“May the Lord bless you and protect you, may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24 CSB
This is how the Lord told Moses to bless the Israelites. Israel means wrestle with God, persevere with Him. The name Israel comes from Genesis 32:28. Jacob is on his way back to reconcile with Esau. He has stopped for the night, having sent everyone else ahead he finds himself in a wrestling match with God. He refuses to let go of Him, not until God blesses him. It is at this point we find this verse:
“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28
Often in life, our relationship with God is a wrestling match. We are struggling with Him and with humans. The key to receiving the blessing is to not let go, to hold on until the blessing comes. And it will come, just as it did for Jacob in the next verse: “Then he blessed him there.” Genesis 32:29b
God blessed Jacob right there where he had struggled with him. Where he had held on for dear life, refusing to let go. When we are in the midst of the struggle, this is the key: Just hold on. Don’t let go. Whether you are struggling in your relationship with God, or if it is with people, trust God for the blessing to come. Don’t let go until you receive it. Often times we give up too soon and miss the blessing.
The book of Job has become one of my favorite books in the Bible. It’s early in chapters one and two when Job loses everything: his children, his livelihood, his health. For the next 36 chapters God is silent. Finally, in chapter 38 God speaks. What if Job had given up at chapter 34 or 36? And quite frankly, with the friends he had, you wouldn’t blame him. But he doesn’t, in the midst of such unspeakable loss, he holds on. He holds on tight. And when God speaks, he is listening. And God blesses him, restoring everything he had in double proportions.
If you want the blessing, if you want God’s face to shine upon you and give you peace, hang on for chapter 38. Don’t give up. Hold tight. The blessing is coming.