Jacob had finally arrived at the place where transformation can begin. In light of the looming threat of Esau and his 400 men he realized that he had exhausted all his self-sufficiency and had no more tricks up his sleeve. He was completely powerless, in desperate need of God, and he knew it. As he cries out to God for help, it’s the first time we hear him pray with a spirit of humility and gratitude.
He decides to send everyone on ahead across the Jabbok. He gives them instructions on how to carefully proceed- but he stays behind to spend the night alone on the other side. That’s when one of the most mysterious events in Scripture takes place. During the night, Jacob gets into yet another struggle, another conflict. But, this time, it is with God. “This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.” Genesis 32:24-25 (NLT)
All along, Jacob’s biggest struggle has not been with Esau, not with Uncle Laban or his father, Jacob’s biggest struggle has been with God. So God shows up in human form and they have it out. God doesn’t mind wrestling with us, does He? Because wrestling is a contact sport. It means you’re up close. And God would rather have you up close wrestling with Him than far away and apathetic.
Jacob was the kind of person who had always taken matters into his own hands- for his entire life. With any problem we face, it will always come down to two critical questions for us- will I trust God? And, will I obey God and do the right thing? He has arrived on that path of transformation at the next important stop. He is coming to realize just how much he matters to God… and that God and God alone has the power to truly help him become who God has created Him to be.
Pastor Hess Hester