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Learning from Scars

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2023 7:00 pm

Learning from Scars

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 18, 2023 7:00 pm

Faye touched the scars on her abdomen. She had endured another surgery to remove esophageal-stomach cancer. This time doctors had taken part of her stomach and left a jagged scar that revealed the extent of their work. She told her husband, “Scars represent either the pain of cancer or the start of healing. I choose my scars to be symbols of healing.”

Jacob faced a similar choice after his all-night wrestling match with God. The divine assailant wrenched Jacob’s hip out of socket, so that he left their tussle exhausted and with a noticeable limp. Months later, when Jacob massaged his tender hip, I wonder what he reflected on?

Was he filled with regret for his years of deceit that forced this fateful match? The divine messenger had wrestled the truth out of him, refusing to bless him until Jacob owned up to who he was. He confessed he was Jacob, the “heel grabber” (see Genesis 25:26). He’d played tricks on his brother Esau and father-in-law Laban, tripping them to gain advantage. The divine wrestler said Jacob’s new name would be “Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (v. 28).

Jacob’s limp represented the death of his old life of deceit and the beginning of his new life with God. The end of Jacob and the start of Israel. His limp led him to lean on God, who now moved powerfully in and through him.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread Ministries. My name is Mike Whitmer and I call today's reading, Learning from Scars. Faye touched the scars on her abdomen. She had endured another surgery to remove esophageal stomach cancer. This time doctors had taken part of her stomach and left a jagged scar that revealed the extent of their work. She told her husband, Scars represent either the pain of cancer or the start of healing.

I choose my scars to be symbols of healing. Jacob faced a similar choice after his all-night wrestling match with God in Genesis 32. The divine assailant wrenched Jacob's hip out of socket so that Jacob was left exhausted and with a noticeable limp. Months later, when Jacob massaged his tender hip, I wonder what he reflected on.

Was he filled with regret for his years of deceit that forced this fateful match? The divine messenger had wrestled the truth out of him, refusing to bless him until Jacob owned up to who he was. He confessed he was Jacob, the heal-grabber.

He'd played tricks on his brother Esau and father-in-law Laban, tripping them to gain advantage. The divine wrestler said Jacob's new name would be Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome. Jacob's limp represented the death of his old life of deceit and the beginning of his new life with God, the end of Jacob and the start of Israel. His limp led him to lean on God, who now moved powerfully in and through him.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Genesis 32, verses 22-32. That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.

Then the man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me. The man asked him, What is your name? Jacob, he answered. Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome. Jacob said, Please tell me your name. But he replied, Why do you ask my name? Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.

The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore, to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon. Let's pray. Dear Father, thank you for forgiving our sin in Christ. Our limp is a sign of your love. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-18 20:53:35 / 2023-12-18 20:55:16 / 2

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