“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of dawn…I will not let thee go, except thou bless me (Ge.32:24-26).”
Often there are certain events in our lives that define us. For a child of God the day you surrender your life to God and accept Jesus Christ as your Redeemer Lord it marks what you are. You are translated for ‘heavenly places (Ep.2:6)’All that went before has been preparing for it. You might have heard the call while you were at a revival meeting or any other.
God has infinite agencies at His disposal. While your parents at the baptism vouch over your Christian living does anyone think God has not heard the call on your behalf? Hannah’s prayer over Samuel to lend him in God’s service was not in vain. He was a child of promise. Similarly when we make certain of our salvation by confession we have defined what we are. We are the children of promise. Gods promise to Abraham has come to us through His Son. The same God, the same promise. There was nothing accidental about events however ordinary it might seem, before or after.
God let Jacob bring out his natural passions and inclinations that are human in his natural environment but as a child of promise he has another aspect: he has a day of reckoning with God.
God’s claim on him was begun before birth, and not loosened for all his rascality. He could brazenly stand before his father pretending to be Esau but chains of events that had brought his grandfather out of Haran were still in a flux and God was in charge. He visited him in dreams and visions to encourage him. While he had to come to grips with consequences of his action, of which as we had discussed necessitated his sojourn in the House of Laban. We read that it was God who urged him to go back to where he had come from. Jacob just as he fled from Esau, and the scripture describes it thus,- ‘Jacob stole away unawares’ with his two wives sons and all his goods. However Laban and his party went after him in haste. God did not let it go unheeded and He warned Laban ‘Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad (31:24).’ One may wonder why considering that Rachel had stolen her father’s gods, and Jacob had no inkling of it He did not take Rachel to task. (Intent of the Spirit is to instruct us and the position of Jacob in divine Will is the focus. As for the gods of Laban it was a matter between him and his daughter who nursed a sense of injury that he had defrauded her (Ge.31:15) and it is not germane to the narrative at this point.)
It was time for God to confront Jacob. When it came the Spirit tells us that it was ‘until the breaking of the day.’ Jacob had wrestled with his failings and prevailed over them; At the breaking of dawn God accepts him as the one who prevailed with Him as well. As children of promise we need focus upon whom we have entrusted our souls. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn.1:9).”
What separates a person as child of promise from his carnal nature is the core value of a Christian. It is faith. Walk of Jacob revealed a marked difference before and after God named him Israel. It is also significant to note that God named him as Israel but confirmed it later (Ge.35.10)
We have been adopted to the family of God where Jesus Christ is the first born from the dead. Our confirmation comes with death. Till then we hold on to faith which changes us from within to walk not after our former conversation but as pilgrims and not so entangled with conforming to the world again. ‘I am among them but not one of them’ is my credo.