Wrestling with God

Read This Week: Genesis 32

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.” – Genesis 32:24-26 NIV

Christians often use the phrase “wrestling with God” to describe a time when they struggle with the Lord and His purposes. This wrestling usually comes amid complex or difficult circumstances. Yet the struggle can also result in tremendous growth and blessings from God after a season of prolonged and even painful striving with him. Genesis 32 is packed full of action, intrigue, and a mysterious and profound wrestling encounter between Jacob and God. This passage is rich with symbolism and spiritual lessons that have captivated readers for centuries. This fascinating story holds amazing truth and implications for our spiritual journeys.

Before delving into the wrestling match, it’s essential to understand the context leading up to this event. On his journey back to Canaan, Jacob is about to face his estranged brother Esau, whom he had deceived years earlier. Fearful of the potential confrontation, Jacob sends his family and possessions ahead, and he remains alone by the Jabbok River. As Jacob is alone, a man appears and wrestles with him until daybreak. The struggle is intense, and Jacob refuses to let go, demanding a blessing from his mysterious opponent. In response, the man touches Jacob’s hip, dislocating it, and changes his name to Israel, meaning “he who strives with God” or “God strives.” Verse 28 says, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.

The physical wrestling symbolizes Jacob’s internal struggle, representing the challenges we all face in our lives. We often grapple with doubts, fears, and the consequences of our past actions, just as Jacob did. But the change of Jacob’s name to Israel in this section signifies a transformative moment. The wrestling led to a new identity. It is a shift from his old self as a deceiver to one who struggles with God and comes out better for it. This transformation mirrors our potential for personal growth and spiritual renewal. These seasons and battles can produce the people He wants us to be. Our striving in His Spirit’s power leads us to that place of revival.

The touching of Jacob’s hip is also a significant act, demonstrating that true transformation often comes with pain. It signifies a humbling experience and the breaking of self-reliance, forcing Jacob to depend entirely on God. Jacob’s insistence on receiving a blessing shows his desperate hunger for the presence of the Lord and reminds us of our need to seek God, acknowledging our dependence on Him for strength and guidance.

As we reflect on Genesis 32, we can draw parallels to our own journeys of faith. Like Jacob, we may find ourselves wrestling with doubts, fears, and the consequences of our past. The story encourages us to persevere in our spiritual struggles, seeking transformation and blessing from God, even when it requires vulnerability and humility. 

By wrestling with God, we discover the transformative power of surrender and the blessings that come from acknowledging our dependence on Him. All of our struggling with God in faith leads to peace. May this story inspire us to press on in our faith, trusting that God can bring about profound change in our lives as we strive with Him. It is a beautiful wrestling, and it is worth every strain.


  1. Javaid Ahmed on February 21, 2024 at 12:37 pm

    Genesis 32 verse 20 is what God focused my attention on.

    20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.

    God said to me on this:
    “Do not be troubled My son. Why try to make things more difficult than they are? When you shoot arrows in the dark you may or may not hit your target. Let me illuminate your path in life so that you may make every shot count, be strong and true.”

    When we operate in fear and not with God we sometimes will revert to worldly ways. We cut through the darkness with God by our side and are aware of how we can best live our lives and handle situations.

  2. Trina on February 23, 2024 at 11:24 am

    Genesis Chapter 32 Verse 25
    And when [the man] saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him.

    Genesis Chapter 32 Verse 26
    Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me.

    Genesis Chapter 32 Verse 28
    And He said, Your name shall be called no more. Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender] with God; for you have contended and have no power with God and with men and have prevailed.

    ~Persistence With God~

    God Is Saying To Me:
    When fear comes against you, remember you are rooted in Me. I am the cornerstone of all you do. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. For I am with you. Jacob was afraid of what his brother, Esau would do to him when returning to Canaan. Jacob orchestrated a plan to his advantage to buy and trade his wealthy possessions with Esau. At night’s rest, I appear to Jacob. We wrestle all night and finally I say that it is daybreak and I need to go. You see, there was no winner per se. Jacob, no matter how tired and weary he became, he did not give up the fight. He didn’t quit. He didn’t complain. He stayed with the wrestling match until the end and asked for a blessing from Me. I granted the blessing because I saw and understood Jacob’s dedication, persistence and strong fight to be a winner.
    Moral of the story: you too get blessings by staying the course of your commitment to Me. By contending the course of the fight, I name him Israel, contender with God. What shall I name you?

