Why Did God Make Jacob Wrestle With Him?


There is an interesting account in the book of Genesis that you've probably heard of but don't completely understand. It's found in Genesis 32:24, which says, "And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day."

Some have interpreted this as Jacob wrestling with an angel of God. Others say that Jacob wrestled with God Himself. Whether Jacob wrestled with God or a representative of God literally or in a spiritual sense, we can learn a thing or two about the thought of wrestling with God.

We all might have felt at some point that we were wrestling with God. Maybe you were (or are) wrestling with Him for healing, a breakthrough or a restored relationship. Many times God allows us to wrestle with Him for certain reasons. Let us look into why God let Jacob wrestle with Him and how we can apply these reasons to our own wrestling matches with God.

Wrestling Is Not Rebellion But A Pursuit

Verse 26 gives us the reason why Jacob wrestled with God or His angel. It says, "Then he said, 'Let me go, for the day has broken.' But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'" Jacob wasn't wrestling to keep or push God away. Instead He was wrestling to keep God with Him.

In our own lives we find that it can be a struggle to have God's presence remain with us. But there is no wrestle more rewarding that pursuing God's presence and therefore His blessing. We won't always find it easy to have God around, but it will always be worth it.

God Isn't The Enemy But The Prize

Jacob was known in the Bible to be a pursuer of blessing, but many times he sought it the wrong way. He wrestled for his father Isaac's blessing through deception. This wrestle with God was nothing like that. Jacob was not wrestling with God because God was His enemy. He was wrestling with God because God was His prize.

Matthew 6:33 reminds us, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

We often look for the blessing—money, success, fame, significance, purpose or any other desirable object—not realising that God is the blessing Himself and everything else is just an added bonus. Wrestle with God today not because He is against you but because He is all you want.

Jesus Wrestled The Greatest Foe For Us

Apparently while Jacob was wrestling with God, God was holding back on Him. This reminds us that God holds back His powerful wrath against us because Jesus took God's anger caused by our sin so that we wouldn't have to wrestle with the consequences of our sin.

Jesus makes our burdens light and puts upon Himself the yoke of our sin so that we won't have to struggle as much as we would if we were left on our own. Because Jesus wrestled with sin and death, we can now wrestle with God in pursuit of Him and His blessing.