Genesis 32:1 - 32
ESV - 1 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, "This is God's camp!" So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
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First, I would say that, as indicated in the question, the "man" spoken of in the cited verse or passage was, in fact, a supernatural, divine being (and possibly even a theophany of the pre-incarnate Christ), rather than just another human. It is to Jacob's credit that he recognized his opponent as such; that he realized that the contest was not only as a physical one, but also a spiritual one (as indicated by Jacob's supplication for a blessing); and that he persisted in his struggle with his opponent even after having had his hip put out of joint, which are examples of discernment of God's presence or involvement in a situation, and also of persistance in seeking God's blessing, that can serve as an example of Christians to the present day. Also, the hip injury that occurred to Jacob could be viewed as being analogous to the "thorn in the flesh" given by God to Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7) to prevent him from becoming too "puffed up" because of his success in the struggle, as well as the name change conferred upon him, with significance for Christians today in the sense of viewing hardships with which they have to deal as actually being signs of God's involvement in their lives, and striving to absorb the spiritual lessons that God would have them learn from them.
In my view this wrestling match is a living parable showing us how Jacob GOT SAVED. The wrestling match symbolizes HIS will vs GOD’S will. This is every human being’s battle, to surrender to God and receive our salvation. I encourage you to read the whole story of Jacob’s life. Use one half of the page to record what Jacob was like before the wrestling match - his deceiving, cheating, scheming, greedy, selfish behaviours. Then record what Israel was like after the wrestling match - his humble, contrite, faithful, prayerful, God trusting and honouring behaviours. This was a transformed man, just like everyone who becomes a Christian, we are a new creation. Even the name change is symbolic of the transformation. Jacob was the old sinful “Adam type”, while Israel was the “Christ type” who inherited all God’s promises, was annointed with his Holy Spirit, and was the Father of the twelve tribes of Israel. I think when Jesus (pre-incarnate) put his hip out of joint it was to be a constant reminder not to return to that old life of “self-will” but to keep surrendered to “God’s will”. I love the story and transformation in Jacob/Israel’s life. It reminds me so much of my own. Thank you God for this living parable of Jacob’s life.
Jacob was prayerful (Gen. 32:9-12, 24-30). “So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak” (Genesis 32:24). Being alone with God is the best solitude we can have. (Mark 6:31: And he said unto them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”) My daughter is home with us on a 2-week staycation. She tries to have devotions “alone” out in the kitchen, which in our house is like “Grand Central Station”. That bugs her so I tell her to go outside (which she loves to do) and have her “prayer closet” out there. (Just like Jesus said in Matthew 6:6: 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.) I love the lyrics to "Rasslin' Jacob": RASSLIN' JACOB ________ Raslin' Jacob, (the day) the day is breaking, Raslin' Jacob, i will not let thee go, Raslin' Jacob, (oh the day) the day is breaking, Raslin' Jacob, i will not let thee go. (Oh let me go) Oh Jacob, (the day) the day is breaking Let me go jacob, i will not let thee go Must Jesus bear the cross alone, And all the world go free? No there is a cross for everyone And theres a cross for me I came to Jesus as i was, Weary worn and sad, I found in him a resting place, And he has made me rest, -- Gaither Vocal Band How are your wrestling skills? Jacob would not let go of God until he received a blessing. Are you willing to hold on to God with that sort of fervor? Do you have any scars, like Jacob's limp, from holding on to God? Share the story of your scars with someone today who needs encouragement in their faith.
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