Life Lessons Devotional Series, Tuesday May 2, 2023
Scripture: Gen. 32: 22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
Life Lesson: The boldness of Jacob in holding on through the night and refusing to let go until he was blessed, profoundly illustrates for us the tenacity in prayer that is essential for any believer who is wrestling through the conflicts in life!
– Jacob knew he was going to soon encounter his brother Esau, and that encounter posed a very real and dangerous threat not only to him personally but also to all that he owned or held dear.
– Jacob had just fled his father-in-law with all he possessed and that act meant that he was also targeted by him as well. God had supernaturally spared Jacob from Laban’s wrath, but now there lay ahead of him an even greater and more formidable threat.
– Therefore, Jacob got alone with God. Many of us pace and worry, call a friend or imagine things we might do or say; but Jacob sent all he had across the stream and remained alone to wrestle through the night in prayer.
– Have you ever thought of prayer as a wrestling match? The prophet Isaiah wrote under inspiration of the Lord, Isa. 62: 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
– What we can glean from such passages is that the Lord welcomes this kind of tenacious zeal in our praying. The great hymn writer Charles Wesley penned these words in his song Soldiers of Christ Arise, “From strength to strength go on; Wrestle and fight and pray; Tread all the powers of darkness down, And win the well-fought day. That having all things done, And all your conflicts past, Ye may o’ercome, through Christ alone, And stand complete at last.” We are never stronger than when we are on our knees in prayer, holding on by faith, and determined to receive God’s blessing no matter the cost!