Jacob’s New Walk
Genesis 32:24 – And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Genesis 32:25 – And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Genesis 32:26 – And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Genesis 32:27 – And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Genesis 32:28 – And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Genesis 32:29 – And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:30 – And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Hello readers, just some thoughts from Jacob’s life today. Jacob met God at Bethel, but he became really personal to Jacob at Peniel. It was at Peniel where Jacob’s name and walk was changed. Sounds like we need to know more about this place. A lot of people believe in God, but God has not changed their lives, their name, their walk yet. They’ve still got that old confident proud walk. They’ve not been broken by God. You may know about God, but you’re not saved yet, you’re not changed. You have no new name, and no new walk. God had appeared to Jacob at Bethel and made him many great promises, promises which would be faithful to Jacob his whole life. God’s word is faithful. God’s promises are faithful.
But then Jacob had gone and served a man called Laban. Laban was an ungodly man, and Laban’s cheating and changing word made Jacob appreciate God’s faithfulness a whole lot more. As you are out in this world, you’ll see that the only thing, the only person you can truly count on is the Lord. That’s not a cliche. Man is a dirty, rotten, liar. The sooner you realize that so you know where to truly anchor your soul, the better.
But there came a crisis point in Jacob’s life. And often it will take a crisis point for us to finally be brought to a place where we trust God, and God goes from head knowledge to heart knowledge. See, many of us know about God, but God has not changed our lives yet. He hasn’t changed our name. We have no new identity. We are still called by that old name of “selfish”, “lustful”, “proud” and so on. We still have that old walk, confident in our own strength and ability.
Jacob was facing an inevitable confrontation with his brother who last he heard was going to kill him as soon as the chance presented. Jacob was dreading that meeting. Often there is that one person in your life who really prevents you from moving forward in life. But that one person may be who God will use to sort you out. God wouldn’t sort Esau out here, he hated Esau, but he used Esau in Jacob’s life to bring blessing and a new name and a new walk.
And the night before that meeting, Jacob was left alone. The best thing sometimes is just to leave people alone for God to deal with. Only God can see where to fix, how to fix and what to fix in someone’s life. Our responsibility is to sow the seed, we can’t give life to that seed, that is God’s work. We are just meant to throw our nets out, it is Jesus that brings the draught of fishes.
And a man wrestled with him that night. In the darkness there was a wrestling match God wrestled Jacob. The biggest opponent to us trusting God and God truly blessing our lives is ourselves. Instead of blaming others we need to look at our own flesh that fights back God. There are some things that need to be broken in our life.
God has to fight us, we are that stubborn, that proud, that selfish, our flesh resists God that much that he has to fight us for us to just trust him. God had already blessed Jacob, but Jacob still can’t quite believe that. And the amazing thing is, God was not prevailing against Jacob. I thought he was God? Well there are plenty of people that are going to fight God all the way to hell and God is not going to win. God is more for you than you are.
But God did something to Jacob which was uncomfortable and painful, he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, and his thigh was put out of joint. When are you going to get “out of joint” with that old life of rebellion, sin and unbelief? It can be quite a painful process. Salvation and God working in our lives can often be a painful, yet ultimately joyous experience. The Christian life can be a painful and uncomfortable journey. And in fact it will be. There’s no bed of roses to heaven. It’s going to hit you hard, you’re going to take personal damage, but God is using it to change your name and change your walk.
Jacob went from fighting back to clinging on. And that’s where God will take us in life. God wants to get us to where all we have is just clinging on to who God is and what he has said. But that is the blessed place. Realizing you are nothing, you can do nothing, realizing your weakness and frailty and just trusting him. Jacob had been after this blessing his whole life. But somehow, although God had blessed him before, he still felt he did not have it and needed it.
God often has to do some very uncomfortable and painful things to us to get us to that place of clinging on to him. But that is the place of blessing. And you can see which people in this world have that blessing of God on their lives. Christians who’s lives have been battered and yet they have a faith like gold. They radiate God’s blessing.
God’s blessing is available to your life. That may not translate to great financial riches or prosperity in health, but you can have God’s blessing and have a limp. You may be poor, but God’s blessing is upon your life. God’s blessing is being right with God. And through the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be made right with God. It’s a wonderful truth that we can be reconciled to God, we who were dead in our sins can be made right with God.
