My brother, my sister, as we read today’s meditation, may the Lord open our eyes to the essential of His Gospel, for we all have one thing in common: the ‘Lord bless me’ prayer. Yes, this prayer is in every believer’s mouth or heart. Do you know that God has already blessed us? Yet many are still experiencing hard or hopeless lives, sometimes because of our own shortcomings. God promised us many good things just like he did to Jacob, but sometimes things seem not to work. Why? Because most of the time we do things our own way! Today let’s understand this through the story of Jacob.
Jacob had deceived many people, including Isaac his father and Esau his twin brother. Jacob had found a shortcut to access blessings in his life, like most of us do when they don’t want to wait on the Lord’s blessings. After deceiving his brother Esau, Jacob thought he could reconcile with him by sending him a gift, but to his great disappointment he found out that Esau was on his way with 400 men to avenge. My friend, do you in some extent identify yourself with Jacob, trying to take shortcuts to gain blessings?
Now, why does God want to break us before blessing us ? First of all, because He Himself does not use shortcuts, tricks or shameful means to bless us (verses 1-6). God is not going to hide to bless us either, for it is before our enemies that He would do it: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). Yes, those who cursed you or thought you will never succeed will witness God’s pouring His blessing in your life in the name of Jesus! Secondly, God breaks us to make us whole again (verses 7-12). You see, Jacob thought he was smart and successful. He had used his intellect to deceive men and gain blessings in form of material prosperity. But in the eyes of God he was nothing, he had nothing. Probably, Jacob continued to worship God just because of his own selfish motives. May be he was playing with God also, just as he played with men. How many of us do the same? However God cannot be mocked. And Jacob, deep down in him, knew the truth, which was he needed God’s blessings.
My friend, God is generous and He does not look at our past when we truly come back to Him. He did not reproach Jacob of his past… but for Jacob to get His blessings from Him, Jacob had to wrestle and the Lord needed to bring Jacob into his knees because He wanted to make him whole again, a spiritually restored man in order to prepare him for the future. But you can make something whole again only when it is damaged or broken, isn’t it? We need to recall that this is a time when Jacob was being chased by the men he had deceived… Does it not sound like what most of us do? Like Jacob, we remember and often begin to earnestly seek God when we are faced with illness, danger, etc or when we realise our futility has prevented us from accessing His blessings. Thus, Jacob started to pray and seek God’s help.
You see, the biggest mistake we can make at times like this is to blame the system or those around us, or think that what’s happening is unfair. Let’s look at Jacob: he realised that he was wrong and did the right thing by returning and submitting himself to God’s authority. And this is the main secret about the broken hip: sometimes God uses a man to break us. That person can be anyone (a loved one, a collegue, your pastor, a child, etc.).Yes, many great men in the Bible were broken by God before they became great. The same, Jacob had to be broken and made whole again before he could enjoy God’s blessings. WHy? Because, if God allowed him to enjoy His blessings without changing him, he could have committed much worse sins in the future, because he was already known as a deceiver. It’s the same about you and me. God wants to break us and make us whole again. If God blessed us while we are not ready, the same blessings can bring our own destruction.
Now, let’s look at what happens when we are broken. The fact is, when we are broken we do seek God (verses 12-31). That is what makes people who have material possessions in this world think that they do not need God and only the needy need Him. My friend, remember that, Jacob was not in need of material possessions! Jacob was rich, but Esau was seeking to kill him. Yes, Jacob had huge problems that took away his peace! So, he turned to God and wrestled with a man, the angel of God, till daybreak and his hip was wrenched (verses 22-29). Can you imagine what followed? The man asked Jacob to let him go… But Jacob replied “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (verse 26). How do you react when asking God for a blessing. Do you wrestle until you get it, or you pray once or twice, then you continue to sleep waiting for the answer you expect to fall like the manna one day? Isn’t it interesting? The man who grabbed property, women, blessings, wealth now grabs God and demands His part of the blessings.
Our God is generous and so much willing to bless us abundantly. If, like Jacob, you have been chasing just material blessings, now is the time to grab God, and seek spiritual blessings from Him. When you seek after spiritual blessings, material blessings will follow: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). But also, most of the time, God will first have to break you, because God sees what you don’t see. He knows what is best for you. May be you have been used to shortcuts. There are no shortcuts to receive God’s blessing. God has predefined the way He will bless His children. You cannot change it. You have to make a choice: whether to go through the hard way and be blessed by Him or attempt the more comfortable way and suffer loss like Jacob who lost his peace because he attempted the more comfortable way. Finally, through the hard path where his hip was first wrenched, we ended up winning by accessing what God had laid out for him. Jacob’s story should be a great reminder to us all that we should never give priority to blessings but to the One who blesses. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.