I thank God today for the Sunday service message that I heard at CCF Ortigas by Pastor Bong Saquing which was about pursuing intimacy with God through brokenness.
Pastor Bong used Jacob’s story in Genesis as an example to this Sunday message’s topic. Pastor Bong showed that even before Esau and Jacob were born, God already told their mom Rebekah that the older would serve the younger (Genesis 25:23). When the time came that they were all grown up, evidently, Isaac would be delighted in his hunter son Esau, rather than his other son who liked to cook, eat, and stay at home. The later was Jacob.
To make a long story short, with Rebekah’s help, Jacob deceived his father Isaac so that he could get the blessings that Isaac intended to give to Esau, Isaac’s firstborn. Rebekah, knowing that the blessings were meant to be for Jacob even before her two children were born, manipulated the situation in a worldly manner, which was through deception.
The first time Jacob was asked, “Who are you?,” he was approaching his father Isaac as somebody else so that he could acquire his father’s blessings. He told his father that he was Esau. The second time Jacob was asked the same question by the “man that wrestled with Jacob until daybreak” (Genesis 32:24), Jacob was able to face the truth and the reality that he had been living up to the exact meaning of his name. That he was a deceiver. He was Jacob.
This is exactly how God wants us to approach him. In all honesty. God wants us to come as we are. If we are broken, let’s not pretend that we are all right. If we have sinned, let us not give God our excuses. There’s no point in lying. We’re just adding insult to the injury because even if we don’t open our mouths, God knows what’s in our hearts. Let’s simply stop, pause, and just quite the noise in our hearts and minds, and let God talk with us. God talks with us in our brokenness, in our aloneness, in our emptiness.
Jacob spent stopped and paused and was alone when he was so afraid for his life because he was anxious about how Esau would act and react towards him. This was when God wrestled with Jacob and strained the joint on Jacob’s hip. Since Jacob had been running away from God all his life, with Jacob’s strained hip joint, he limped as he tried to run towards, not away, from his brother Esau. Then the most comforting thing happened: Esau didn’t kill Jacob. ”Esau embraced his brother who was kneeling on the ground, kissed him, and they both wept” (Genesis 33:4).
Pastor Saquing ended his preaching with a video of a boy who brings water to his friend. He uses two jars to get water wherein one is broken. The broken jar told the boy that he, the jar, is broken, and spills the water, so he should be replaced. But the boy told his broken jar that because of his brokenness, the water being spilled waters the broken jar’s side of the road, therefore, allows the ground to produce flowers. And these flowers make the boy’s friend happy.
Let us remember that no matter how broken we think we are, God still is the writer of our life’s script. It is still God who will determine what’s going to happen in the end. And God uses our brokenness for God’s purpose. But one thing’s for sure: even from the beginning of time, God wants to bless us (Genesis 1:28). Why would we want to look for other worldly ways to acquire blessings when God promised to give it to those who would love and obey Him?
So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
- Romans 9:16