Reading: Genesis 32-34 (ESV)
Devotional Thought: Genesis 32:22-32
22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 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 as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, Let me go, for the day has broken. But Jacob said, I will not let you go unless you bless me. 27 And he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. 28 Then he said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. 29 Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, Why is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. 30 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. 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
I’ve always found this story from the life of Jacob interesting. What stands out to me is the degree in which Jacob was willing to go in order to receive his blessing from the Lord. And while he did in fact receive his blessing, he also received a predominant reminder of the process to receive it.
It’s interesting to me that sometimes we view blessings as something entitled to us; something that we deserve because of this or that. The fact of the matter is, God may choose to bless whom he desires and at which time he desires; all in spite of what we may believe about the situation. Then there is the reality of Jacob’s limp; his reminder of his encounter with God. What is your personal limp? Do you look upon it as a sign of the blessing or as some annoyance that you must put up with. Isn’t it so easy for us to demand our blessing and when we receive it take it for granted, or grumble about it.
The challenge for me is two-fold. One, I need to be more engaged in receiving the blessings of life the Lord has in store for me; rather than sitting back expecting them to come my way. Secondly, I need to work to more properly align my thinking toward the “reminders” God has placed in my life that serve as a testimony to the blessings he’s afforded me. While not always easy, nor of my human nature, I do believe it’ll be well worth my time and energy to try hard to accomplish these two tasks.