The most famous wrestling match in the history of the world was between Jacob and “the angel of the Lord,” as told in the book of Genesis.

Will you wrestle with God until He blesses you?

Jacob was the younger twin son of Isaac and Rebecca.Jacob had tricked Esau out of his birthright as the firstborn. Then, with the help of his mother, Jacob lied to his father Isaac, and deceived him into thinking he was Esau. So, Isaac mistakenly prayed a blessing over him instead of Esau. Blessings in the days of the patriarchs were more than well-wishing. They were a form of prophecy. When Esau came home from hunting, he and his father realized they had been deceived. Esau promised to kill Jacob as soon as his aging father was dead. When Rebecca heard Esau’s threat, she sent Jacob far away to go live with her brother Laban in the land of Haran. Rebecca never saw her son Jacob again.

When Jacob met his cousin Rachel, he fell in love with her. Jacob agreed to work for Uncle Laban for seven years in order to have Rachel as his wife. There was a wedding late at night. Disguised as Rachel, behind the veil of clothes, was her older sister, Leah. The next morning the truth was revealed. Jacob worked seven more years for Rachel, and Uncle Laban gave Jacob both daughters as his wives. Jacob reaped what he had sown. He was deceived into believing that one daughter was the other—the same deception he played on his father. Jacob then agreed to work six additional years for Uncle Laban in exchange for all of the brown sheep and speckled goats in the herds. After twenty years of hiding,God put it on Jacob’s heart to go home to the Promised Land of his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham. Jacob packed up his wives, children and herds of animals and started a caravan for the long journey home to Canaan.  

On the way home, Jacob was told that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Struck with fear, Jacob divided his family into two groups and sent them ahead to cross the river Jabbok. “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when he saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’  But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless You bless me!’” (Genesis 32:24) This was Jacob’s all night prayer meeting. Jacob repented of all he had done. Life’s circumstances had reduced Jacob to helplessness. 

He was desperately crying out to God in prayer. It was God who brought Jacob to this point of no return. It was God who was wrestling with Jacob; wrestling for control. We are all like Jacob—trying to manipulate God into giving us His physical blessings. It is only when we are broken and surrender to His will that He can bless us spiritually. There is power in repentance. After Jacob repented of what he had done in the natural, then God blessed him with a supernatural blessing and a new name. ~George DeTellis, Jr.

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