It seems that when all is going well, people tend to accept the status-quo. However, when life turns upside down and the wheels fall off–then we start planning, praying and wrestling with God. Such was the case with Jacob. He had been in the employ of his uncle/Father-in-Law for the last 20 years. He had 2 wives, 2 maidservant wives and 11 kids. God blessed him with tremendous wealth in livestock and supplies and he literally had the world by the tail. Then, things turned dark at Uncle Laban’s and it was time to go home. As he approached the land of his youth, his brother–from whom he stole the birthright and blessing–heard of his approach, and sent 400 men to meet him, there stood Jacob, upside-down and wheeless!!
Jacob did what we do, he wrestled with God, his promises and his plans. Jacob and God wrestled through the night, then at daybreak, God blessed Jacob–he changed the man he was–“The Deceiver”, to the “Chosen man of God”–Israel! From that time until now, Israel has been distinguished from all other peoples; just as Jacob had been set apart from all other dads. Israel was now the patriarch of a nation–not simply a father of a rag-tag family.
Like Jacob, we also find that, in the times when we are most dependent upon God for our very survival–we tend to have our greatest impact. It is when we can focus on God–not on ourselves and/or what we possess, that we can see him bless us in ways the world could never imagine. It is not that we should pray to be turned upside down, it is simply learning to look to him first and always when those times come. Then as we seek him and his blessing, understand, that is what he wanted to do all along. In Psalms 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord–and he will give you the desires of your heart!” Israel would soon see, no truer verse had ever been written!
God Bless You
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.