The blessing was heard about as Jacob, but it was inherited as Israel. Jesus said, yet must be born again. Until you’re born again of the Spirit of God, you’re just religious. It’s with the new birth and the new name and the new identity that the blessing comes. Jacob got a new name and a new walk at Peniel. Bethel was the place Jacob heard and saw, Peniel was the place where his identity and direction and strength was changed.
It’s one thing to know about God, it’s one thing to know of God, but it’s another thing completely to know God because he’s personal to you. See, getting saved takes personal belief and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. A true Christian’s power is with God. Whatever power I have, it’s with God. Our power is based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you stop prevailing against God is when you will start prevailing with God.
I saw in this story such a great truth “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me”. You know, the truth is, most people already know the gospel. They may not have all the details, but they know enough. The Bible says that Jesus has lighted every man that has come into the world. The real problem is, people let him go. They don’t care enough for God’s blessing. They’ll never get out of joint with that old walk of rebellion and unbelief.
Do you have a new name in Christ Jesus? Have you been changed? See, our old name was luster, deceiver, proud, boaster, selfish, envious, unfaithful, untrustworthy, self righteous. They should be your old name, not your new one. You only get a new name with God. You know the Lord Jesus Christ is the only person who can change a man? See, in a world of self reform, doing better, and self improvement, only Jesus can truly make you a new creature. In Christ we are a new creature. What a truth that is. The utter superiority of Jesus Christ is that he alone has power to create new life just as he did in Genesis 1. You can change through him, that is the only power you have to change who you are. Are you sick of who you are? Are you sick of your unbelief? Are you tired of the darkness?
There is no salvation without a new name and a new walk. A salvation that has not changed you is not a salvation. It’s a funny sort of walk isn’t it. It’s an odd walk. It’s an uncomfortable walk. It can be a painful walk. There are painful times in all of our lives, but in it, God is getting us out of joint of with that life of sin and unbelief.
But it’s victorious walk. It’s a blessed walk. It’s a walk who’s steps are based upon trusting in the grace and promises of God’s word. It’s walking in the light. The sun rose on Jacob as he left Peniel. He entered in darkness, but left in blazing sunshine. Hopefully there is a sunrise in your life, and that Sun will rise in your life when you believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
Something shrank in Jacob’s life. That sinew in his thigh shrank. John the Baptist said, he must increase, but I must decrease. As a Christian you’ll notice that flesh isn’t completely gone, not yet, but the Holy Spirit in you is greater than your flesh. You should be prevailing in life, not getting dragged under. Some things should have shrunk out of your life that’s altered your walk a bit. I don’t walk that way anymore!
Our walk is one of us trusting God, because that’s what that new walk is. God’s blessing is based upon and to that new name and new walk. The strength in our walk isn’t in trusting ourselves and our ability to reason it all out and figure it all out as Jacob had always done, it’s the strength that comes with complete reliance every second on the grace of God and him keeping his promise. See, our strength is based on his truth. That’s where the power is. Our power comes from us being made powerless by God.
It’s a walk of faith. It’s a tough walk for God to actually get us to. It’s a new walk isn’t it. Jacob was walking in faith of God’s promise. He was trusting what God had always promised to him, that he had blessed him. Why can’t we just trust God? Should it take us a lifetime of God having to wrestle us? How much pain is it going to take. But it’s a blessed limp, when it’s a limp of faith. After all that fighting, all that grief and trial and tribulation, it was all just for God to get Jacob to trust him and him alone.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
Thank you for your beautiful writings. These three statements spoke to me deeply:
God has to fight us, we are that stubborn, that proud, that selfish, our flesh resists God that much that he has to fight us for us to just trust him.
Jacob went from fighting back to clinging on. And that’s where God will take us in life. God wants to get us to where all we have is just clinging on to who God is and what he has said. But that is the blessed place. Realizing you are nothing, you can do nothing, realizing your weakness and frailty and just trusting him.
Our strength is based on his truth. That’s where the power is. Our power comes from us being made powerless by God.
Thank you for the comment Chelsea, glad it was relevant to you.
May God give us all the abundant grace we need to walk by faith with him through this life.