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…What is your take on Jacob wrestling with the angel and then being blessed by the angel? Should Jacob have not wrestled / struggled with the angel / God? Should we in our lives today not wrestle / struggle with God? Or should we wrestle with matters of faith sometimes? As long as we know God will win the wrestling match - is it okay for us to enter into a wrestling match with God or no? Is there a faith-journey wrestling match in your past that you'd be willing to share with others?

This reminds me of a saying I once heard: “ your arms are too short to box with God.” The same applies to wrestling with God. Jacob seemed to hold his own with God but only because God went easy on Him. God always wins and no mortal man can contend with God unless God allows him to do so for a reason. God would not have been there if He didn’t want to let Jacob wrestle with Him. Obviously Jacob did the right thing to wrestle with Him because afterward he was blessed. I see it as figurative of God testing the strength of our faith by perhaps allowing us to struggle in our lives until we learn to surrender to Him. If we overcome or prevail we will be blessed. There is also the negative aspect of wrestling with God and that is going against His will and resisting the Spirit. I can’t think of anything specific offhand where I can say that I wrestled with God but I definitely have had struggles involving faith and obedience to God throughout my pilgrimage in this world. I have also heard this passage concerning Jacob’s wrestling match with God used as an illustration of persistent prayer.

GENESIS 32:13-34:31

The man whom Jacob wrestled with, I believe, was another one of several pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament period for Jacob said, “ I have seen God face to face” ( 32:30 ).

By now Jacob knew that he had wronged Esau his brother and also did wrong in deceiving his father Isaac. Jacob bowing before his brother Esau “seven times” ( 33:3 ) reminds me of what Jesus also said about forgiveness:

“ Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee SEVEN TIMES in a day, and SEVEN TIMES in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

- Luke 17:3-4 ( KJV )

MATTHEW 11:7-30

An example of contradictions that unbelievers often display among themselves in their rejection of Christ are also seen here. They condemned John the Baptist for fasting while condemning Jesus for eating and drinking ( vv. 18-19 ). They accused both of being possessed by Devils ( 10:25; 11:18 ).

Verses 22-24 seems to indicate that there will be degrees of punishment meted out to unbelieving, unrepentant sinners on Judgment Day according to the amount of light that they had rejected. The greater the light that was rejected the more they will be held accountable.

PSALM 14:1-7

Could God’s view of atheists be any plainer? “THE FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no God…” ( v.1 )

The depravity of the human spiritual condition is also laid out plainly here ( v.2-3 ). One of the reasons is Bible illiteracy and lack of prayer: “ they have NO KNOWLEDGE…and CALL NOT UPON THE LORD “ ( v.4 ).

PROVERBS 3:19-20

The excellency of God’s wisdom is seen in all creation. That all these things with their order, design, complexity and governed by universal laws of physics just came into being by random chance defies even human logic and yet multitudes continue to embrace false science and the humanistic reasonings about the origin of the universe.

I think Jacob was wrestling with God in the form of an angel. I think that at times in my life that I have questioned God, misunderstood God and been frustrated at His apparent lack of action to prayers I have prayed. So while I have never seen God face to face... yes I have wrestled with Him in prayer. I have told Him that I didn't understand and that I even disagreed with Him. I know that if it is in my heart and in my mind that He knows that anyway so I feel that open communication (in that me verbalizing it through prayer) is o.k. with God. It has been at these times in my life that God has given me peace after I got MY feeling out of the way. Just letting Him know how I really feel enables me to clear this out of my thinking and heart and allows Him to fill it with His love so that I accept His answer even when I don't understand it. I know through time that I have seen things I wished would have gone differently but God wouldn't have it happen that way and now looking back...my God was right. I don't think it is disrespectful to Him unless you make it that way. I think wrestling with God is a way of opening your whole heart, mind and soul to HIm. That is why the OT speaks to me so clearly. The conversations Abraham had with God, the wrestling Jacob did with God and in our future readings... the times Moses will have with Him. They were humans, just like me, who were not perfect and at times questioned God but God considered them one of His own. Enough so to include them in His Word. So these stories are there for a reason. So yes, I have wrestled with God and yes He always wins but that is o.k. the communication that occurs during the match is always life changing. And as I go back and read your question to answer one more time to see if I answered it. I feel moved to share a time I wrestled with Him. A couple of years ago my husband and myself went through a situation that without God would have ended our marrige. I was devasted and had no where to go to but God. I poured my soul to Him. I told him of my fears, my anger, I even told Him what He should do during all those months of prayer. Yes, I wrestled with God over what I thought He should do and what He was doing. Through all this communication and per His pull on my heart I kept my mouth shut in circumstances where I wanted to open it. I finally gave completely in to God and told Him the problem was His. (that took me a while). I asked Him to give me words to speak or to close my mouth if need be. And He did....that is what He wanted and I decided to follow His instructions. That was the best decision of my life. We are still together and, no our life is not perfect but God is in Control. I know that things would have been worse if I had not have given God control. Wrestling with Him on that one situation has changed my life forever and made it easier for me to accept His will in the difficult things I face now. It prepared me for the other things in life that have come my way. Oh How He Loves Me! He knew I would wrestle and He knew what He would teach me would change me. What a Mighty God We SERVE!!!

The fact that Jacob wrestled with either God or a pre-incarnate of Jesus or just an angel is one of those mysteries that only God Almight will have to explain when and if he is ready. I almost believe it was a symbolic way of what went on in Jacobs own mind. He moved away from his group in Penniel and had several camp outs but this time was different because it changed his life. I am just glad to get to read about it and overhear the details to what went on in Jacobs like. I think only some mysteries are revealed in His infinite time and wisdom..yet some things are left discreet..

Be Blessed :-D

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