January 13 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’
But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’” ~Genesis 32:26

Jacob, distrusting his deceitful uncle, sneaks his household away during the night.   When Laban catches up, Jacob complains, You changed my wages ten times, yet you have the gall to confront me for leaving you! However, despite the conflict between the two men, Jacob recognizes that God has seen his hardship and the toil of his hands and provided for him (Gen. 31:42). What encouragement for those who have been wronged! God sees what you have done and rewards you.

In one way or another, Jacob is always striving after blessing. In a story shrouded in mystery, a man assaults him in the night while he is alone and begins to take him down. The omniscient narrator tells us that the man is God in human form, and Jacob later confirms it when he says, “I saw God face to face” (Gen. 32:30). Jacob has God in his grasp, and although he is injured, he absolutely refuses to let go until he receives a blessing. God gives Jacob what he desires, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel [which means "to struggle with God"], because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Gen. 32:28).

Struggle defines Jacob’s life. He grappled with his brother from birth, strained against his status as the less-favored son of his father, left home with a death threat hanging over his head, and toiled to make something of himself under Laban’s thumb. He struggles to experience God’s blessing, and God blesses him. Jacob may be limping along, but he’s blessed!

Don’t give up striving for blessing. Hold fast to God until He blesses you. Persevere in faith and prayer! You may come up limping in life, but you will experience the blessing of God.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.