Tim Keller | November 18, 2001
The story of Jacob wrestling with a man until sunrise is a powerful one. It shows how God’s love and grace come into the lives of people who don’t always deserve it, rather than just telling moral tales. Jacob, who was often dishonest, had a life-changing experience with God during this wrestling match. We can learn four important things from this story about how to have a life-changing experience with God: meeting God by yourself, in your weakness, at the heart of your life, and embracing God’s own weakness.
1. You have to meet God yourself
When Jacob was preparing to face his brother Esau, who had threatened to kill him, it highlighted how important it is to have a personal relationship with God. While it’s great to be part of a religious community, you can’t just rely on other people’s experiences with God. You need to have your own. This becomes especially clear when you face big challenges in life, like a serious illness, and you need God’s support.
2. You have to meet God in your weakness
Jacob’s big change started when he listened to God and decided to return to his homeland, even though it was dangerous. He prayed to God, and in return, God wrestled with him and left him with a limp. This shows that God is very much involved in our struggles and can use them to help us grow. Even though it can be tough and painful, it’s powerful to admit our weaknesses and depend on God.
3. You meet him at the center
The story of Jacob wrestling with God suggests that our struggles often come from our relationship with God. It’s important to try to meet God, understanding that true happiness and blessings can only come from Him. When Jacob’s relationship with God changed, it challenged the idea that God is only about love. It reminded us that God is also perfectly holy, just, and pure.
4. You have to meet him in his weakness
God chooses to be weak to change hearts and give out blessings. The idea of a God who is weak yet holy, and who willingly suffers for love and grace, shows us just how much He loves us. When we see and accept this divine weakness, we can turn our own weaknesses into strengths.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer