BLESSING WITHOUT WRESTLING
Jacob came out of the womb as a supplanter or usurper. He went out of the womb holding firmly unto the heel of his brother, Esau. From birth, Jacob had his eyes on the birthright of his brother. Although he wrestled for it in the womb and could not get it, yet he would not give up.
Eventually, Jacob wrestled the firstborn’s blessing out of Esau’s hand, for Esau despised his birthright and sold it to satisfy the craving of his flesh. But afterward, “when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.” (Heb. 12:17 NKJV).
Esau lost a generational blessing for a fleeting pleasure!
What a great lesson for us today!
After Jacob had received the blessing of the firstborn deceitfully, he had to flee to his uncle Laban in Padan Aram from the face of Esau, who had sworn to kill him.
In Laban’s house, Jacob also had to wrestle for everything. First, Jacob wrestled for his wife, Rachel. He lost the first round, for Laban deceived him into marrying Leah, Rachel’s sister.
However, as his manner was, Jacob would not give up; he wrestled again for another seven years and won Rachel, whom he dearly loved (Gen. 29:21-29).
But Jacob’s wrestling was far from over in Laban’s house; he still had to wrestle with Laban over his livestock and over leaving Laban’s house with his family and great possession. Jacob never knew true peace, for there was always one wrestling after another in his life and home.
On Jacob’s way back to his father’s house, he was terrified and distressed when the messengers informed him that his brother Esau was on his way to meet him with four hundred men.
Jacob remembered vividly how he had defrauded and deprived his brother of his blessing as the firstborn. He knew well that the time had come for him to receive the wages of his sin, which is death, for Esau hated him and had sworn to kill him any day he set his eyes on him.
Having sent over the brook all that he had, Jacob was left alone for his final wrestling. Only that this time around, the wrestling was not with any man but with God Himself, and in this wrestling, Jacob can neither cheat nor lie; he must be his authentic self.
Jacob’s wrestling with God offers him a divine opportunity for repentance and transformation. Jacob was wise enough to seize the opportunity tenaciously.
While wrestling with God for the first time in his life, Jacob humbly admitted that he was a fraudster, a supplanter, and a deceiver.
Moreover, Jacob firmly held unto God and passionately sought for God’s blessing, saying, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Gen. 32:26-28 NKJV).
That night marked the death of Jacob (a supplanter) and the birth of Israel (a righteous prince).
God is still in the business of transforming lives today!
Having been transformed by God, Israel (former Jacob) met Esau, his brother, with confidence. Esau could not kill the new man, Israel (the righteous prince), for the sin of the old man, Jacob (the supplanter).
As a result of his divine transformation, Jacob escaped the wages of his sins (death) and received a generational blessing from God. Hallelujah!
Unlike Jacob, the New Testament believers don’t need to wrestle or struggle with God today to earn, gain, or deserve His love, acceptance, favor, or blessing or experience any divine transformation or salvation. Why?
Because Christ, by His death, had abolished the enmity between the holy God and sinful man once and for all!
Apostle Paul reveals this truth in his epistles.
Romans 5:8-11 – NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Colossians 1:19-22 – NKJV
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–
As a believer in Christ, you are unconditionally, wholeheartedly, and eternally loved, accepted, saved, favored, and blessed by God.
Therefore, you don’t need to wrestle any miracle or blessing out of your loving heavenly Father’s hands; all things are now yours in Christ.
Paul amply states this truth in his epistles.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23 – NKJV
21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come–all are yours.
23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Ephesians 1:3-6 – NKJV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
All that it takes today for any sinner, deceiver, fraudster, or supplanter (Jacob) to become a righteous prince and heir of God’s blessing (Israel) is to believe in and confess Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour (Rom. 10:8-10, Acts 16:30-31).
No matter whom you have been or what you have done in life, the instant you put your faith in the person of Jesus and His finished work of redemption and confess the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you will be transformed into a new creation by the operation of the Holy Spirit and thus become a joint heir with Christ.
Paul clearly states this truth.
“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17 RSV).
“Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Gal. 4:7 NKJV).
“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29 NKJV).
As a new creation, just like Israel, you have been ultimately redeemed from the wages of your sins (past, present, and future).
Just like Esau had no right or power to punish, hurt, kill, or destroy Israel for the sins of Jacob, the devil has no right or authority to punish, hurt, kill, or destroy the new creation for the sins of the old man. Why?
Because Christ has borne your sins in His own body on the cross!
Isaiah prophesied about this long before it happened.
Isaiah 53:1-6 – NKJV
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Peter, an eyewitness, also testifies to this truth.
1 Peter 2:
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJV).
Likewise, Paul by revelation states this truth in his epistle to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – NKJV
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Beloved, as a new creation (Israel), you are not supposed to expect, receive, embrace, or experience any form of the wages of the sins of the old man (Jacob) – condemnation, guilt, sorrow, sickness, infirmity, poverty, failure, or a curse.
The old man is dead; it is now the new man living in you. This new man is not a slave but a king and priest unto God (Rev. 5:10).
Therefore, arise today with righteous confidence to walk in God’s favor and blessing every day of your life as a righteous prince with God, an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17).