sunrise

Yesterday our daughter Leah and I read the Bible from Genesis 32: 23-34 about Jacob wrestling with God. The backdrop of this story is that Jacob had left his father-in-law Laban, taking his wives and property with him. He sent a message to his brother Esau, who he had stolen his birthright from by deceit, and the messengers came back to tell Jacob that Esau was on his way to meet Jacob with four hundred men with him.

Jacob became very scared of his brother doing him or his family harm or possibly killing him, but prepared a great present of animals and servants for his brother from his possessions, safely crossed the fork of the Jabbok, and stayed behind to pray to God.

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as he wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 

Then Jacob said, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?”  And He blessed him there.

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel. “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.” (Genesis 32: 23-33)

Maybe you feel you are left all alone. Maybe you feel afraid like Jacob did, not knowing what’s going to happen.  Jacob knew where to go when he was scared – to God, the God of his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.

The Bible says that Jacob wrestled all night with a Man. This Man was an incarnation of God. Obviously Jacob was a  physically strong man, to wrestle all night with someone, especially God! 

Of course, Jacob realized later that he could have died – his life had been preserved. All God had to do was use one finger to put Jacob’s hip out of joint. Jacob limped the rest of his life, a reminder of his great night of struggle and of God blessing him.

What amazes me about this story is Jacob’s determination and endurance. He didn’t stop wrestling, even after God put his hip out of joint. He continued to fight hard.  He told God he would not stop until God blessed him!

The Bible says that Jacob had struggled with God and with men, but had prevailed. That word “prevailed” comes from the Greek word yakol and means “to prevail, overcome, endure, have power, be able, to reach.”  (Blue Letter Bible, Strong’s No. H3201)

Over the last year there are four areas in my life where I am struggling. I have wrestled with God in continual prayer over these things. Jacob is an inspiration to me, because he didn’t stop fighting. I need to keep wrestling with God in prayer. I won’t let go unless He blesses me!  When Jacob left to go, the sun rose on him. As we spend time in God’s presence, His light will shine on us!

What about you? Is there any area of your life where you are struggling? Some situation you need to endure and to overcome with victory?  Some area where you need more of God’s power?  

Let’s learn from the patriarch Jacob. Spend a night in prayer to God, meeting him face to face as Jacob did, and wrestle with Him. Be determined. Fight for it. Don’t let go until God blesses you!

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    4 Comments

  1. Danielle Kitteringham July 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Amen.

  2. Beth Jones July 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Yes, anything can happen. Thank God that He will never leave us or forsake us. Yes, God has given us mighty weapons of warfare to overcome and be strong and victorious through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6). Blessings, Beth

  3. Daniel Kitteringham July 17, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Hello. Four years later, so anything could happen to you.

    God is not punishing us, but growing us stronger, and more faithful in Him. He does not cause us pain, the world does that. He gives us the tools and weapons to endure the pain. That was the prayer of Jesus for us in John 17. Paul took no wife for the sake of preaching the Gospel. Abraham had a wife for the sake of starting a never ending nation. All in God’s will.

  4. Feeling Very Bad August 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    why is God punishing us good men out there that have yet to meet a good woman to share our life with, and i really hate being very much alone today after seeing so many very bless men and women that have met one another and have a family just like i would have certainly wanted as well. has he really forgotten about us?

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