“Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.”
Sometimes it is tempting to view crises as unneeded and unwanted intrusions in our life! We may very well find ourselves asking the Lord, “Why me?” We can lose sight of the fact the Lord often uses such events to disable our natural abilities as a reminder that the same One who has called us now lives in us to accomplish all to which He has called us! Often times our greatest need is for the Lord to touch us with that “disabling” touch. That was certainly true for Jacob as he wrestled with “a man” in Genesis 32:24.
I want to visit with you about two things that happened to him after the angel (see Hosea 12:3-4) touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh, so that the socket of his thigh was dislocated (Gen. 32:25b). First, he now walked with a limp as a daily reminder of his dependence on God! He no longer was free to function as his birth name implied=Supplanter; Heel-grabber; Deceiver. He would now walk (live) as a man completely dependent on the Lord! No longer was he free to live by the credo, “The end justifies the means!” He would now live his life and serve the Lord relying on the Lord’s daily supply of His guidance and strength!
Secondly, his limp would be a daily reminder of not only his dependence on God, but a reminder of the Lord’s continual presence in his life! The ultimate ‘success’ of his life and ministry would no longer rest on his talent, his abilities, his resourcefulness, his ANYTHING! His fruitfulness in life and ministry would forever be linked to the faithfulness of God to never leave him, or forsake him…to be with him always, even to the end of the age!
A new Marine recruit was puzzled to be ordered to hold his food tray a certain way when standing in the chow line, even when he was chastised for not having his hands on the tray in the proper place. It wasn’t until later when he was issued his weapon that he learned he was to hold his weapon in the same way. Unknown to him, he was being prepared for future encounters with the enemy! Often we do not understand when we have to go through difficult, sometimes painful experiences in life, not understanding at the time that the Lord is touching us with a disabling touch in order to prepare us for future encounters with our enemy the devil!