“Don’t throw away your trust now—it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God’s will you are to receive what He has promised.” Hebrews 10:35 (Phillips)
What is the first thing you say to a child when you’re holding their hand and crossing the street or in a huge crowd of people?
“No matter what, DON’T LET GO!”
What you are really saying to them is, “Hold on and I’ll keep you safe and protected. You can trust me. Stay close to me and I’ll stay close to you.”
Let’s look into the book of Genesis and how this same statement was said to the Lord and how it applies to us today.
In Genesis 32 Jacob (the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham) is wrestling with the Lord. Even though Jacob is hurt and in pain he won’t let go of God.
How did Jacob get to this point in his life? Here is a quick review of his life up to this point. (Grab your Bible and read this powerful story for yourself starting at Genesis 25 and take your time to follow the details of Jacob’s life. Details matter to God.)
Gen.25: 19-34 Isaac and Rebekah have twin boys Esau (born first) and Jacob. Esau gives his birthright to Jacob for a simple home cooked meal.
Gen. 27 Jacob receives Isaac’s blessing by deceiving Isaac and flees for safety from his angry brother Esau (Jacob is now 75 years old)
Gen. 28 Isaac sends Jacob to his Uncle Laban. While on the journey, Jacob stops at Bethel and hears from God. Jacob makes a very important vow to God in Genesis 28:20-22
Gen. 29-30 Jacob marries and his flocks, livestock and family are blessed and increase. He’s been with Laban in Paddan Aram for 20 long and hard years.
(Jacob is now 95 years old)
Gen. 31 Jacob and his entire family and flocks flee from Laban under God’s direction
Gen.32 As Jacob is fleeing from laban and back to his brother Esau, with God’s help Jacob sends the entire clan, livestock and family ahead of him for a short distance. God arranges for Jacob to be left behind alone at night in the camp. Starting at Gen. 32:22-32 Jacob wrestles with the Lord.
Gen. 32:26 But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Gen. 32:20 “So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying ‘It is because I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared.’”
In Genesis 32 we are told Jacob was in severe pain with his hip out of socket during his wrestling match with God. If you have ever had anything out of the socket you know the agony that feels like. Jacob continued to wrestle through the excruciating pain and never lets go of God. I’m always teaching in my Bible Study classes how the Bible connects precept with precept and here is another example of that in Hosea 12:4. In Hosea 12 Jacob is being described and the Scripture confirms the painful encounter between God and Jacob. “ He wept, and sought favor from Him.” Notice Hosea is telling us that he wept during the wrestling match. Obviously, Jacob was in extreme pain.
You and I can learn from the life of Jacob. If we are willing to slow down and get alone with God this week He will show up. Notice in Genesis 32 how God arranged for Jacob to be alone at night in the camp. I wonder if you and I have missed out on meeting with God during our times of silence and loneliness? Instead, of complaining and being irritated with the place we’re in for that moment, should we take the time to talk to God and seek His face? I am constantly reminded when I’m reading Scripture and other wonderful resources to slow down and look at the details because GOD IS IN THE DETAILS.
Don’t let go of God during your trials, crises, or pain. Whether you are enduring a situation today that is fresh and painful or like Jacob enduring hard times for 20 years, don’t let go of God. No matter what comes our way God will help us endure as we hold on to Him.
I personally am resolved to hold on to the Lord no matter what. How about you?
Can you grab on to God’s hand today and say, “I will never let go of Jesus?”