I grew up as a HUGE wrestling fan. Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Macho Man Randy Savage and Brustus Beefcake were some of my greatest childhood heroes. Of course, on Saturday mornings they'd usually wrestle some scrubs they found on the street. If you wanted to see the big boys fight you had to pony up the cash for Pay Per View. I love wrestling. I love the drama, the machismo, the bad acting, all of it.
Amazing but true - the greatest wrestling match of all time never made it to Saturday mornings or Pay Per View. Thank God, we get the opportunity to read about it in Genesis!
There were no crowds, no cameras, no foam fingers to waive and no World Championship Belts to be hoisted. This match was between a man and an angel (some believe God himself). Jacob wrestles with him all night. No bell to save him. No one to tag out with. It was just a knock down drag out "no holds barred" match in the wilderness.
Wow, he must have really wanted that blessing!!! What could drive a man to wrestle so long and so hard against a bigger and stronger foe? Most people will settle for a little less, if it takes a little less work... but not Jacob.
That's where timing comes in. wins God's blessing and favor. A person determined to get their blessing gets it. But what I've never heard before was the "timing" of this epic wrestling match.
We read in Genesis 32 that Esau, who Jacob had cheated, was coming his way that night. Esau and 400 men. There Jacob was in the wilderness with his family, his belongings and a death army marching his way.
In fear he hatched a plan. Hoping to win his favor, he divided up several groups of servants and sent them ahead with waves of gifts to appease Esau. With his ambassadors heading out in waives and an army marching his way there was nothing left to do but wait. Wait for morning, wait for his death and the death of family.
It's in this circumstance that the angel appeared to Jacob. Desperate, afraid, waiting in the darkness. He dove on him. Grabbed him and held on for dear life, literally! He didn't just want a blessing. He needed one. He needed one before daybreak. He needed one before Esau came. His past was coming back to destroy his life and his destiny. Old mistakes, old ways of thinking, old offenses. Bless me, don't leave me! I won't let go, I won't stop. I have no other option, if you leave me we will die!
By daybreak he had his victory. The urgency of his circumstance drove him to wrestle with God until he won. If you're in a difficult time don't give up. Use your urgency to fuel the passion of your pursuit. Fight the fight and win!
"But if from there you seek the LORD your God,
you will find him if you look for him with all your heart
and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8