“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.’” Genesis 32:26
When I get to heaven, I want to ask God to show me the replay of Jacob taking on an angel in hand-to-hand combat. I’ve often wondered why Jacob picked a fight with God.
The legendary matchup occurred the night before Jacob would see his estranged brother for the first time in 20 years. I’m sure Esau’s vow to kill him was still ringing in his ears. Jacob got word that Esau was coming with 400 men: would it be pleasant reunion or a bloody massacre?
Jacob’s betrayal over the birthright was staring him down. Here he was, blessed beyond measure with thousands of livestock, a huge family and a host of servants: “Is all of this affluence going to rub salt in the wound I gave my brother? I’d better appease him with extravagant gifts.” Jacob knew everything could end in a bloodbath.
In desperation, Jacob found a solitary riverbank and duked it out with God. I believe the fight with the angel represented Jacob’s struggle to surrender everything to God, repent of his deceptive ways, and hope for reconciliation with Esau. Jacob fought tenaciously till daybreak.
“I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
So God blessed him with a new name, Israel, meaning, “he strives with God.” Esau soon arrived and greeted Jacob with lavish affection. They wept with the joy of reconciliation. (read the whole story here)
When we are haunted by insecurities, fear of the unknown, or our past mistakes, God welcomes a good wrestling match. We’ll walk away humbled and we’ll never be the same again.
Don’t Forget Your Greatest Weapon.
Lord, I choose today to hold on to You for dear life. Whatever happens next in my life, I know that You are in control. You are my loving father and Your plans for me are good. I choose to walk by faith, not by sight. Amen.
Make an appointment to wrestle with God. Get out your day planner, phone, or computer and slot in a time to deal with God about the things you fear most. He’s totally trustworthy and He loves a good fight.
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