«Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day» (Genesis 32:24).
Perhaps Jacob believed that his worst fears had come true. That night, before he crossed the Jordan, he probably thought that the man he was fighting with was his brother, Esau. They hadn’t seen each other for years! In the dark and the fear of the night, Jacob didn’t understand who he was really fighting. He was used to handling situations and getting his way by using cleverness. Jacob knew how to depend on himself and achieve what he wanted at any cost. Accustomed to living like this, he fought with all his might against that man until dawn. Then, as dawn was breaking, the visitor revealed His true nature and that of the struggle. Jacob was, like Paul, fighting with God (Acts 26:14). Then, stretching out His hand, God touched Jacob’s hip and dislocated it.
But why did they fight all night? God could have won that fight in three seconds. He came, touched Jacob’s hip, and knock out. However, Jesus chose to fight him all night (limiting His strength so that Jacob could face him). For what? Perhaps for Jacob to be tired enough to admit his spiritual defeat. The famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon commented that Jacob thought the real enemy was outside of himself, that it was Esau. But the true enemy was his own carnal nature which had not been conquered by God. Exhausted, Jacob finally admitted that he could not do it alone and needed help. Clinging to the visitor, he said, «l will not let You go unless You bless me» (Genesis 32:26). In that moment of weakness and absolute need, Jacob achieved his greatest victory.
There is a battle that is fought in our hearts. In Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White described it in these words: «The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness.»—ch. 5, p. 43. As strange and painful as it may seem, God blesses us as He touches the joint and reveals the spiritual nature of the fight.
Dear Lord, I beg You to exhaust the forces and resources I use to fight You so I don’t continue to struggle in vain. I need Your help. Please bless me; I can’t go on without You.