The story of Jacob wrestling with God is surreal and otherworldly. Everything in the story seems like a natural and normal story of a man wanting to make things right with his brother. Then all of the sudden, out of nowhere, Jacob is left alone and is wrestling with a man. One moment he’s saying goodbye to everyone and the next he’s engaged in a death match with someone.
But wait, it gets even more surreal. We find out this man Jacob has been wrestling with is actually God and God allows Jacob time to wrestle with Him. Jacob was probably wrestling with God his entire life. God came to Jacob and loved Him enough to allow Him to spend all night wrestling with Him. Then, God gives Jacob a new name. In verse 28 it reads: “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.”
God loves us so much He allows us to wrestle with Him. He lets us come to terms with our powerlessness and brokenness. Then what does God do? He gives us a new identity. God declares us victors and overcomers. Our God allows us to struggle with Him and, in the end, declares us the winner. This is because our God knows us by name and calls us as He sees us, not as we see ourselves.
Written by James Miller