Becoming a living sacrifice does not come easily. Self does not go to the cross willingly. Living sacrifices are those who have surrendered their all to Jesus and received from him the life of God. We prefer to sacrifice almost anything else.
Esau in great anger comes with a force of 400 to destroy Jacob. Jacob, the schemer, in great anxiety tries to protect himself. He-
- Schemes- splitting his party to reduce the chance of losing everything.
- Prays- asking God to save ‘himself’ – while ignoring his family.
- Sends gifts- hoping he will pacify his brother’s anger.
- Sends his family to face his brother first.
- Sends his possessions. Maybe these things will distract Esau.
Step by step he gives up everything, starting with his schemes until in the end he has given up what seems most precious. An observer might conclude he had surrendered all. God knew that he was withholding his heart.
When God sees he has nothing left to negotiate with, he comes and wrestles with Jacob- all night until, with one touch to the hip, God disables Jacob and he surrenders.
The form of the surrender is instructive. Jacob will not let go of God until he blesses him. The blessing shows two factors.
Jacob acknowledges both God’s superiority and his own surrender. Hebrews 7:7 says, “And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.”
Jacob receives from God a new identity and a new hope – ‘Struggled with God and men and overcame’.
In peace, Jacob limps ahead of his family to meet his brother …
The Bible study behind this can be found at – ‘True Repentance’