Jacob Wrestled With God – God Blessed Him

As we learn in the previous chapters of Genesis, Jacob was a rascal. He was a manipulator. He had treated his brother wrongly and his brother had been so angry, he wanted to kill him. So his mother got him out of Dodge. Many years later, he is once again going to meet his brother.

In Genesis 32:4, he humbly sends a servant to find out his brothers’ response. In verse 6, the servant comes back with report. Esau is coming with four hundred men, a small army. He is suffering the consequences of his actions toward his brother. Wrong actions, sins have consequences. We cannot change the past, but, praise God, He can forgive sin. But we still may suffer consequences.

We can try to get real close to God when we are in a crisis. In verse 9-12, Jacob seeks the face of God. He has learned, as we all need to learn, that God hates pride and arrogance. He fears for his life and that of his family. So he petitions God with His promises and begs God for his mercy to deliver him. Mercy is what we do not deserve. God does not have to grant it. So he seeks to get right with God.

He divides his family and tries some strategy to protect them.
In verse 24, he is all alone. …and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of day. God was not prepared to answer Jacob’s prayer yet. Here he is wrestling with the pre-incarnate Christ, in human form. You and I, like Jacob, often need a one-on-one with God. If we want victory, if we want freedom, if we want Gods blessing, there is no other way. Jacob is wrestling with God the one who knows the thoughts and intents of his heart, your heart, my heart. Sometimes I ask people how bad do they want freedom from addictions? How bad do I want victory over sin? We need a one-on-one with God in prayer.

Let us notice several things:

1. It was not instantaneous. We want things now. They wrestled all night…with no sleep. We live in a day and age when we want to rush into God’s presence and rush out again.
2. The wrestling is with a Holy God. He sees it all. He sees in the dark and in the dark recesses of our heart. We are an open book to Him. We are going to have to repent and turn from our wickedness.
3. It is going to cost us something. Jacob was in pain because God touched his thigh. God wanted to keep him humble even when he was a prince with God. We are going to have to surrender to God in every area. In verse 26, we read, “And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”
4. There must be a Godly determination that I must prevail and have God’s blessing. If Jacob did not get God’s blessing, he would surely die. He would not let go. Today we are able to wrestle in prayer with an invisible God, just the same as he physically wrestled with God. How bad do we want God’s blessing? Are we willing for God to search our heart thoroughly?
In verse 27, the Bible tells us, “…for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” 
5. He prevailed. Despite all his wickedness, God had mercy and turned the heart of his brother toward him. Have you met any prayer princes who have wrestled with God, and God heard their prayer? Like Jacob, we need to keep praying and wrestle with God until He hears our prayer.