Holding Onto God – Old Testament Tuesday
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.”
One of my favorite people of the Old Testament is Jacob. You know he was a schemer. He tricked his father out of a special blessing pretending to be his brother Esau. His brother was then ready to kill him and so he ran away and yet he persevered under the most trying circumstances. What goes around comes around applies to Jacob because later he was the recipient of a similar great deception with his father in-law Laban and his daughters Rachel and Leah.
The passage above talks about when Jacob got the name Israel. He was anxious about meeting his brother after many years in exile. He could not sleep and was praying and the angel of the Lord appeared and Jacob would not let go. That is the part of Jacob I like, not the deceptive part of his life. God gave him the name Israel which could be translated “the wrestler.” He would not let go of his hold on God. Sometimes wrestlers just hang on as tight as they possibly can. When you hold on to God incredible things happen. Jacob found this out and became Israel. Hold on to God and His promises and never let go. He may have a special name for you also.