Jacob Wrestles with God

Leah & Rachel • Devotion #1: Jacob Wrestles with God
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would wake up on Saturday mornings and would watch our favorite wrestler, Hulk Hogan. He was the best. After we finished watching, we would then engage in some brotherly wrestling of our own. We would practice our best wrestling moves on each other, and most of the time get in trouble because we would break something in the house. As we grew older, we all became bigger and stronger, and the wrestling became a little more intense. To this day we still will wrestle my Dad to get back at him for all the times he beat us at wrestling as kids.

You can read a lot about a person when you wrestle with them. You find out how strong that person is, how hard they are willing to work to beat you and are they willing to do anything to win? Their true character will come out through adversity and struggle.

In the Bible, God has a one-on-one wrestling match with Jacob. I know what you are thinking, “God could beat Jacob at any time with one finger.” I believe God was trying to find some things out about Jacob’s character. God found out that Jacob was the perfect man to be the namesake of Israel.

Genesis 32:22-32 records the match, “The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day has broken.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ And he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’ Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’ The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day, the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.”

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