    What This Means To Me:
    When we put our trust and faith in God, we win! We are all winners by remaining faithful to God. Jacob stayed the course and was rewarded with God’s blessing of the name Israel. He rewards us too. He has named us, Chosen! We are all chosen from the land of Canaan, fathered by Abraham. Thank you God that we are all descendants from the lineage of Abraham. Thank you that you have chosen us as your own! Thank you for loving us so much that we become persistent in pursuing You and Your ways! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Alma on February 24, 2024 at 11:44 pm

    This week in Genesis chapter 32 I got a song

    His light
    Let’s come together to worship our Lord, worship our Lord let’s come together to worship our Lord. Let’s be the light the light of our Lord shining bright shining bright , bringing those in the darkness, to see his light, see his light sharing his love, his kindness and comfort. It’s a beautiful thing being the the light the light of our Lord

    Our Lord is such a wonderful, wonderful man. He loves through all things.He wants us to get closer and closer to him, and he loves it when we’re being his light the light of the our lord.

  4. PK Chat on February 25, 2024 at 8:48 am

    In our life’s journey, each of us faces our own unique set of challenges. What are yours? Are they linked to unfulfilled desires or habits you’re longing to break? As devoted followers of Christ, experiencing trials is a part of our path. We carry the weight of past hurts, often influenced by others’ words or actions, and sometimes by our own self-judgment and the guilt of past sins.

    Our struggles can be internal, wrestling with doubts and fears, or external, in how we interact with others and in discerning God’s purpose for our lives.

    I have found that turning to Him in my times of struggle brings immense comfort and guidance. He lovingly reveals His divine plan for my life, guiding me step by step as I walk in fellowship with Him. Our challenges often arise from past hurts or the world’s deceits. Yet, the beautiful truth is that God communicates with us in honesty and love, showing us the path to truth and freedom. He liberates us from our bonds, protects our hearts, and soothes our pain. In Christ, we don’t just overcome life’s battles; our sorrows are transformed into joy and victory in Him.

    1. The trials of life are a testament to the sin inherent in our world, and we all face them.
    2. Through Jesus Christ, and by embracing the truth of His Word, we can achieve victory and true freedom.
    3. Our liberation is in Jesus; He refreshes our minds and heals our hearts. In His mercy and grace, we find renewal and wholeness, resurrected to new life through Him.

  5. reachchurch on February 25, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    This Week in the Life: Genesis 32

    For the best experience, we suggest you listen to the first song, the message, and the second song.

    1. Sunday Worship – First Song: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/20240225-Worship1.wav
    2. Sunday Message: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/20240225-Message.wav
    3. Sunday Worship – Second Song: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/20240225-Worship2.wav

    Join the Party Line Live – Schedule: https://reachchurch.org/connect

  6. Heidi on February 26, 2024 at 10:50 am

    Genesis 32 :1 Jacob continued on his journey to his father’s house. On his way the angels of God met him.

    10 You have always loved me. You have continued to be kind to me. I do not deserve this.

    11 I pray that you will save me from the power of my brother Esau. I am afraid that he will come and attack me.

    Jacob was continuing his Journey with God.
    I see God encouraging Jacob with seeing His angels so he knew God was with him.
    We are on a journey with God too!
    Father God loves us so much we may feel like we don’t deserve His kindness, Father knows our heart He knows that we will continue doing life with Him, He knows we will continue to seek Him and want to live a life pleasing to Him.
    We are learning from Jacobs life what to do and what not to do!
    We don’t have to be afraid to face difficult situations either!

    God is saying to me
    In life their will be situations issues that come up, just happen, it’s a opportunity for you to turn to Me, seek Me and know that you don’t have to be afraid because I Am with you, I love You I will guide you in the right direction
    My daughter

    What this means to me
    It takes time learning that Father God is so with me, it’s a wonderful journey doing life with Father God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit
    I’m so glad I don’t have to be afraid
    My Faith in my love for Father God Jesus and His Holy Spirit!
    Thank you Father God Jesus and Your Holy Spirit for all Your Love

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