Jacob Wrestled With God

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day (Gen. 32:24 KJV).

jacob wrestled with god

Jacob wrestled with God one night as he was journeying back to meet his father Isaac. He had tricked his brother Esau before he left home. Jacob knew the decision to return would either result in life (if Esau accepted him), or death (if Esau was still offended). To make things worse, he heard that Esau, now a military general, was coming with 400 armed men to meet him. Jacob was in distress.

The Bible records an event that has baffled scholars for centuries. Jacob met a Man that night and wrestled with Him until morning. That Man turned out to be God Almighty! Jacob physically wrestled with God, and would not let Him go. The Man finally said to him “thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Gen. 32:28 KJV).

Jacob prevailed with God the night before he met Esau. He also prevailed when he met Esau. Can you see the pattern? If you want to prevail in life’s circumstances, you must first prevail spiritually with God. You might be thinking, “But God has never appeared to me as a Man so that I can also wrestle with Him and prevail!”.

Today, we do not wrestle with God physically, but in prayer. The scripture describes Epaphras as “always laboring fervently” in prayer. You need to wrestle in prayer for your ministry, your family, and your community, if you want to prevail in physical circumstances.


What is the significance of the words “left alone” with respect to wrestling in prayer? Declare to yourself again and again that “I am laboring fervently in prayer for my life, and the lives of those around me”.


Have you ever laid awake all night because a situation had taken you hostage? Rather than staring at your ceiling, do what Jacob did. Wrestle in prayer!


Pray that the Spirit will make you a wrestler in prayer!

Recommended Read: Praying in the Spirit will build you up

Must Read!: What is a Daily Devotional?

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  1. The question here is Why did the man wanted to leave before daybreak . Here I find no Bible reference in the New Testament to say who the man or angel was who had to leave before daybreak.
    We know Jacob was before the Law and during this time sin and evil was allowed, for example in 1 Kings 22 v 22 – 23 The Lord put lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. Please explained back by scriptures.

    1. Hello Dr. Campbell, good questions there. There are certain details that the scriptures just do not tell us and one of them is why the man wanted to leave before daybreak. Any attempts at answering that question will only be speculation.
      The scriptures however give us a hint as to who this “angel” was
      “The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; According to his doings will he recompense him. He took his brother by the heel in the womb, And by his strength he had power with God:” (Hosea 12:2–3, KJV).

      Before the Law, the scripture says :

      Reading the entire story gives you the meaning of what is being said. God permits evil spirits to do certain things, just like in the case of Job. The entire story tells us some event took place in the spiritual realm and a divine permission was granted for a demonic spirit to influence the false prophets. This is what is meant by “the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of…”. It is always very important to interpret scriptures and such phrases in their appropriate CONTEXT to know what is being said.
      This is the important portion to use as context:

      “and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you.” Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?”” (1 Kings 22:20–24, ESV)

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