January 11, 2017

January 11, 2017

GENESIS 32-34

Focus Verse: “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.”

Genesis 32:10

Now, if you read the entire Bible-in-a-year excerpt for today, you’re scratching your head. I chose this as the focus verse instead of something from where Jacob wrestles with God!?! Why on earth wouldn’t I talk about that?

Well, it’s not because I’ve gone hipster and only focus on obscure passages…so you can breathe easy. Here’s why I chose this passage: I firmly believe that this verse is pivotal in what happens next where Jacob wrestles with God.

People love to analyze how Jacob wrestles with God. How he never gives up, even through intense pain. How desperate he is for God’s blessings. We have to be very careful though. If that’s as far as we take it, we miss the whole point of the passage…the whole point of the Bible.

Jacob wrestling with God can very quickly become a story of conquering your biggest fears, much like David vs. Goliath, if we aren’t careful. But if that’s what we come away with, we aren’t reading it correctly. We aren’t connecting it back to the Gospel.

That’s why this verse is so important. Here in verse 10, we find the all important reason “why”. Why is Jacob so desperate for God’s blessing? Why, on the night before Jacob is supposed to meet his brother Esau for the first time since he stole Esau’s blessing (pretty much taking away Esau’s future), is Jacob staying up all night wrestling some guy?

The answer is verse 10. For the first time in his life, Jacob saw himself as he really was – a sinner saved by grace. For the first time in his life, Jacob realized exactly how dependent he was on the kindness and faithfulness of God. So why was Jacob so desperate for God? Because he realized how spiritually poor he was.

There is a reason Jesus starts the Beatitudes with “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Because that’s where the Gospel starts. We must first realize how poor we are, how dependent we are on the love and grace of God, and that there is nothing we can do to earn that love and grace, that it all is a free gift from God.

Once that is established, we gain what we need to “wrestle with God”. We become a new person, which in Jacob was evident by God changing his name to Israel. We are cleansed thoroughly through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and can say “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

Jacob didn’t know it yet, but the only reason He could stand in God’s presence and live, was because Christ would die for him to give him that ability. The only reason Jacob could hold on to God until God blessed him was because Jesus held on to the cross until God blessed US. NOT HIM…US!

And now, because of our faith in Jesus, we can hold on to Him. We may get tired, there may be pain, but through Christ we can hold firm and receive His ultimate blessing: eternity with our amazing Savior.

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