Friday 20 Apr 2018
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Psalm 1: 2-3

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The Place Called Peniel - The details of the transaction

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Article Index
The Place Called Peniel
Peniel a place of divine transaction and exchange
The mode of transaction
The details of the transaction
Jacob received his blessing
Final words
All Pages

He knew that God had what he wanted.

Peniel was the place where Jacob realised for the first time that his riches and wealth could never replace what God had to offer him. It was there that he realised that his life was not complete despite all the riches without the will of God fully established in his life. It was at Peniel that he realised that despite all of his riches there still remain something which only God can give, something that was so important for which he needed to survive the impending doom. It was at Peniel that he was willing to trade everything he had, just to be with God and to receive whatever God had to give to him. For in his desperation he held on to God having discarded all he had toiled to own, saying in the process I will not let you go until you have blessed me.

What blessing it may be asked, would a man with so many riches and wealth be looking for again? Well it must be said there are things that money and wealth can never buy, while these riches may attempt to buy shadows and copies of these things, the riches and wealth of man, can never buy the original and it is only a matter of time before those counterfeits would be revealed for what they truly are.

It was at Peniel that Jacob found this out, confronted with the impending doom, Jacob realised his wealth was not enough to ward it off, he realised his wealth was not enough to expiate the wrath of Esau his brother; it was at Peniel that he realised he needed something more, something none of his manipulative skill would ever get him, something that was way beyond the reach of his power of manipulation of events around him. It was at Peniel that he realised that although he had stolen his brother's inheritance, only God can truly give the blessing (empowerment) that was needed to preserve the inheritance.

It was at Peniel that Jacob realised that he was yet to come into the blessings of God, what he had hitherto thought were God's blessings had been from his human endeavour, they had been more of the physical blessings as opposed to the spiritual blessing of carrying the promise that God made to his fathers Abraham and Isaac. What promise? This is the promise that Through your seed the whole world will become blessed. The promise of being the lineage through which, salvation would come to man.

Confronted with this rude awakening, Jacob reached out to have a transaction with God, but what does he have to offer in exchange? Nothing, absolutely nothing, he had given up everything hoping they would quench the wrath of Esau. Everything he had worked for, everything he had manipulated his way into, he had by now willingly given up and he was now all alone before God, desperately holding on to Him, while praying for the empowerment that comes from the hands of God. We must not allow this act to be lost on us, because what we see here is a man who had now surrendered his will. How you may ask? Well the picture of Jacob we see here is that of a man who had relinquished everything he possessed by this time. By the time he parted with his family and wealth, he had only a very slim hope of ever meeting up with them again, it can even be said that he gave everything up in order to save his own life. How did the Jesus help us to capture this scenario again, he said  'What does it profit a man to gain the possession of the world and lose his life'. This message it may be said must have motivated Jacob in his decision making, likewise it may be said that in his quest to save his own life, brought him to the point where he relinquished his will in exchange for that which is the will of God.

We too must learn from this, there are so many who are the shoes of Jacob, they are clinging onto the physical blessings believing it to be the same as the spiritual blessings promised. Many have mistaken the blessing of provision for the for the spiritual prize of the upward call promised by God, as a result they spent their entire life and their faith walk pursuing provisions instead of striving for the prize. For some it was only on their death bed that they realise that they do not have any assurance that they have the promised spiritual blessing of eternal life made by the Father through Jesus. The fear of death and what lies beyond remains a sure manifestation of this.

God broke his will

What was the significance of the Jacob's hip being taken out of place? The significance of this exercise represents the will of Jacob being broken forever. But I thought you said that it was through the second option that God was able to come to Jacob's aid, as opposed to overcoming the will of Jacob. Yes it is true, but Jacob having prevailed upon the mercy on God, submitted his battered and worthless will at the feet of God. God took it and broke it to pieces by what he did to Jacob next; God rightly had to do that.

You see the danger of Jacob going back to his old ways remain and the need to always remind Jacob about his frailties arose as a result. There is always a mark that we would carry on our body when we come to Peniel with such worthless commodity as a shattered and worthless will, while hoping to do an exchange for the glorious and priceless will of God. This price is always a reminder of how we came so short of being able to pay for what we hope to take away from Peniel and a reminder of what we were saved from as a result of the folly of trusting in our will. It will also serve to remind us of what we nearly lost as a result of trusting in our will instead of the will of God.

