What is your name?
Jacob, the man who God chose to father the 12 sons that would be the nation of Israel, had a life marked with struggle. In the womb he fought with his brother Esau, he later took advantage of his brother’s hunger to obtain his birthright, and then he deceived their father Isaac to rob Esau of his blessing.
Then years later Jacob found himself in another kind of struggle. However, this time it was not with his brother. It was in the night that a man came upon Jacob and wrestled with him. The scripture tells us it was God, and I cannot help but believe this is the God the Son, before his incarnation, that fought with Jacob through that night.
The scripture tells us that Jacob prevailed, however, God would show Jacob that he was in complete control of the situation. He was going to do whatever it would take to bring Jacob to the place God needed him to be, and it was going to take an injury.
When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. – Genesis 32:25
In this state of being broken, and fatigued from wrestling through the night, Jacob asked something of God, “Bess me!” In Hosea 12:4 we are told that Joseph wept and sought the favor of God that night. But something had to happen first. God had a question for Joseph to answer, “What is your name?”
On the surface, this seems like a simple question or even an odd one. God knew his name, so why was he asking for it? What we are seeing here is a question of identity. This goes beyond what is written on a birth certificate, this was a question to draw out Jacob’s confession of who he is. And that, my friends, is the blessed injury.
The Injury Of Confession
When we are brought to our lowest, we must admit our name. This is a confession of who we are, down into the very core of our being. Our name is a summation of everything about us. Our nature, what we have done, what we think, what we do, what we love, what we hate, everything that sums up our being. That is our name.
Stepping out of our denial and coming to grips with the honest confession of who we are is often a result of our souls being put out of their socket. That is the blessed injury, our confession of our sin and our desperate need for Christ’s forgiveness. It can be the most devastating injury we can suffer, yet also the one that we need the most. When God exerts his strength and power over us, it breaks us. It opens us up so that we have nowhere else to hide. We must confess who we are. That we are indeed sinners in need of him!
The Glory Of Our Opponent
When we encounter Christ and are struck by his glory, and are saved from our sin by his grace, our blessed injury becomes a mark of dependence that will forever point us of him. We are daily reminded that we cannot walk through this life, as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6) without his help.
We can echo Paul’s confession:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
There is a direct relation to the boasting in our weakness and the power of Christ resting on us. Without our blessed injury that marks us with dependence, we will rely on ourselves, rather than boasting in our weaknesses to receive the power of Christ and find victory or endurance in our life! We will spend our lives after our own glory, rather than using our lives to proclaim the glory of our savior.
Wrestle For Dependance
Many of us can relate to the idea of struggling with God through the night. We feel a weight that is too heavy to carry, to hard to walk under. It is breaking us down, and at the end of the night, the injury remains, yet we have been brought to a place where we find peace and resilience through a confession of our weakness, and we find God’s strength in all of it.
So wrestle for dependence and rise up from your night of striving with God, and be renewed in him by remembering your blessed injury, your confession of your weakness, so that the power of Christ can rest on you.
Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. Find more of them here.