Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

Genesis 32:28


Reading: Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 32:1-32, Genesis 35:6-7.

Jacob had two very significant dreams at two crisis times in his life - both of which involved God speaking to him. He was being prepared by God to carry the Promise that had been given to Abraham and then transferred to Isaac.

In his first dream he saw a stairway stretching between Heaven and Earth upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending. He named the place where he’d been sleeping, Bethel, which means “house of God”, because he had received access to Heaven there. His second dream was even more dramatic, and he had it at a place called Peniel which means “the face of God” because he met God face to face there. At Peniel Jacob strove with God. During this striving his strength was taken away and he became a different man. He ceased trying to preserve his life by scheming and manipulation and began his journey of true faith. After Jacob wrestled with God, his name was changed from “Jacob the conman and trickster”, to Israel which means “he who strives with God”.   

We must all meet God if we are to have our nature changed and thereby become useful to God. We must all be wrestled into subjection by the living God so that we truly give over to Him. When God wrestles with us it feels like our lives will come to an end, and this is exactly what must, in some sense, happen. We cannot live a life pleasing to the Lord and be useful to Him in our own strength or by our own wits and cleverness. Wrestling with God is always uncomfortable but like Jacob we must be willing to meet Him face to face so that we can be made useful to Him.


Lord, wrestle my life into subjection to Your will and purpose. I trust you to change me from someone who seeks to preserve his life to one who is changed by Your relentless wrestling with me.


Continue to watch

this video about Jacob from Superbook