The Blessing of Jacob

Genesis 32

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Jacob, who had received the birthright blessing from his father Isaac, fled from his brother Esau’s fury and stayed in the house of Laban, his mother’s brother, working for him. He decided to return to his hometown, but he was afraid that his brother would still be angry with him. So, just before he returned to Canaan, he sent messengers ahead to find out the situation. When they came back, they said that Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred men. Jacob was in great fear, and he earnestly prayed that God would help him return to his home safely as He had promised.

That same night, Jacob got his family with all his possessions across the ford of the Jabbok ahead of him. As he was left alone, a man appeared to him. Jacob wrestled with the man till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.1 However, Jacob would not let him go.

1. Socket of hip: The thigh bone, extending from the pelvis to the stifle, which is the largest bone in our body. We can imagine how painful it must have been for Jacob when the socket of his thigh was dislocated.

“Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Jacob’s attitude was resolute.

“What is your name?”

“Jacob.”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,2 because you have struggled with God and have overcome.”

2. Israel: It means “one who struggled with God and prevailed.”

We have to be clothed with God’s blessings in order to finish our journey of faith safely amid all kinds of hardships and temptations, just before we enter the kingdom of heaven. Until we receive the blessings, let us endure patiently no matter what hardships befall us, like Jacob who earnestly asked God for His blessing, even enduring the extreme pain of his hip being wrenched out of its socket.

Perseverance grows in the hope for heaven. To those who earnestly hope for heaven, who have patience to overcome any hardships, the blessings of God will come and the door of the glorious heavenly kingdom will be opened.