Scripture Reference Ephesians 6 : 12
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Gen. 32: Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim …. 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.”
The Lord had revealed to Rebekah while her twin sons were jostling in her womb that two nations were conceived in her womb and that the older son would serve the younger 25:23. God’s selection of Jacob over Esau had nothing to with God playing favorites for the decree was made before either son was even born! God’s selection was based in His sovereign wisdom and knowledge. Jacob was not necessarily a better man than Esau, in fact his name Jacob literally means “he grasps at the heel”, usurper or deceiver. Jacob was true to his name in plotting with his mother to deceive his aged father into giving him the blessing Isaac intended for Esau.
Jacob’s deception was costly requiring him to flee away to his uncle Laban’s farm to escape his brother’s wrath. Listen, whenever we plot and scheme to take what we believe we should have rather than trusting in God to provide, we are setting ourselves up for trouble. Jacob seemingly wrestled with God’s plan for his life for decades. Rather than trusting in the prophetic word of the Lord spoken over him before he was born he instead chose to take matters into his own hands in an attempt to take it for himself! Jacob wrestled with his fellow man always trying to take what they had for himself. However, Jacob’s way of living was driving him toward an inevitable conflict! Have you been there? Are you maybe there right now? Are you trying to take for yourself rather than trusting God to provide for you? You need to meet with God right now.
Jacob’s life of deception had brought him into conflict with his twin brother and then again into conflict with his uncle – both men inevitably wanted to kill him! Jacob then found himself needing to return to his homeland – he could no longer outrun or hide from the conflict waiting for him in the form of his brother. All of us must at some point face up to the pain we left in our wake, the people we have hurt through our carelessness and selfishness. Here in Peniel Jacob would wrestle with God as a man wrestles with another man. It would have been easy for the Lord to overpower Jacob, yet he wrestled there with him throughout the night.
Application: God knows you, God knows what you have done and yet God loves you! His presence surrounds you! His holy angels attend to you, 32:1. You have made some bad decisions and those decisions have led you to this place, but if you, like Jacob will earnestly seek the Lord He will come to you; you might wrestle and fight but you can never overcome His power! With a single touch He can easily immobilize you, yet He strives with you to bring you closer to Himself! His intention is to bless you so that you can in turn limp away and be the blessing He has always intended for you to be! Those who seek the Lord are given a new identity in Christ Jesus, the old is gone and the new has come!