I find the story of Jacob very interesting because until he wrestled with God and submitted to Him, he connived and manipulated his way into trying to become the person God had already said he was. Before Jacob was born, a prophecy had gone forth that the older would serve the younger but Jacob did not allow God work through him to bring this to pass in God’s own way rather he tried to get the blessing by his own wisdom
Jacob came from a distinguished family, his grandfather was known as the friend of God while his father was the long awaited child of promise and when his mother was pregnant with him it was prophesied that he would lead his brother, which by implication means that he would be the one to lay hold of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.
He was his mother’s favourite which to me means she would have constantly told him about the prophecy, and not seeing how getting the right of the firstborn come to him, Jacob “bought” Esau’s birthright with a piece of bread and a stew of lentils.
When it was time for the blessing, Jacob got the blessing through deceit. We see a pattern in Jacob’s life, he got all he wanted through his own power and totally disregarding the place of God.
When we get to the 32nd chapter of Genesis, we see a man in trouble; he had literally come to the end of himself. The last thing he heard from his brother was a death threat and now this brother was coming to meet him. Guess what Jacob did? He arranged his family and assets into groups thinking that if Esau attacks, he would not lose everything because the other group would escape.
Then Jacob prayed and after the prayer, he still continued with what he intended to do; so the prayer was more like one of the available options. But after years of struggling with God, Jacob, the supplanter, wrestled with God.
At the end of this encounter with God, God knocked Jacob’s hip out of the joint and he walked with a limp from that time on. I read something interesting about the hip joint, its primary function is to support the weight of the body in both static and dynamic postures. We find similar situations all around us today. As Christians, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ, we have received the blessing of Abraham but like Jacob, many of us still struggle.
I have been a Christian for all of my adult life but I had never really known God for myself. I had spent most of my time struggling with who I really am, trying to get things done my own way and knowing God as the God of other people but not really as mine.
Like Jacob, I have walked in my strength for the better part of my life and everything was a product of my strength. But I too got the point of wrestling with God when life overwhelmed me and it was as if I could not go on anymore, I had my own Esau in front of me and the calculations were just not adding up. I wrestled with God and now, I am no longer that person I used to be; my hip has been knocked out of joint and now my heart is finally resting in God.
Thoughts to ponder on
Jacob tried to control his way into the blessing of Abraham, so he manipulated people. God did not create us to handle life in our strength, He wants to lead and guide us by His Spirit.
Maybe you want that perfect spouse that would complete you, or you want a child that would make your life perfect or you feel that the only way to get what you want is by manipulating people.
You are already complete in Christ and you have been given all that you would ever need for this life. You just need to step out in faith, walk in the assurance that this is true.