Voice of the Lord

Ya'akov was left alone. Then some man wrestled with him until daybreak (Genesis 32:24).

Jewish Date


Weighing most heavily on Ya'akov's (Jacob's) mind when he fled his home was that his brother Eysav (Esau) was planning to kill him. Twenty years later, Eysav approached with an army of four hundred men, apparently unappeased by the passage of time. Ya'akov sent away his wives, children, servants and livestock to protect them from the impending attack. However, before the encounter with Eysav took place, an event of greater significance occurred. Ya'akov, left alone, spent an entire night wrestling with the Mal'akh (Angel) of the Lord.

The outcome was that Ya'akov's nature was changed. He went from being one who was totally self-sufficient to one who understood dependence; from one who got what he wanted by his own cleverness, to one who could not stand without God's help. Ya'akov became Yisra'el (Israel). The consequence of this transformation was that when the two brothers met, instead of shedding blood, they embraced each other and shed tears of joy.

Ya'akov could have done nothing on his own to resolve the conflict. The supernatural breaking of his heart and will had a supernatural effect on Eysav as well, and his heart softened toward his younger brother. The solution to hostile situations that face us, often as a result of our own sin, can be found in allowing the Lord to change us first. Such faith will release God's power to work in the areas we fear most.

...get alone with the Lord and let him do his work in me, instead of relying on my own cleverness.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.