JACOB’S APPOINTMENT WITH GOD
“Wrestling in the Spirit Till Break of Day”
By Min. Aloyse Cunningham
God will often allow us to go through turmoil, distress of soul, and grave foreboding to bring us to a place of dependence and utter abandonment to His will. This is where Jacob finds himself in Genesis Chapter 32, as he prepares to meet Esau his brother. We will see that a true identification with this overcomer Jacob, will prepare us for the New Day of the Holy Spirit, that is presently dawning in the Church. For Day breaketh!
In Genesis 32:9-12, we find Jacob, whose name means "supplanter," a broken man. He is perplexed by the situation at hand in having to meet Esau. And not knowing what to do, he "lifts up his voice and offers a prayer of repentance and petition to God:
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
In (verse 10-11). He says, "I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto thy servant...Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him..." Still resident in the nature of our brother Jacob is the underlying will and determination to preserve self. He sets out to obtain his own deliverance and sent Esau a present of goats, ewes, rams, camels, etc.)
In the final stages of his plan, he sends the women servants, and his wives over the ford Jabbok. Ultimately, he is left alone. In verse 24, Jacob wrestles with a man until daybreak, (the time in the morning when light first appears; (Webster's New World Dictionary). Here, we see Jacob at a crossroad in his life. He has an encounter with a man, a heavenly being. Jacob, wrestles or wrest (to force away violently) from his opponent that which he was after; a blessing. Jacob persists in the contest for that is what it means to wrestle, till the breaking of the day.
This wrestling is a type of intercession that we experience when we are birthed out of the old into the new of the Spirit. When the angel saw that he prevailed not (gained the advantage of triumphed over) Jacob, he said in verse 26, "...let me go, for the day breaketh." The blessing came after Jacob wrestled and not before. The act of wrestling with God birthed a spiritual strength of power in his faith, as Noah Webster's Dictionary puts it, "beyond or exceeding the powers or laws of nature." This brings to light a principle in God. When we give God the desired (correct) response, light breaks forth as in the case of Jacob. For he (Jacob) wrestled with the angel until daybreak - first light!
This experience of wrestling with God left Jacob weakened in natural strength as we see in Genesis, Chapter 32, verse 25. This act of wrestling (forcing by violence) caused a reaction in the heavens. "And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, the angel touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh, the source of his strength. The angel was on assignment and had to appear in the presence of God before the "breaking of the day." "And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh." (Genesis 32:26).
This "day breaketh" always speaks of the new of the Spirit of God in our lives, as we come out of spiritual darkness into the Light of the "Day Star" (the Lord Jesus), rising in this Day of the Lord. This was a battle of heavenly proportion; the flesh and the spirit were at odds, two opposing forces. Jacob was crippled to the point of utter dependence. The daybreak caused him to recognize his dependence upon God, for He is Lord of all,
As a result, Jacob conceded to the will of God for his life. He could no longer serve self. On all accounts, Jacob was victorious in the wrestling and as a result of the struggle, he seized hold of eternity and his name was changed, and his life was preserved in that he no longer feared his encounter with Esau. For the angel said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men" (Genesis 32:28). Jacob's change of name speaks of a change of nature; from the carnal nature, which is earthly, to the spiritual nature, which is heavenly. For the name "Israel" came not from earth, but from heaven.
"These testimonies of divine truth are placed in the Holy Writ called the Bible for our edification. Let us as holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling take heed to what we have learned lest we let them slip" - Minister Aloyse Cunningham
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