“And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
When we read in the Bible about great people of God we find they all seem to have deep experiences with God. The details of their experiences vary greatly but the results are similar.
Jacob wrestled all night with an angel. The angel forced Jacob to look up and wrestle his way to God. Then the angel forced Jacob to look in and confess that he was a rascal who lived up to his name.
The name “Jacob” meant “Grabber.” Jacob was a mover, shaker, doer kind of man who was always running and would not stand still long enough for God to place a blessing upon him.
God could not get Jacob to wait on his Lord. God had to cripple him so God might crown him with God’s blessing. We might call it: “The cripple crown blessing of God.” When a person is crippled what else can he or she do but wait?
When God won the wrestling match God pronounced a blessing upon Jacob – the one quoted above. By changing his name to “Israel” God declared that Jacob was a fighter. He had fought his way to God and confessed to what he saw when he looked in. Jacob was then ready to look around and deal with his relationships with people.
Are you a spiritual fighter? Have you fought your way to look up to God? Have you won the battle when you look in? Are you winning the battle when you look around and work out all your relationships?
Dick Woodward, 13 May 2013