Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. (
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.
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.