The Blessing of the Lord

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
When the day began to break, Jacob asked the Lord to bless him. For a long time he had been taking things into his own hands, trying to work out his own plans, but now at last he seeks blessing from the Lord. How good to know that “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:2222The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)). Too often we try to get blessing in paths of our own choosing, and the Lord has to allow something like this wrestling with Jacob to make us see that His ways are best for us.
Worship and Fellowship
Jacob’s thigh went out of joint while wrestling, and for the rest of his life he was lame — he “halted upon his thigh.” However, there is something very beautiful in what God tells us about him in Hebrews 11:2121By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. (Hebrews 11:21). “By faith Jacob when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worship­ped, leaning upon the top of his staff.” Jacob never forgot what happened at Peniel, for it taught him dependence, and he had to lean on the top of his staff; but in that position he could be what he never had been in Padan-aram — a worshipper.
Peniel means “the face of God,” and there are two important points here which we should notice. First Jacob had to get to Peniel before he could get to Bethel. When a believer has left the assembly where the Lord has placed His Name, it often takes some time for him to get back, and he must be restored in soul to the Lord — must be before “the face of God” alone, before he can get back with the Lord’s people (at Bethel, the house of God) in happy fellowship again.
God Made Known
This brings us to the second point. Jacob asked the Lord to tell him His Name, but the Lord did not do so, though He did bless him, saying that Jacob’s name was to be called Israel (a prince). Jacob was not yet in the place where God could make Himself known to him, and though the daybreak came, and a blessing with it, there were still some lessons to be learned of God’s abundant grace, and of the wretchedness of self, before God could tell Jacob His own Name. It is well to have these things clearly before us, for God delights to bless His people, but we often hinder the blessing by thinking more of our own honor than of God’s glory, which must always come first in all His ways.
No doubt after Jacob had met Esau, he would say something similar to the lines written by a dear sister in the Lord many years ago.
He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of my tears.
Poor Jacob’s heart had been filled with doubts and fears as he thought of meeting his brother Esau, but how wonderful is the grace of God. No one can do any harm to His people, or even speak an unkind word to them unless the Lord allows it. He can make even our enemies to be at peace with us when our ways please Him (Proverbs 16:77When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)), or He can stir up adversaries if there is a needs-be (1 Kings 11:14, 23). It is all as He sees best, and the great thing for us to do is to be exercised that our ways are pleasing to the Lord and then to confidently leave all in His hands.
Further Meditation
1. What did Jacob learn from what happened at Peniel?
2. Simple dependence on the Lord is a wonderful lesson to learn. The Lord Jesus as a man showed a wonderful dependence on God His Father. How does the story in Luke 4 showcase the Lord’s complete dependence?
3. You might find the short article Dependence by F. G. Burkitt found at bibletruthlibrary.org to be quite helpful to you. You can navigate to the page for that author and then select this article taken from Christian Truth.