Jacob was left alone,and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 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. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
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.”
There are so many accounts in the Bible that cause me to shake my head and wonder why the Lord wanted us to know such things. As I continue in this journey called “life” I find that some of the reasons for these accounts reveal themselves to me as my life becomes more seasoned through living.
I have been a sold out for the Lord Christian since I was 16 years old. I was known as a “Jesus Jock” and “Bible Banger” during my high school days. Both titles I wore with honor. Though I have desired to live my life for the Lord from the age of 16 that does not mean that I have always gotten “it” right. Even in my zest for God sometimes I get too big for my own britches. I can recount many times in my life that I have walked out on my own understanding instead of by faith. I have been blessed greatly and there are times when such great blessing can get to my head and I lose sight of Who is the foundation and step off for a little while without meaning to…….”DANGER, DANGER, Will Robinson!”
I think that is where this story of Jacob/Israel makes sense to me. God was protecting Jacob. You say, “What?” God wanted to give Jacob a daily reminder of where it is safe to stand. So often human weaknesses turn us toward the Lord because in those times we know that we can not do it on our own and we depend and look for the Lord’s support and guidance. Jacob was about to be more richly blessed than he could have ever imagined and great responsibility would be upon his shoulders, God desired to protect Jacob’s strength by giving him a little weakness. God was providing a way so that Jacob would not get too big for his britches and in doing so Jacob would continue to stand upon the firm foundation of God and not upon his own understanding.
We all have some type of weakness in our life, something that is a struggle. I think I am learning to STOP asking God to remove my struggles and instead answering as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob did many times, “Here I am, Lord.”