Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday, January 11th: Genesis 32-34 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 32-34

This verse in Jacob's prayer jumped out at me....
Genesis 32:10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant.

We are not worthy.  God does not chose us because of who we are but because of who He is.  We are not worthy.  There is nothing we can do to make God love us.  We can only love Him because He loved us first.  It is all God.  His love.  His faithfulness.  His mercy.  His forgiveness.  His saving grace.  His power.  His strength.  It's all Him.

I've never really understood the portion where Jacob wrestles with God.  But I read a great article that shed some light on it for me and I wanted to quote a portion of it for you....

As I began reading through my Bible this year, I came across this little verse tucked away right after Jacob’s wrestling match:

And he set up an altar there and called it “God, the God of Israel” (Genesis 33:20).

Do you see it? Right after Jacob—now known as Israel—wrestles with God, he built an altar and called it the “God of Israel.”

Still missing my point? Let me take you back to a few passages before the divine wrestling match.

Yahweh was standing there beside him, saying, “I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac…” (Genesis 28:13).

Notice anything? Let’s try another one:

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly' (Genesis 32:9).

How about now? Here’s yet another one:

If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed… (Genesis 31:42).

There is a common thread throughout these passages: God is the God of Abraham. God is the God of Isaac. But, it does not say that God is the God of Israel until after he wrestled with God.

You see, until Jacob had a divine wrestling match with God—until he had a very personal struggle with God—his faith was not cemented. It was not his own. Yes, he knew of his father’s faith. He had most definitely heard the stories of his grandfather’s faith. But, he was only living his faith vicariously through their faith; it had not been solidified in his life.

We find a similar sentiment in the book of Job. After literally losing everything—his kids, his wealth, his health—and spending untold hours arguing with God and his friends, Job finally sees things from God’s perspective. He says this:

I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5).
This was Jacob's moment.  This was when faith became a reality in life.

Have you wrestled with God and made your faith your own?  Has He touched you, like He touched Jacob's hip, and changed you forever?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Genesis 35-37


Conrad said...

That same verse in Genesis 32 stood to me as well.

I also never really grasped the whole Jacob wrestling with God thing before either, so thank you for sharing the insight you discovered.

Nathan Reimer said...

I like this point from the blog:
It is all God. His love. His faithfulness. His mercy. His forgiveness. His saving grace. His power. His strength. It's all Him

A good reminder again that it's all about Him, not us. We need to surrender to Him, I need to remind myself of this daily to keep on track.

Miriam said...

Thanks for sharing the portion of the article about Jacob wrestling with God. That really gives some insight into that passage.

Tyson said...

I too have never quite understood the wrestling with God part but have always found it quote interesting, so it was great to hear someone's thoughts about it

Emma Reimer said...

I also didn't notice that that was the part where Jacob made his faith his own. And now he had a sore hip to always remember! I wonder if he ever led others to God because they asked about his limping?

Pamela said...

Great insight, thanks for sharing! In our Sunday School class about things that things that bring us into a relationship with God, one of the things was "pivotal circumstances" and this would definitely be Jacob's pivotal circumstance. We want our children to grown in their own relationship God and not believe that our faith is transferable to them just because we, as parents, are believers. We don't know what God will use in their lives to draw them to Him.