life of Jacob. A reminder that God has already blessed him with His love, grace, and presence. Jacob woke up that morning a changed man. Not only physically changed, but he no longer needed to wrestle with God; Jacob could trust God, that God was all along for him. That God had always wanted to bless him.
Brothers, God did not only “touch” Jesus at the cross. God crushed Him so that His grace can also touch you and me instead of destroying us. As we surrender to Jesus, we may limp for the rest of our lives as we submit to His will and not ours. But know this, God’s grace over you covers all of life, the good, the bad and the ugly. His grace is for you and me. It is the grace of having God by our side, for our good. This is the greatest blessing God can bless us with, and this is the greatest blessing we can share with others.
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