Up till now, I have been calling the will of Jacob worthless and you may be wondering rightly so, is our will always worthless? Far from it, our will prior to being battered and broken has a very high value before God. It only becomes worthless after it has become messed up and trampled upon by the way we have ignorantly and arrogantly gone about putting it to use in defiance to God.

You see when we submit our will with its worth and value intact at God's feet in exchange for God's will, He appreciates such a sacrifice and you will see why. You see, God gave us something very beautiful by giving us a mind that is capable of exercising the power of will. The beauty of our will is cherished by God when we submit it to him, this is where pure worship comes from and this is where pure adoration of God by the man He created, comes from. Yielding our will to God without coercion, without being forced, God places a high value upon the will of man that is submitted to him in this way and manner, the tag placed upon the will of man in eyes of God can only be comprehended when we look the bible verse below;

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11).

Hence the reason why the bible enjoined us to have the same mind as that of Christ who submitted his will to that of his God his Father and in exchange he obtained a glorious reward from God

When a man exchanges his will in its unadulterated and unblemished state for the will of God, such a man would not leave with a limp in his body like Jacob did, instead like Jesus such a man would be exalted high above every circumstances in life that may come his way. Let me add at this point, whatever it might have cost such a man to give up his will for God, would not leave any scar on the man. I say so because instead of God leaving a mark on his body, he would clean and wipe away the marks and the scars brought about as a result of the sacrifice. God will remove everything, if there are any found on such a man, replacing it with his crown of glory.

There is always a price to pay whenever we have to get to the place called Peniel before we decide to exchange our mortal will for that of the sovereign God.

A friend of mine who works as a radiologist in the local hospital, narrated the ordeal of a man who came in for an x-ray on his body in order to help determine the status of the malignant cancer that appeared to be spreading all over his body. What caught the attention of my friend was the rambling of this man, the man was pleading for forgiveness from God, and the man was asking for a second chance with God, the man at this point in time was willing to trade whatever was left of his will for that of God. I have no doubt in my mind that God can and may answer him, but the point I am trying to make here is that, this man need not get to this place where the will he is trying to trade in for that of God, has become completely worthless, nevertheless God is rich in mercy and he remains indeed a God of second chance.

God exchanged His own will for that of Jacob.

In blessing Jacob, it must be noted and going by spiritual protocol, the greater blesses the lesser (Hebrews 7:7). It must be established here that only the one who is greater can bless. Greater in what sense, well greater in the sense of what the lesser needs which only the greater is in the position to give. What made one greater is the fact that one possesses what the other does not have, this makes the other person lesser.

Staying on the side of this protocol therefore, one of the conditions for coming into this blessing is that; the lesser is required to submit his will to that of the greater, without which the power to bless is of no effect. It was at Peniel therefore that this exchange took place. It was at Peniel that Jacob did away with his will that was fully expressed in his manipulative ways, it was at Peniel that he submitted it all at the feet of the Lord and pleaded in exchange for the will of God.

Jacob was not, the only one who had this experience. Saul on his way to Damascus got to his own Peniel along the way, and there he too exchanged, his will (persecution of believers) for that of Christ (conversion of non-believers).

The exchange of will is a pre-requisite that must come before any blessing can be received. It is not possible to receive blessing from the one who is greater without submitting and accepting the terms of those blessings. The terms of those blessings are contained in the revealed will of the one who blesses.

So what were the hallmarks of this transaction and exchange of will? What symbolic gesture accompanied this act? To do this God had to change the identity of Jacob, he had to change everything that Jacob ever represented and stood for. The old Jacob had to go away and a new man had to emerge. So God gave Jacob a new name and a new identity, he called him Israel, a name that bears the identity that was in line with the will and the plan of God for his people and for the whole world. I want you to know that God's will is irretrievably tied to the identity he gives to us. As a matter of fact, our true identity is found in his will for us, we cannot walk in God's will with an identity that came out of the rebellious exercise of our own will, the same identity we had back when we refused to yield our will to him.

When Jacob left Peniel he left with a new identity. Saul of Damascus also left his Peniel with a new identity he came into his Peniel known as Saul and an identity he was later to become ashamed of, but he left with a new name and identity of Paul. I want you to know therefore that everyone who comes into their own Peniel would be leaving with a new identity. What becomes of the old identity, well it would be discarded, it is declared dead and as such is buried, it must never be allowed to live nor rise again. The mark Jacob bore on his body served as a reminder and a testimony to this fact.

Home Expositions The Place Called Peniel The Place Called Peniel - The details of the transaction
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“?Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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