Struggling With God

Q. Thank you so much for your continued help and guidance. My question is about the significance of Jacob’s wrestling match in the book of Genesis. Was the angel he was wrestling a theophany? What was the significance of the wrestling and the length of the wrestling and the crippling of his hip afterward? Thanks as always.

A. According to Jacob’s declaration in Genesis 32:30, the angel was the Lord. They wrestled all night long because Jacob would not submit. Finally the Lord touched his hip, probably dislocating it. Seriously injured, Jacob had to stop, but even then he demanded a blessing. In blessing him, the Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means “he struggles with God.”

This event is a model of the relationship between the Lord and His people Israel. It seems they’ve always struggled with God, sometimes submitting only when seriously injured.

Throughout the long night of the Diaspora they’ve struggled, yet in the dawn of the Kingdom Age they’ll receive the blessing that comes from knowing Him.

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