Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. Genesis 32:18
Jacob was the younger twin brother. He had grasped his brothers ankle during their grand entrance into this world. In the passage above, we find Jacob alone, his family ahead of him in a journey and once again he’s grappling and wrestling. Only this time, it’s with a mysterious figure. Scripture records that he wrestled all night until this stranger commanded Jacob to let him go. Jacob asserts that he would not let him go unless the stranger blessed him. The stranger’s reply came, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and men and have prevailed.” and he blessed Jacob. After the unusual encounter, Jacob named the place , because “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”
Have you striven with God, man or both? What are you wrestling for? Do you want answers? Control? A blessing?
I’ve wrestled with God more than I am proud to admit. I wish I could have only sat still and waited for His timing, answers and blessing, instead of flailing about like a two-year-old in a fit.
At the end of Jacob’s unique encounter with the Lord, God put Jacob’s hip out of alignment and he walked with a limp from that time on. I wonder if that was the end of Jacob’s wrestling with God. Did Jacob just need to get out all his fussing and struggling once and for all and that was ultimately the blessing God gave him? It’s a mysterious account. Yet for those of us who wrestle against the circumstances of life and the One who made us, it’s good to know, God doesn’t leave us alone in our struggle. Wonder of wonders, He even permits us in our weakness to contend with Him so that we might finally have our hearts opened to Him. In the skin-on-skin of Jacob’s struggle, God came face-to-face with His wrestling son.
Read Genesis 32:24-32
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April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. Collaborating with the efforts of her husband Eric, the two of them share a ministry dedicated to bringing God’s Word into the everyday lives of married couples, men and women. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God's Word with women ranging in ages and stages, across denominations, and walks of life. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Women's Ministry Tools. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com