“Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. Then He said to Jacob, “Let Me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. “Jacob,” he replied. “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.” But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there. Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.” Genesis 32:24-30
Greetings fellow sojourners! Don’t you adore the One who answers when you call, who vindicates you, who frees you from affliction, and who is gracious to you? (Psalm 4:1) Indeed I do! Let’s give praise to God!
The meaning of the word ‘wrestle’ is to struggle with a difficulty or a problem. Jacob spent his life wrestling with difficulties. Before he was born God blessed him with the promise in Genesis 25:23 yet Jacob spent his life contriving to obtain what he desired. We would do well to know that we do not contrive to obtain the blessings of God. The life of submission to God is the life that obtains the blessing. Do you feel you are wrestling with God in any area of your life right now? Do you find yourself wrestling to have what you want, when you want it, how you want it, because it is ‘your life’? Something interesting to think about is Jacob held on to the angel at the risk of his life to get the blessing for himself; but Jesus held on to God at the cost of his life to get the blessing for us. No better time for a sincere “thank you Lord”!
Before the intense meeting was to take place with his brother Esau, Jacob went off to be alone in earnest prayer. As Jacob was preparing to lay his case out before God, an angel lays hold of him.
Jacob hung on to wrestle with God to get the blessing and used all his strength, as it was customary for him to wrestle and contrive his whole life to get what he wanted. When the angel of God struck him on his hip to weaken him (not because he was being overpowered) Jacob no doubt realized that through this weakness he would be made strong in the Lord (hence the name Israel). He would also come to know that the blessings of God are not obtained by contriving but through submission. This lesson would mean more to him than any of the contriving of his past existence.
In our lives, the blessing we are searching for is not going to be found by more striving or by any deceiving. It comes by submitting to God. Do you find yourself wrestling with God in any area of your life right now – submit to Him instead. If there is wrestling to be done it shall be done with our own fleshly desires when they are out of line with the will and Word of God.
Excerpt from Oswald Chambers:
“You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. If you ever do wrestle with God, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. If you grab hold of God and wrestle with Him, as Jacob did, simply because He is working in a way that doesn’t meet with your approval, you force Him to put you out of joint (see Genesis 32:24-25). Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him…” (Romans 8:37). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom.”
DIVAs, let’s stop wrestling to hang on to our fleshly perspectives and desires as we see them and start hanging on with both hands to Jesus. If you do, all other ‘wrestlings’ will fall to the ground. Lose your life in Him and receive the blessing of gaining the life you were meant for. It turns everything around.
In His grace,