Race, Justice and Gospel Music - Seth Pinnock

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Bless My Soul



“I will not let you go until you bless Me!” We find earlier in Genesis, Jacob had already asked this of his elderly father, Isaac, when he pretended to be his firstborn brother Esau. Indeed, Jacob had been blessed: as he reports ahead of his tense reuniting with Esau - he now has flocks, livestock and even servants. He sends it all ahead of him however, and on this night he waits nervous and alone. It is here that Jacob, the trickster, who has everything he does not deserve, meets with God. It is as Jacob encounters God personally and dramatically that he encounters true blessing. 


God asks who he is, and the man who once claimed to be somebody else admits he is Jacob. So, at last, it is as Jacob He wrestles with God and demands a blessing from him once again saying; “I will not let you go unless you bless me”.


It is at this moment that God not only blesses him but completely changes his identity, renaming him Israel meaning ‘Prince’. It is from this royal line that One comes who willingly surrenders his inheritance, that his brothers and sisters might become rich, and reunited to God: Our Savior, Jesus. 


Listening to Bless My Soul, let the scripture’s themes of determination and perseverance echo within you. Let them encourage you not to be timid, but like Jacob choose to be tenacious and make a bold request of God. Let it encourage us  that in moments of desperation, we can turn to the God who loves and is for us. 


The promises declared in Bless My Soul remind us God is willing to answer and always give us that which He knows we need and often in abundance! Sometimes the joy of the dawn only comes from the night spent wrestling with God.


Secondly, like Jacob, let us discover our identity and purpose which can only ever be found in God’s presence, hearing from the Father who we truly are. Assured of our identity in Him, what this world may brandish as ‘worthy’, ‘current’ or ‘correct’ cannot compete with the acceptance found in our God. Our identity and worth is rooted and established in God's love - that we are loved children of God. This is something we can always hold onto no matter the situation in front of us or the social injustices that we are faced with.


Finally, let us be moved - if we want to see the world around us change, and relationships between people restored, are we willing to encounter God first in the secret place? And when we petition our Father for justice, do we start by acknowledging and delighting in the mercy which he shows to us first?