Being Broken

Long press Ctrl+Click this link to listen Genesis 32 from BibleGateway.com
He touched Jacob's hip and wrenched it out of its socket (v.25)

"It was all about me." So says a good friend of mine who uses those words to describe his life before Christ. As a young man, his musical talent had taken him on a ride of pride—basking in the accolades and drinking deep of pleasures that often come with popularity. 

But then came the day when it all fell apart. His marriage. His facade. His propped-up ego. Before the blistering, white-hot holiness of God, he fell down on his knees and called out for mercy. he was finally broken.

Jacob had a similar experience. Just prior to entering the land that had been promised to his people (Genesis 15:7), he entered into a wrestling match with an angel of God (Genesis 32:24). Struggles were nothing new for Jacob, for he had struggled with his brother (Genesis 25, 27), his father (Genesis 27), and his father-in-law (Genesis 29-31). Now he was struggling for a blessing from God (Genesis 32:26).

The gloom of his lifetime of battling others was matched by the darkness of his overnight encounter with the angel (Genesis 32:24). Exhausted, sweating, poured out, Jacob tried one last time to overpower his attacker at daybreak. But the angel "touched Jacob's hip and wrenched it out of its socket" (Genesis 32:25). Wounded and broken, Jacob clung to the angel and cried out for a blessing from God.

He was finally broken and ready to receive what he had tried to gain by his own means. The angel said his name would now be Israel, no longer Jacob (Genesis 32:28). And now he was ready to enter the land that God had promised to the Israelites. 

Jacob's new name (Israel) showed that, through his encounter with God's power, he had learned humility and genuine faith.

Are you struggling with God? Fall down before Him and repent in brokenness. Being broken leads to blessings. 

—Tom Felten

Psalm 51:8-9

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