Jacob literally fought with God as it is recorded in Genesis 32:22-32. Well, the Bible doesn’t say, “God,” but a man.
Before Jacob got to this place of fighting with God, he ruled his life all by himself. Well, his mom ruled his life for a bit too as she told him when and where to go so Esau, his brother, would not kill him. Jacob wronged his twin brother, Esau. He tricked him and took his birthright and with the counsel of his mom again, Jacob tricked his dad, Isaac, and took all Esau’s blessings posing as Esau.
I mean, talk about a cheater, Jacob was the leader of all cheaters.
After he ran away from his estranged brother, Esau, Jacob pretty much made a living by his own winsome tricks which earned him so much wealth. After 20 years, he decided to go back home, planning everything out, preparing lots of gifts to pacify his brother, Esau. Jacob now had wives, kids, cattle and lots of possessions.
On his way back to the land of his fathers, at the daybreak, after he let all his possessions and households cross the stream, Jacob remained on the other side all by himself. When a man, who was carefully watching Jacob’s every moment, knew that Jacob was alone, he began fighting with him.
Then the wrestling match ended after the man dislocated Jacob’s hip.
Agh! Jacob must have cried with pain at this point, but not like, “Please leave me alone. You win, I lose. So, let me go.” No! Remember, Jacob is smart and he is not a quitter!
Instead, Jacob said to the man, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26b
Wow! Courage and determination teaming up together!
Jacob knew that the Man who was wrestling with him was the Son of God (a Christophany) and he didn’t want to miss this opportunity to break free from his guilt ridden life.
And Guess what?
God didn’t want to miss this opportunity either to break Jacob free to make Jacob God’s special possession.
Mind you, the meaning of his name, Jacob, is a “deceiver.” Just before God blessed Jacob, He changed his name from Jacob to Israel, saying, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28
Wow! From Jacob to Israel in a second. Israel means, God wrestles or God rules.
Jacob ruled his life until this point but from this point on, after the hip of his socket was “wrenched” by God, God became the Ruler of Jacob’s life. What a joy!
Yes, Jacob began limping after this incident but he called the place, God dislocated his hip, Peniel – means “Face of God,” saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” Genesis 32:30b
Jacob won God’s blessings and favor; God won His Headship in the life of Jacob and Jacob’s life was spared!
Peniel is a place we see God’s face and it is a place of pain and hurt because Peniel is the place God does major surgery in us so He spares us from ourselves.
So, this is my message for today: Does your pain, loneliness, fear, desperation, hurt and despair lead you to God?
If so, don’t panic. Rather, rejoice!
You see, God has been watching you and all your moves. None of your life circumstances seemed strong enough to bring you to God. Now, you are at the bottom the barrel, crying with pain.
Don’t worry. Everything will soon be alright. The surgery will soon be over and your life will be spared. Yes, you may have scars and you may limp for the rest of your life, but praise God, your life will never be the same, for the glory of God. Praise and worship Him!
This is the way God spares us all from ourselves!
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6
Amen! LORD God, let us not let You go unless You bless us! You are the Potter and we are the clay. Make us and mold us as it seemed best to You. Help us be fighters and winners in seeking and seeing Your face at any cost, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. ///