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…And (God) said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:24-25, 28
Jacob; schemer, deceiver, always looking for an angle. Why, that arrogant little $^%&* would wrestle God Himself!
In fact, he did! The verses above are part of the account of God visiting Jacob in the night. The two wrestled all night long, and Jacob would not give in.
I know…the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the Universe did not lose a match to a mere human being. Still, He was mighty impressed that Jacob wouldn’t back down. Finally, He touched Jacob’s hip – just touched it – and put it out of joint.
“Nice try, Sparky! Just remember Who’s your Daddy.”
Here’s where it really gets impressive. Jacob knows Who he’s tussling with. His hip just got dislocated, but he STILL won’t give in.
“I will not let You go unless You bless me!” Verse 26.
That, my friends, is a serious set of cojones! The man wrestles with God, who lets him think he’s getting somewhere. This goes on all night. The man, like a child who doesn’t know when the game is over, won’t let it go. God puts a serious move on him just to remind him of Who is who, dislocating his hip in the process, and the man still says this isn’t over yet. Not till I get a blessing from You.
God asks him his name, and he tells God. God replies, “Not any more.” New name? ISRAEL, Prince with God!
This, friends, is huge. Understand the use of the term “Prince” in the Bible. It is normally used in association with heavenly beings. Satan is the Prince of the World. Daniel refers to Satan’s Princes of the world, each with its own geographic territory. Unfallen angels are also referred to as princes, each with their own assigned duties. Recall that there is a special class of angels called “Watchers,” for example. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace.
When God calls Jacob “Prince with God” He is making a serious, universe-shaking pronouncement! He is not a prince of God, but a prince with God. Jacob is being elevated to virtually angelic status. If that sounds like a stretch too far, recall David saying this in Psalm 8:5 – For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
“A little lower than the angels.” Jacob is getting a promotion. Why? Because he will produce the Twelve Tribes of Israel through whom God will bring His own Prince of Peace into the world and save all of humanity in every time; past, present, and future.
Just as the Watchers are charged with watching over humanity, Jacob and his progeny are charged with being the sacred bloodline that will not just watch over humanity, but save humanity! If you still think that’s a stretch, consider Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the eternal place of the house of Israel with God. Isaiah 60:16-22 –
You shall drink dry the milk of the Gentiles, And milk the breast of kings; You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, Instead of iron I will bring silver, Instead of wood, bronze, And instead of stones, iron. I will also make your officers peace, And your magistrates righteousness. 18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, Neither [a]wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls Salvation, And your gates Praise.
God the Glory of His People
19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended. 21 Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand, And a small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.”
And so it begins…