Jacob Wrestles With God
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
In a lot of seasons in our lives, we find ourselves “wrestling with God” like Jacob was. We can begin to repetitively question, doubt, get angry with God, etc when things don’t go the way we thought they would. Sometimes it feels like God is not responding to our calls or questions, and we continually keep trying to get Him to answer us. Wrestling is not always a bad thing either: it could be relentless praying or worshiping, or constantly serving Him despite with is going on around us. This is the same as how Jacob wrestled with “The angel of God” (who was probably God himself). Wanting his promised blessing and not getting it, Jacob was trying to force God to bless him. We may not physically get into a quarrel of strength, but we wrestle, we constantly push and struggle for the blessings that God has promised us.
However, Jacob didn’t know this man was God, just like how we don’t always know. For example, when I started this devotional last week, I asked God to lead to me to what my readers and I need to know. It was later on in the day that I realized I was wrestling too! I was praying and not getting a response from God, nor was I feeling His Presence anymore. So, I knew what I had to do, and that was to wrestle with God for His blessing.
Why though? Why should I have to push harder to get God to respond and give me my blessing? Well, as my Fire Bible says, “God does not want his people to be passive, but to actively pursue God’s blessing and grace.” God gives us a desire to get His response and His blessing, get closer to Him, and sometimes God needs to prompt us to wrestle with Him to get closer to Him. God promises in Matthew 6:33:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [His blessings, His response, His provision, etc.] will be given to you as well.
God promises to give us what He promised us if we keep wrestling, keep praying, keep praising Him, He will come through. If we stop wrestling, we are going to miss the blessing! We need to actively push forward, no matter how we feel or how things are happening around us, or we won’t see His blessing when it comes.
One example of this in His World is in Matthew 11, when a man asks his neighbor for help in the middle of the night. Verse 8 says that the neighbor got out of bed and helped him, not because of their friendship, but for his boldness. In this way we need to be bold before God and keep wrestling for His blessing, and He will give it to us.
For me, this Sunday, after a weekend of constantly praying, it was very stressful and hard to keep wrestling, but I did, and God finally gave me His promised blessing when I finally said, “God I’m going to praise you and keep praying, even if I never feel you again, for you are worthy of it.”
Thank you all for reading, and I pray that you were blessed by this post!
A not to Pastor J: So the word count came out to be 487, I’m sorry but I just couldn’t help it! It actually could have been even longer haha. I apologize if it took more time to read. I’ll see you tomorrow!!