The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket…”
We’ve seen this patriarch use everything from his momma’s soup to his brother’s clothes to his father-in-law’s cattle to weasel his way into blessing, but not anymore. The crossing of the ford of the Jabbok was a Rubicon for him. The man who ascended that hill to wrestle with God isn’t the same man who came back down. Same face, different complexion. Same legs, different gait. This new limp—Jacob always limped in a spiritual sense—marks victory rather than cowardice. And don’t you love the poignancy of this closing scene, friend? A new dawn rises overhead, a new courage fills his heart, a new spring fuels his step, and he can finally walk slowly enough to enjoy the panorama of Grace that surrounds him. He’s no longer Jacob the runner or Jacob the artful dodger or Jacob the cheater. He’s Israel the fighter, Israel the brave, and Israel the memorable forevermore!
Friend, what wounds are you wearing today from victories hard-fought? Look at Jacob’s hip. And look at your Savior’s hands and feet! See them for what they are: trophies of triumph.