In our discussions about Jesus, the instances referred to Him as “The Angel of the Lord.” There are also instance that He appears and is described differently. In some cases, we are not sure it is actually Jesus, or God the Father, or The Holy Spirit, but there are some clues and there is a good indication that it is Jesus. Regardless, we know it is God and it does point to our Savior, The Messiah, Jesus Christ. In each case, there is a lesson for us. One lesson that is common throughout scripture, is to trust in the Lord.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
If we turn to Him we will be blessed. This does not mean we will become rich and God will give us all kinds of material things. But we will be content with what we have. That He will provide for our needs. The main point of the Psalm is not about us; it is about God Almighty. It is about trusting Him because He is good and He is God.
Jacob had a hard time learning this lesson. He often tried to take things into his own hands and often cheated his way to get what he wanted. He did that with the birthright of his older brother, Esau, he did it with his uncle Laban. But, God had a plan for him and he made a promise to Abraham to increase his descendants and bless the world through him and his descendants. I think because of the paths that Jacob chose by doing things his own way instead of trusting God, God was going to make it harder on Jacob so that he would realize that he would be blessed if he would just turn to Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
In this story, Jacob meets Jesus. He wrestles with Him and wants to be blessed by Him. I think there is a couple lessons in this story for us. One, I think we need to stop fighting with Him and allow Him to work in us. If you allow Christ in your life to work in you, He will bless you and He will give you all good things. Second, the story teaches us persistence. Don’t give up; God does answer prayers. Always continue to pray.
And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But he said, “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.”
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
Jacob wrestled with God. He would not let Jesus go. He clung to Him. It is good to cling to Jesus and never give up, but we must allow Him to work in us and not to fear. We must trust in Him because he knows what is best and He loves us and will make all things work together for good. When I went to Haiti on a mission trip, we did several fundraisers. I worked hard to bring in the funds needed. It seemed like nothing was working. But when I left it in His hands, I ended up receiving more than ever before, we met our goal and more. Whatever you may be going through, give it to Him. Trust in the Lord.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.
As we have need, let us turn to Him. Pray often. Have faith. Don’t worry. He loves you and will take care of you. Paul says, “pray without ceasing.” Do not give up on your petitions to God. He will give you all you need. He hears your prayers.
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'”
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Have faith. Don’t worry. He loves you and will take care of you. He may not give you exactly what you want, but he always gives you what you need, and it may be something better than what you ask for.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.