But during the night he got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He got them safely across the brook along with all his possessions. But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint. The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”
Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.” The man said, “What’s your name?”
He answered, “Jacob.” The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.” Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”
The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him. Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”
So. Here’s a seemingly odd entry.
We have Jacob. Just getting over a fair few years getting abused by his now former boss, just to be confronted by the brother he messed around. The thing is, he procrastinates a little, but he eventually seems to not only ensure his wives are safe, but he intends to face the brother that Jacob is certain wants him dead.
No sooner then his wives are safe, then this all turns… Well weird.
This man / angel / God, appears from no where, and wrestles with Jacob.
Serious question now. Why?
I wonder if the conclusion of this wrestling encounter is more important then how it started in the first place, in that Jacob emerges from his encounter with the new walk and a new name: Isreal. Jacob encounters God, and is given a new identity.
What’s your take on this supernational wrestling match?