|The Human Wrestling With God
Daily Devotions: by Christina Farris
I can not help but think of the wrestling of man with God. Jacob wrestle and his hip became injured by the touch of God. Something to note about the inner thigh was a place a man put a hand to make a solemn oath with each other. Abraham did so with his servant he sent to get Isaac a wife. It seems like a strange costume to us who makes a promise or oath to each other in a different ways, usually a contract comes to mind this morning. Yet the touch of the inner thigh and a divine promise and the power of God causing injury to Jacob. Jacob no doubt taken very little notice of God working in his life at the produce of offspring, or livestock. In fact Jacob had said at Bethel if you bring me back here again, he would worship God who gave him the vision of the angels descending and ascending into heaven. Jacob journey was a road that went up and down. His struggle with God was his own doing. He bought his brotherís birthright, because he wanted the things of God. Yet the things of God can not be bought. The blessings of God can not be won by human ability for spiritual blessing come from God and prosperity comes from the work of oneís own hands or inheritance. Prosperity can come with being blessed by God or accursed by God. One would not like to think of a person being accursed with prosperity, but if you are the devil and you rise up into wealth your wealth is vainglory/oneís own pride.
Is there anything wrong with pride only if it is in oneís self to the point it is hurting of others, and God is not in the picture. I am only reminded of how our leaders like to revel in the ideology of power and what they do even for nation. No one thinks about titles or words as being done in vainglory, only to note how and when something came about. Yet it the motivation behind these titles that can be done in vainglory and not in honor of God. A nation rising in vainglory will find themselves with out the blessings of God but the power of their own might and strength that God one day will cut off. Jacob wrestling perhaps was not against God in one since, but for the blessing of God in his life. Jacob understood the value of Godís blessing and the power of it. His desire to have God in his life only meant that he recognized the need of God in his life. He was a man of wealth and power, but fear the meeting of his brother who he bought his birthright from, and yet had to steal to get it. God blessed Jacob because Jacob knew the one in power, yet never wrestle with God physically until the very hour of darkness that came to him. Alone with his family across the river, he sought God in his mind perhaps. Maybe even quiet reflection of his call to worship God in Bethel and why he had run away from his family. The wrestling of the spirit to worship God as promised, and his desire was for God. God examining Jacob in the wrestling became a physical match of winning. With the physical match came the touch on Jacobís thigh that crippled him.
The running away from his family because he thought he could buy and steal blessings. God blessings exist in oneís life because of oneís own discourse with God/relationship with God. Jacob desire of blessing of God could not come by outward appearance of wealth. Yet it was a sign of God blessing to Jacob out of ignorance at Bethel. Perhaps as Jacob journeyed hope he seen how the devil had played him with two daughters. How his fatherís in laws wealth was not of God but of his own desire. Jacob father in law came chasing him not to see his daughters but to find his idols of stone. Rachel the wife of his heart had them hid from her father. Leah the wife of her fatherís choosing and tradition of first married, was of spiritual mindset. God cleansing the idolatry from Jacobís family, when they return to the Bethel. Jacob had to go through hardship to be able to return to his people but he did not leave without wealth. He was a man that was homesick for fourteen years working for the wife of his heart to only loose on his journey homeward.
Jacob wrestled with God perhaps over those events in his life, as he waited to re enter the promise land of Abraham. Jacob through his wrestle won the battle of his war with God, perhaps not a battle but more of a discussion. God touched Jacob hip showing his power to be in control. God showing Jacob, he was not in control and man could not mandate the things of God. Yet God still blessed Jacob before and after. Jacobís desire was never issue with God, yet Jacob had a lot to learn about spiritual part of faith and being outside the promise land. Israel struggles outside the promise land had to do with their faith. Being in a heathen world and not in a place of Godís laws.
When we receive Christ as Savior we are under the law of Holy Spirit, and yet we do not always obey the Holy Spirit when first beginning to walk in faith, or even in older years. One would think with learning first mistakes humans would not redo them, but it far from the truth. To be under the law of man means to be under traditions of the world and not the laws of God. Godís laws are spiritual and can be obeyed anywhere in the world. It is a life style and heart belief. It is choice to be good or evil, to show love or to show hate, and to worship God or to deny God.
Israel laws came by the will of man even going to the promise land. Only ten laws were written by Godís own hand. Yet other laws were established to govern a godly people by. A standard set for the believers of faith. A standard set and divided when Israel asked for a king like other nations. Desire for devilĎs rule verses GodĎs rules. God authority and power was shown in the lives of the kings. Saul true faith is seen when God removes his Spirit from him. If Saul had obeyed, Saul would have had Godís blessing.
The wrestling of power of God in manís life continued on in Israel history and continues in the heart of every believer. The devil believes and trembles but his ways are not of God. Man fears God with belief, but perhaps not enough to obey God always. Testing the ways of God with trickery or deceit. Everyone sins no matter how strong faith they have at sometime or another. Yet their worship of God is never changed in the heart of a child of God. The devil does not worship God. Jacob had no problem getting rid of idols, but lost his wife of his heart. Jacob wrestling was more then just simple one night, but journey that continues on. Jacob prevailed in the wrestling with a sign God still was in control and in power but it hurts at times. Man choice to obey God or disobey God, either way God still in control.
Dear Heavenly our human nature is to wrestle with your ways though we do not understand, our heart need to be to worship you and to desire your ways. In Jesus precious name, Amen.