At this point (v.12) that in his desperation, Jacob cries out to God for deliverance and reminds God of the promise made over his life. That night-not knowing what the next day might hold Jacob took his family away from where they were camped and over a stream-there Jacob is left alone and wrestles with a man all night. When the man saw that he couldn’t prevail against Jacob he touched Jacobs thigh and dislocated it. But still Jacob would not be defeated, he would only let go once the man blessed him. The man then changes Jacobs name to Israel and blesses him. After this encounter has taken place, Jacob sees his brother Esau approaching in the distance and humbly bows to him seven times before the two brothers embrace and weep together.
The events leading up to Jacob and Esau’s reconciliation are truly phenomenal and are packed full of truths that are still relevant to all of God’s people today. I’m sure that we have all had nights where we have dreaded what the next day might hold. Jacob feared that the next day could be his last ever, yet Jacob had reminded God of his promise, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’ Jacob being killed almost immediately after working for Laban for 20 years was not very ‘prosperous’. Even though Jacob’s circumstances looked very bleak God’s, promise that Jacob would be prosperous had not. It is encouraging to remember this when we look at the state of Israel today: regardless of some of the threats made to Israel, God’s promises have not changed toward them. When Jacob prayed to God for deliverance in verse 11, Jacob knew he couldn’t survive the potential attack from Esau on his own. Instead, he needed to turn to God for deliverance.
The reading from the book of the Prophet Hosea urges Israel to
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