Guest Post: Abigail Hamilton
There are two men in the Bible who have really stood out to me this week. Two men who begged for blessings but who were initially denied.
You might have guessed the first, Jacob. We all know the story of how Jacob wrestled with the Lord and would not let Him go.
But over nearly a decade before that, another man had said something very similar.
Esau entered his father’s tent and came to receive his blessing, only to find out Jacob had snuck in before him, deceived their father Isaac, and had already been blessed instead of Esau.
I can almost picture Esau in my mind. He grabs ahold of his old, blind father and shakes him. Frantically screaming with hot tears of concern and anger rolling down his face, “Bless me, even me also, o my father! Do you only have one blessing? I beg of you, bless me!”
However, Isaac could not bless Esau. True he “blessed” him and told him that he’d be Jacob’s servant. But Esau did not have the promise of wealth, prosperity, or God’s provision like Jacob did.
However, there was something that Esau ultimately missed. You cannot have the blessing, if you don’t embrace the birthright. Esau wanted to be blessed with wealth and glory, but he didn’t want to take the way and pay the price that the birthright required.
Esau settled that his main problem was Jacob. But under the surface, Esau’s biggest enemy was actually himself.
Now the years have passed, and Esau has found out where Jacob is and has come with a band of armed men to settle the old score.
Jacob spends many sleepless nights knowing something must be done. If he, Jacob, could just know that he was blessed by God, then everything would be all right, he thought. So there we have Jacob wrestling with the Lord. “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me,” Jacob exclaims. The two struggle back and forth. Jacob and God. “Bless me,” says Jacob.
“I can’t,” says God.
“Bless me,” says Jacob.
“I can’t,” says God.
Now you say, “Abigail, that’s not what the Bible says. The Bible never says that the Lord told Jacob, ‘I can’t.'” I know. But the Lord did say, “What’s your name?”
You see, Jacob was a rascal and a deceiver. God couldn’t bless that. In order for Jacob to ever get anywhere with God, he would have to come clean.
You see, Esau thought what was standing between him and a blessing was Jacob. And Jacob thought what was standing between him and a blessing was probably Esau. But, the bottom line is it was their own selves. And unless they were going to be honest, come clean, and turn their backs on their old ways, God couldn’t bless them.
You can wrestle and wrestle and wrestle all night long and get nowhere. You can ask and beg and plead for God to do His part, but until you’ve done your part, there’s no sense working yourself up.
You might be tired of seeking. You say you’ve still not gotten what you’ve wanted from the Lord; you haven’t gone through.
Well the biggest problem isn’t Esau, Jacob. The biggest problem is your own self.
Are you willing to come clean? Repent? Admit to God the truth He already knows?
Are you ready to obey God no matter the cost? Do His will done in His way and in His timing?
Sure you want to be blessed, but you’re going to have to take up the birthright first. You can’t enjoy the product if you haven’t paid the price yet.
God might ask you to do something you think is hard or it might be painful or embarrassing.
In the midst of the struggle, God touched Jacob’s joint and Jacob’s hip went out. When God got through with him, he limped around for the rest of his life. But I’ll tell you, that was a daily constant reminder to Jacob of what God had done for him.
Jacob got done with beating around the bush one night and struggling. He decided he might as well just tell the Lord his name. Come clean.
When Jacob got to the end of his old self and realized the whole world didn’t revolve around him but God, God blessed him and blessed him and blessed him.
My friends, when we do our part, God will always do His. I’m so glad for the many times God has blessed me and met my heart’s desires. But, it wasn’t until I embraced my birthright and told Him my name that He could bless me.