By Pamela Neu
I giggled out loud when I read (in Genesis 48) the account of Jacob speaking to his son, Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me….” (48:3)
Appeared to you, Jacob? Oh yes, you were in Luz the night you had that technicolored dream when the LORD and his angels stood on that stairway to heaven and declared the covenant He was passing on to you….the very blessing that you had stolen from your brother Esau. (Gen. 27 -28)
Or were you talking about that time you were in Luz and you stayed up all night long to wrestle a man….the man who finally brought you down with the touch of your hip? THAT man was God, and He appeared to you. (Gen. 32). And He blessed you when He could have killed you.
There are some seriously amazing details in these stories! Jacob may have left out what we consider the very best parts; but maybe it is we who miss the point of these intensely dramatic tales. How many times have we read the stories of the Old Testament, completely discounting the fact that GOD WAS APPEARING ON EARTH! Of all things He could have been doing at these moments, He chose to come in the form of a dream…He chose to come as a man (and a weaker man that Jacob!) and spend all His energy wrestling a human being that He very easily could have dropped to his knees at, say, 8 pm…or 2 am.
But Scripture says they wrestled all night long.
What a gracious, lavish, reckless God to love like that! When we steal from Him, attempt to deceive Him, fight Him, He doesn’t simply put us in our places and immediately quiet us. He presents Himself just as we need to see Him in the moment…He appears to us. Sometimes His appearance leaves us stronger than we ever imagined; sometimes it leaves us walking away with a limp. But always it reminds us that God is very much at work in this world in which we reside, not simply waiting for us to arrive at His heavenly residence.
I’ve seen God before, and I could tell you those stories all day long. But first, we want to hear yours! Email me today at email@example.com, and share with our Underground community where God is appearing to you!