In this biblical account Jacob is about to meet with Esau, his brother from whom he took his birthright 1 and his father’s blessing. 2 3 4 Having learned of Esau’s plan for revenge, their father sent Jacob away to preserve his life. 5 After 20 years, Jacob starts the journey home. Fearing for his life he sends messengers and peace offerings ahead of him to meet Esau. Jacob learns that Esau is coming to meet him.6 The reality that Esau is coming with 400 men causes Jacob to face his sins. In Great fear and distress, Jacob divides his party into two groups, including the flocks and herds, thinking that if Esau attacks one, the other group may escape. Jacob eventually divides those remaining into 3 separate groups, sending everyone ahead of him.
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”7 8
Consider: Jacob was born holding his twin brother Esau’s heel, and his name is explained as meaning “holder of the heel” or “supplanter”9, because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son.10
My Prayer: Lord, teach me fight and like Jacob not give up until you bless me out of my sinful ways.11