Genesis 32: 22-32
Tuesday, 29 November 2022
“And the sun rose upon him as he passed over Penuel, and he limped upon his thigh.” -Genesis 32:31
The chapter starts with the assurance of God’s protection for Jacob as he meets the angels of God on his way back to his homeland (Vs.1). Jacob had great fear as he approached the land of Canaan in anticipation of meeting his brother Esau, who he heard was on the way to meet him with 400 men. As his fears grew, Jacob prays to the Lord acknowledging his unworthiness before God (Vs.9-10). It is here we see him surrendering his life to God’s hands.
But none of these things assured his heart as his fears grew and finally after sending everyone across the ford of Jabbok, Jacob was left alone (Vs.22-23). This is where our reading starts from and we see a man wrestling with Jacob until the breaking of day (V.24). The real transformation in Jacobs’s life begins. When we empty ourselves, and give place to Jesus Christ we can see great changes happen in our lives. Let us see the what happened to Jacob in his encounter relating it to our spiritual journey:
1. A Wrestling with God (Vs.24&25)- Beyond the physical wrestling, it is written in Hosea 12: 3-4 “..when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him.” His deeper cry and pleading towards God was nothing less than earnest prayer and total surrender. Today when we approach Him in prayer, the first thing should be nothing but a real humility to seek His face.
2. An Experience of God (Vs.25-30)- Jacob understood the Lord by experience- he saw Him (Vs.30:"For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.") A touch from the angel caused Jacob’s thigh to be out of joint. The one touch brought a permanent change.We also see Jacob engage in a beautiful conversation with the God that made a marked difference in Jacobs’s life. Bringing it down to our lives, have our inner eyes been opened to “see” God? Have we received His touch in our lives? Do we talk to Him daily in prayer?- we can approach the throne of grace boldly to talk to our Father (Heb.4:16). Ps.34: 8: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” As we humbly give ourselves to Him, surely we will experience Him in our daily lives.
3. A Name Change (V.28):- From a person who deceived others, a great transformation came into Jacob’s life— his name changed from Jacob to the “Prince of God.” The changes were visible through a lifetime. Through Jesus Christ we also have received the name change from ‘sinner’ to “Justified person” from being an enemy to “child of God.”
4. A Receiving of Blessing (V.29):- Before he received the blessing, Jacob was a physically wealthy person. But here he received spiritual blessings and confidence in abundance. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” (Eph.1:3).
5. A Remembrance for a lifetime (Vs.31-32)- Jacob’s limp remained with him as a reminder of his encounter, he could no longer move like the old Jacob. A total change, a real transformation was visible in all areas of his life and reflected in his generations too. 2Cor.5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
As a child of God we have received a great number of treasures only through Jesus Christ. It’s not to keep with us, God has assigned each of us to share this love and joy with others. Our transformation will impact others so that they too become partakers of eternal life. May God strengthen us to do so.
Prayer:- “LORD help me to impact others through the transformation you made in my life— I want carry that light to many for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen”