A need met transforms a deceiver.

So many today have deep needs that hold them in bondages. Many do not press into God for freedom from addictions, but rather they run from God and are locked into deception. In our text we see one of the Bibles mysterious narratives that brought transformation to a life long deceiver.

24  Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

27 So He said to him, “what is your name?” he said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” and He blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31 Just as he crossed over Peniel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.  Genesis 32:24-31 NKJV. jacob_wrestling_with_god

This is one tall mysterious mystery, the Man is identified by Hosea as an angel (Hos. 12:4). The importance of the narrative is Jacob’s willingness to contend with God at his time of desperate need. Jacob knows God has willed to bless him (Gen. 32:12) and he will settle for nothing less than his full inheritance (v. 26).

Jacob’s contending tenacity causes him to again prevail (v.29). The Man obviously knew Jacob’s name.  He was made to say it because of its meaning—“supplanter” or “Deceiver.” He must acknowledge his weakness (like all of us) before he is transformed.

In spite of Jacob’s character weaknesses God commends him for his prevailing attitude; he is a fighter. As such Hosea sees Jacob as a model to be emulated whenever one is facing difficulty or a need for character transformation (Hos. 12:2-6).

The fact that Jacob limped symbolizes that character transformation costs God’s people in terms of death to our egos. Although the emphasis is Jacob’s contending (v.28), his personal transformation is an important secondary element.

This is what is needed in the body of Christ today. God gave Jacob the ultimate answer to his prayer: He showed His face (Gen.32:30).

God wants to reveal the knowledge of His glory, by the power of His Spirit, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). So ask, seek, and knock (Luke 11:9, 10). One encounter face to face with Jesus will transform all character defects, as well as addictions. Glory be to God!





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