This story never ceases to intrigue me. Jacob (which means trickster) was one of those people who always struggled yet never yielded. From the womb he and his brother wrestled to be first born! In this particular part of Jacob's life, Jacob was on the run from his brother Esau whom he schemed against for his birthright (blessing from his father, Isaac). On this night, the Angel of the Lord came to Jacob and they wrestled all night long. When the morning came the Angel pulled Jacob's thigh out of joint where the hip is. Inspite of his injury, Jacob pursued the struggle with all that he had. He was frustrated. He knew he was in trouble. His life full of scheming and plotting was catching up with him and he needed a real move of God. This didn't require God to change, but rather Jacob to change. It was time he became real with himself.
The angel of the Lord asked Jacob what his name was."Jacob," he said. Now, let me note that God already knew who Jacob was. But Jacob didn't know who he was. All the wrestling in the world wouldn't make a difference if Jacob wasn't willing to come to terms with himself. The Angel could have clearly overcome Jacob, but there was something that had to grow inside of Jacob that could only come from the struggle before God could bless him. He needed to see just how wrong his way was and just how much he needed to yield to the will of the Lord in his life.
28And 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.... 29And he blessed him there."
When we deny our faults and short comings, we are lying to God and ourselves about who we really are. When we are really REAL with ourselves, we choose to lay aside all the shame and guilt of our past and present and lay it before the Father. This puts us into position to become blessed because humility comes before a blessing. God already knows who we are, but we must know it for ourselves so that like Jacob we can recieved the fullness of what God has for our lives.
Blessings to you!
"I can only begin to be a blessing to others when I am true to myself." A. Mills