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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 things of God are given to the childlike and only the Elect know God. Something to think about. Academic knowledge has no place here.

25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

I definitely don't believe the man was God..because like u said Mike, if it was he would have got his butt whipped! He could have been an angel God sent down to get Jacob to relinquish his ways or have someone on his level of strength. However, I believe God is only one who gives new names..I definitely believe it was a spiritual war over principalities of good and evil..the will and emotion..God in the end wins..Jacob/Israel is changed and never the same and finally is having g a personal relationship with God which is the purpose in the end.

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