(24) And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. (25) And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. (26) And he said, let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. (27) And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. (28) And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. (Genesis 32:24-28 KJV)
Ah!! The night time battle. Many of us know this very popular scripture in the Bible. It’s when Jacob wrestled with the Lord we also know that before this that Jacob had been in the process of preparing to face his brother Esau!! To be honest this was not something that Jacob was looking forward to, because the last time he saw Esau, Jacob had not only swindled him out of his birthright, but also his blessing!! Talk about being angry! Hearing that Esau wanted to meet up with him, Jacob gathers his wives Rachel and Leah and their hand maids , all of their children other servants as well as their livestock. Now the reason why I brought this up is so that you can better understand my next point. Verse 24 says that Jacob was left alone. I want for you to understand the significance of this. When Jacob started off he started off with a group of people. Note this even though his wives, their handmaids, and their servants were in close proximity, when the man wrestled with Jacob he was alone. Anytime we wrestle with anything spiritually, especially when it comes to the will of God. We do so alone. It’s because when we’re alone that God has our attention. We’re not distracted by the he said she said, or the if I was you I would do this or I would do that. Verse 25 says that and when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow part of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. I like to refer to this as the battle of the wills. God’s will verses that of Jacob. The fact that the scripture says that when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh. In other words Jacob was still holding on to what he wanted and to what he knew, and because he was refusing to let go of what he knew or who he was. The man touched him at the hollow part of his thigh. The thigh represents a person’s walk it’s symbolic to a person’s strength, it is something that you trust to stand on. For example if we say we trust in the Lord and that we’re standing on faith. In this case with Jacob he had been trusting in his own ability to get what he wanted and the way Jacob acquired anything was through deceit. So the Lord touched the hollow part of Jacob’s thigh. The word hollow means having a hole or empty space inside; it means without significance. So when he touched Jacob he was touching that empty place in his life. He touched him in the area that was not substantial. Any one who has ever been touched by God in your area of weakness knows that it’s not enjoyable. He’s touching you in the place where your hurting, at the place where if we’re honest that we don’t want him to touch, because if he does that means trading our will for his will. The scripture also says that the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint. In other words it wasn’t aligned properly with the rest of him. This is symbolic because it shows us that any areas in our lives that we rely on ourselves and not God it causes us to be out of joint or another way I can put it is that it can cause us to be out of the will of God.
In another one of my posts. I made mention of the fact that any time the Bible talks about night. We know that it’s a dark season or that a person is struggling. So during this dark season of Jacob’s life the Bible says that Jacob wrestled. To wrestle means to struggle with a difficulty it means to grapple with an opponent to force it to the ground. Sometimes it’s a struggle to let go of how you thought that your life should be. Any time we have a tug of war with conforming to what God wants. We find ourselves wrestling with God. Remember how I said earlier that anytime we go through a tough season we go through it alone? That’s because when we wrestle with God it will always be an internal battle. Here’s what happens when the battle is over by the end Jacob refuses to let go until the Lord blessed him. Somewhere in the night Jacob came to the realization of who he was fighting against. How many of us have been there. We think we’re wrestling against ourselves when the whole time we’re wrestling against God! Now the morning is about to come and he asked Jacob what is your name. To which he replies Jacob. Jacob meant supplanter or deceiver. So by Jacob saying his name he was admitting to being a deceiver. I’m beginning to understand that this wrestle wasn’t just about the will of God verses the will of Jacob, but it was also about Jacob struggling to hold on to who he was. I like how the angel said you will no longer be called Jacob but instead you will be called Israel. He was telling Jacob that you will no longer be known as a deceiver, you will no longer have to lie and scheme to get what you want. From now on your name will be Israel which means prince, because you prevailed with God and because you prevailed not only will you have favor with God, but with man also.
The night time battle is not a pretty one. It’s that time we’re confronted with who we are, it’s in this time when God touches that hollow part of our lives. It’s in these times when we struggle with God’s will verses our own, but it’s also in these times when we can choose to say like Jacob. I won’t let go. Not until you bless me!!