The Best Blessing!
“I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
After tricking his dad into the blessing that belonged to his brother and spending over 20 years running from the consequences, Jacob, the grandson of Abraham finds himself returning to his homeland to face his past and his brother. On the journey home, he gets attacked in the night, not by an angry brother but by a loving God. Wrestling with the angel of the Lord cannot be an easy task, but Jacob holds his own until daybreak when his worthy opponent touches his hip and it comes out of joint - ouch! Now, Jacob is exhausted, hurting and desperate. Instead of continuing to fight, he puts a bear hold on the angel and refuses to let go without a blessing. He deceives for the first blessing, he pleads for the second.
This event marks the turning point in Jacob’s life. He finally lets go of self and clings to the power of God to run his life. God changes his name to Israel and establishes him as the father of a mighty nation. Jacob’s deceitful ways had worked from a human perspective. He had family, possessions and respect. What he didn’t have was the blessing of God. He was hanging on to his own ability to make life work and missing the connection that hanging on to God brings. God blessed him but he walked with a limp the rest of his life. Every time he put weight on that leg he remembered, I am weak but He is strong!
Many of us, like Jacob, struggle with the poor choices of our past. We often allow them to control us and define us. It is God’s desire that we experience the same thing that Jacob did, the reality of a new identity. The good news for us is that Jesus did the wrestling for us. His agonizing death on the cross paid the price for our deceitful past and gave us a new righteous identity which we can chose to live out of every day. We are not waiting around for God to bless us, He has already blessed us. We just have to choose to walk in the truth of that blessing!