It is not until Jacob is left alone with the Lord that his named is changed to Israel, a prince with God.


Being alone with God is the beginning of becoming spiritually self-sustained.


Jacob had arranged everything for meeting and appeasing his brother Esau, however, the Lord is going to intervene and reveal some very serious problems that Jacob has.


Being humble is a sign of spiritual growth whereas being humbled is a sign of spiritual need.


Jacob must be stripped from his own strength and become weak, lamed and made to limp.


His own schemes and cleverness that he always relied on now prove to be inadequate.


Zec 4:6  'It's not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts.

JOH 15:5  "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing."


2CH 32:7  "Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria, nor because of all the multitude which is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him.


2CH 32:8  "With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."


Jacob learns that even though it costs him something, namely a physical disability for life, that this hard struggle paid off and he learns to cast himself upon the mercy of God.


Prin-Whatever it is that prohibits a person from receiving God's highest and best and stands in his way, God will touch it.


All during Jacob's life had been the struggle of a clever and strong and self-confi­dent and self-sufficient person, who would always use his strength and wit to overcome others.

In this wrestling match, God desired to break his strength and wisdom in order to bestow upon him divine  strength and divine wisdom.


  1. In choosing and arranging the present for his brother Esau, we see the character and activities of Jacob's "flesh" or relying on his old sin nature deceiving and scheming once again.


  1. In Jacob's experience with this Wrestler, who is TLJC according to Hos 12:2-6, we are shown the worthlessness and helplessness of the "flesh."


  1. Our nothingness can be discovered only we get "alone" with God.


  1. The fact that the wrestling match lasted all night is a picture of the patience that God exercises toward us and the slowness of His process in dealing with our human nature experientially.


  1. In the touching of "the socket of Jacob's thigh" we see the method God pursues with us which is to bring us to a vivid realization of our utter helplessness.


SOL 2:15   "Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom."


  1. Many times that which hinders us in our spiritual growth is not so much our weakness but our natural strength.



  1. The laming of Jacob's thigh represents the weakening of the strong part of the old sin nature which can hinder our relationship with God.


  1. The failure of Jacob's natural power is the turning-point in this wrestling match and it symbolizes the transition in Jacob's life and character from reliance upon self to reliance upon God, his (misunderstood) divine Antagonist.


  1. If we are ever to become like Jacob, a prince with God, dependence on self must be broken and lamed in order that we may grasp the hand that smites us and find divine power for our weakness.



  1. At first Jacob held his own, the "Lord saw that He prevailed not against him", therefore, the Lord must take some severe measures which will give us no alternative but to give in.

Isa 14:13 "I will ascend to heaven;"

"I will raise my throne above the angels of God"


"I will sit on the mount of assembly, the place of authority, in the recesses of the north.

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."


JOH 21:18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go."


Jacob found out that you do not get anywhere with God by struggling and resisting.


The only way that you get anywhere with Him is by letting go of your human power and strength and learning to rely on His power and strength.


Prin-The struggling and striving are over and from here on Jacob is going to manifest a spiritual nature which is dependent upon God.

Second prin-Jacob won, but he got the victory, not by fighting and struggling, but by surrendering or giving in to the Spirit of God.



What looks like defeat to the world can be an incredible blessing from God.


Here we see the object of the Heavenly Wrestler, TLJC,  the real Rock, accomplished.


No longer could Jacob wrestle, all he could do was cling.


This mysterious Stranger brought Jacob to the point where Jacob was weak and had to lean his entire weight on Him. 


Up to this point he had prevailed in life by his own ways and his own means, but now he is brought to say 'I will not let You  go.'


It is not until we fully realize our own helplessness and nothingness that we are brought to cling to God and really seek His blessings.


Not only did Jacob say "I will not let Thee go," but he added "except Thou bless me."


One of the most popular human combats in the Bible was between David and Goliath,  but in that match it was only made between man and man, there was only one mortal against another.


To think that God Himself should come down from His throne in heaven to wrestle with Jacob, Hos 12; described as a poor worm, is much more incredible then David and Goliath.


Prin-God is often compelled to bring us into absolute helplessness before our faith will take hold of God's strength.


This does not mean that you should get into that corn ball attitude of "letting go and letting God."


PRO 21:31  The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.


Prin-Note that God blessed Jacob in the very place that He disabled him.

2CO 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.


2CO 12:10  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


2CO 13:4  For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.


2Co 4:7  "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be from God and not from ourselves."




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Joh 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down their life for their friends."


Mat 23:11 "but the greatest among you shall be your servant."


Isa 55:8-9"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the lord. For {as} the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Isa 57:1   The righteous man dies and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil.


Ecc 7:1  A good name or reputation is better than a good ointment, and the day of {one's} death is better than the day of one's birth.


We celebrate birthdays but we mourn death days.



When we die as believers, we are "face to face with the Lord," 2Co 5:8 and in a place of no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death, just perfect happiness, Rev 21:4.


Mat 20:28  "The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve,"


JOH 1:1-3In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


JOH 1:14  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.


The same One who was equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit and occupied the highest place of deity "was made flesh and dwelt among us"


2CO 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.


Isa 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.


He who is called the Son of God was born of a woman and died on a cross.


The One whose name is Wonderful, was spit upon by men.


The One who was called Counselor was rejected by men.


The One who is the Mighty God was crucified on a cross.


He who is the Eternal Father or literally the Father of Eternity is a Son who learned obedience by the things He suffered.


He who is the Prince of Peace must suffer Himself the divine indignation and wrath of God.


He who created all things, Col 1:16, was laid in a manger because there was no room for Him in the inn.


He who is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners was made to be sin on behalf of others, HEB 7:26, 2Co 5:21.


He who said in JOH 6:35 "I am the bread of life" was Himself hungry, Mat 4:2.


He who was the giver of the supernatural water of life, Joh 4:13, was Himself thirsty, Joh 19:28.


REV 1:7  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.



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