Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” (v. 26, niv)
Whether Jacob realized it or not, his life has been one big wrestling match with God. So far Jacob the Clever has been able to be in control of his life and career—or so he thought. But now his back is to the wall. Realizing that the time had come for him to return to the land that God has promised him, Jacob now has to face the brother he had cheated years before. Surely Esau will still hate him and want to kill him.
In desperation, Jacob prays. It is somewhat of a selfish prayer—to be delivered, of course, from his brother Esau—but the prayer does sound sincere and even humble. Jacob admits that he is unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness God has shown to him.
In great fear and distress, Jacob goes to sleep that night. And during the night a strange encounter follows. Jacob wrestles with the Lord and is crippled. But he refuses to let go until God blesses him. His name is changed and so is his life.
Is it time for you to quit struggling against God and hold fast to him instead?
Lord, I’m sorry for fighting you and wanting my way. Help me to surrender my life to you. Amen.