Jacob's wrestling match with God (Genesis 32)

Did Jacob demonstrate faith when he wrestled with God because he knew he needed God and couldn’t face Esau alone, or did he show a lack of faith because God had already blessed him? Was he striving to get what God had already given (Genesis 28:13-15)?

I’m also wondering if there is a deeper meaning to this story than a superficial reading reveals. I’ll be leading a Bible study on Hosea 12:2-4, which alludes to Genesis 32, so I’d like a better understanding of the passage.

1 Like

One thing that I have always found powerful about Jacob wrestling with God was that the first time Jacob was blessed he was pretending to be his brother. His father asked him who he was and he said, “Esau.” This time he is asking a blessing from God, trying to wrestle it away from God. In the midst of this God asks him, “What is your name?” The same question he was asked the first time. The answer to that first question had set all of these events in motion. He had been running from who he was and what he had done his entire life. He was not going to face the one from whom he had stole. He was about to face head on the consequences of his actions.

This time the Lord asked him, “What is your name?” The first time his father was blind, he couldn’t see and could be deceived. This time he knew his trick wouldn’t work again. He could not run away from his name which means “deceiver.” He had to confront who he was. He answered, “Jacob.” Then God renames him Israel. He received his blessing and was able to go out and confront his brother having first confronted himself and God.

I think there are some very powerful lessons in there. Hope this helps. Sorry if I missed anything.

5 Likes