Genesis 32:24 “And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.”
The context of this passage is where Jacob was going to finally have to face Esau again, years after the deception. Jacob is now posed with a situation that is beyond his ability to manipulate. There was nothing that he could do that would guarantee a change of heart in Esau towards him. No matter how much he grovels before Esau, he cannot make Esau’s heart be soft towards him.
Exhausted with the possible consequences that his former sin was about to bring upon him, Jacob wanted to be alone. It was at this point that God in His great grace and mercy came to him. Jacob was at a point in his life when no scheme or deceit or trick could make up for his former sins. He needed divine intervention, and that is exactly what happened.
It was on this night that Jacob wrestled with God. This wrestling match lasted until daybreak. Although Jacob’s intention was to be blessed by God, God’s desire was to break Jacob. God broke him by dislocating his hip, and even though Jacob continued to wrestle, God’s victory was secure.
It was on this night that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel because he had “…striven with man and God, and prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
Isn’t it interesting that Jacob was in need of an intervention because of conflict that he had brought upon Himself, but God was in pursuit of a man that would carry out His promises. In the end, both purposes were accomplished. Jacob’s interaction with Esau was civil and peaceful, and God’s work through Jacob was abundant.
Regardless of the circumstances that you face in life, whether brought on by your own sin or by others, God’s desire is to conform you into His image. Just as God came to Jacob on this night to confirm His promises and conform his heart, God will be relentless to sanctify you by His Spirit through His word, prayer, relationships and your circumstances. He will even use your mistakes.
More than likely, for the rest of Jacob’s life his encounter with God would be reflected in his walk, or more precisely, in his limp. Is your relationship with Christ being reflected in your walk?