Saturday, January 31, 2015



Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.  (Genesis 32:24)

Jacob always had a plan.  He was a schemer—shrewd, conniving—wanting to climb the ladder of success no matter whom he had to step on in his rise to the top.  Take advantage of his brother, lie to his father, and cheat his uncle—whatever it took.  Yet, there was one thing he couldn’t seize, and that was the blessing of God.  That never comes through self-promotion, but by self-abasement.  God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Jacob had to be brought to his knees, before he could be lifted to prominence.

Genesis 32 shows us the BATTLE THAT JACOB FOUGHT (Gen.32:22-24).  These events are a microcosm of his life.  Jacob had been fighting for status all his days.  When his twin brother Esau emerged first from the womb, Jacob had hold of his heel—as though he would hold him back so Jacob might be the firstborn.  The birthright became his obsession.  By hook or crook, Jacob meant to have it.  He failed to realize that in God’s economy, the way up is down, exaltation is preceded by humiliation, self-will must die as we come to submission to God’s will.  You can never be too weak for God to use, but you can be too strong!  In that dark night, Jacob fought against God.  He had been doing that for years.  Have you been setting the agenda, calling the shots, rather than seeking the will of God?  That is a losing proposition.

Then there was the BROKENNESS THAT GOD WROUGHT (Gen.32:25-26).  As an art student I recall working with clay, and as it turned on the wheel, conforming to the shaping by the pressure of my hands, it might start to unravel due to a piece of grit in the clay.  There was nothing to do, but to remove the dirt, break down the clay, and start anew.  God would do that to Jacob.  The grit of self-determination had to be removed.  Jacob had to be broken.  Of course, God is omnipotent—He could have obliterated Jacob.  God’s intent, however, for His stubborn child was not to condemn him, but to conform him.  He would defeat him and discipline him, but he would not destroy him.  When Jacob was crippled, his resistance was at an end.  God will bring us to the end of ourselves.  He will break us, if need be, but it is only to ultimately bless us.

So, there was the BLESSEDNESS THAT JACOB SOUGHT (Gen.32:27-32).  From a battler, Jacob became a beggar.  He acknowledges he is a beaten man, and that is the way to become a blessed man.  Remember how Mary’s alabaster box had to be broken before the sweet aroma could pervade the room, and the contents be lavished in love on her Lord?  That is what brokenness does!  It brings blessedness to our environment and is an expression of worship.  Jacob confessed his self-will in repeating his name—it was his confession of sin.  Until we are honest with ourselves and admit our desperate need, we will not experience all that God has for us.  Jacob would not only have his name changed, but it signified his nature was changed also—Israel who would not just be a recipient of God’s favor, but a river through which that grace would flow to all humanity.  Will we die to our desires, and embrace God’s design?  That is the blessedness of brokenness.

No comments: