I began to look at Genesis 32 verses 24-28 and realized that Jacob had sent his family on up ahead of him and he stayed behind. I can only imagine that he had a sense of what was coming.
Why does God allow us to come into places of isolation? I feel it is because when we seek to serve His purposes, to grow more in His word and empty ourselves of things that are not of Him, He can fill us more for His Glory. But, at times there are things that we arenít willing to let go of. The only way God can completely get us to the point of emptiness is by breaking us.
This scripture doesnít say that Jacob wrestled with the angel, it says,
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."
The next verse is even more evident of this, because Jacob was not stronger than the angel was by no means. Neither did he have power over the angel. Verse 25 says,
"And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacobs thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him."
One touch after all that wrestling, crippled Jacob for the rest of his life, yet he continued to fight. Sometimes we go through things in our life that cripple us forever. It could be a divorce, a distraught past, a feeling of failure from backsliding, depression, anxiety, heartache, a rough childhood or loss. Whatever each individualís situation may be, it has left a scar. Though the blood of Jesus covers it now, itís something that happened that broke us in the presence of God.
In the next verse, the angel tells Jacob to let him go, for the day has broken, and Jacob says,
"Nope, I am not letting go, until you bless me."
If that doesnít prove his stubbornness, I donít know what would. He wrestled all night, with no avail, holding on and fighting with all his might! He was determined to get a blessing!
Doesnít that sound like some of us? God tells us to let go of things, and we refuse to let them go. Still expecting Him to give us a blessing. We have to realize that in order to receive a full blessing we truly have to let go and realize who we are in Him. When we realize that itís not about what He can give us, but about what we can give Him that is when we will receive the blessings from Heaven.
Verse 27 is my favorite verse. "And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob."
You know the last time Jacob was asked his name he lied to his earthly father and stole his brothers blessing. (Genesis 27:18-19)
This time God asks him in Genesis 32
"What is thy name"
Jacob answered and the angel of the Lord replied,
"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
I think Jacob prevailed when he was truthful to himself and answered with a whole heart unto the Lord. He prevailed only after he completely revealed himself, vulnerable. Jacob asked him, in verse 29,
"Tell me, I pray thee, thy name.Ē
And he answered asking Jacob,
ďWherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?Ē
There is a question there, Wherefore, I believe Jacob was asking in his heart, because he said, "Tell me I pray thee", why else would the angel of the Lord ask "Wherefore?" I believe at that point, Jacob surrendered over to the almighty power and blessing of God, and he was blessed there.
Verse 30 says,
"And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
When we face that confrontation between self and God, stubbornness and humility, pride and humbleness, guilt and forgiveness, or whatever that wrestling match may consist of. If we donít come willingly broken before God, one touch from his mighty hand will change our lives forever! Have you completely given your heart to God, or are you still wrestling with some things? Donít you think its time you realize God wants you to let go, so He can change your name!
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