Essential to sustaining life is preservation. Due to the promises of God, such was the legacy of Jacob, being the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Even before Jacob's birth, preservation was outlined to his mother Rebekah by God Himself, in regards to her own womb. God referred to Jacob and Esau as "two goyim" or "two nations." This speaks of ancestry, posterity... offspring. Esau (Jacob's elder brother) went on to marry strange wives and it was a grief to his mother and father Isaac, for Esau had taken wives from those not of his race. Therefore Jacob (the younger) was purposefully sent back to his kindred. Though his kindred were pagan, they had not mingled their seed, which was essential for this exclusive preservation.
Understanding the scope of the Scriptures is impossible without being able to identify these "two nations." You must also come to know who they are throughout history and on the modern stage. So it was for exclusive preservation purposes that Jacob travelled to Laban's house; for it was of utmost importance whom Jacob would marry.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, 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. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Who was Jacob struggling with? Hosea chapter 12 looks back on this with Jacob, it says: "He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him..." Jacob is struggling with an angel or messenger of God.
Christ said in Matthew 18: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." This struggle is in correspondence with the angels of our Heavenly Father. For while Jacob and the messenger were struggling, there was a conversation between them.
Jacob was having a private conversation with Almighty God (Whose Name in the Hebrew is Yahweh) without any outside interference. That was the purpose in His allowing Jacob to struggle with His messenger. Jesus (which in Hebrew is Yahshua) said in Matthew 6: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into THY CLOSET, and when thou hast SHUT THE DOOR, pray to thy Father WHICH IS IN SECRET; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Prayer could be described as struggling alone with God while having a conversation with Him. God is 'hands-on' in our struggles. You might think you're struggling with circumstances or people, while all along it's all been orchestrated by God. For the answers we wait for and the difficulties we long to part with, have more in common than we know.
When Yahweh allows trials and pain, we become more desperate. We tend to wallow, fret, and complain. Yet thru Jacob's example, we recognize how his desperation turns into desire. God allows His people to struggle to see how much we need Him. Even though his thigh was put out of joint, Jacob didn't give up (he said): "I WILL NOT LET YOU GO EXCEPT YOU BLESS ME." His determination reveals how much he wanted God's blessing! This is all about God and it begins with wanting God's blessing, wanting Him to be pleased with you above all else. Is that you're desire? Or will you continue to hopelessly worry over the circumstances?
Next we see, the angel is concerned about the breaking of dawn. Though the Eternal God transcends time, He has chosen to use time in our lives. Jacob realized the opportunity he had here with God was limited. Don't ever forget your Creator knows exactly how much you can take and for how long. So like Jacob, don't let go! Yahweh is about to speak:
28 And he said, 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.
Jacob was determined to hold on for a blessing- and God made him aware of his identity. In your struggle, it may seem God's a million miles away, when in reality, He's the One, right there, holding you together! You may be hanging on by a thread, but that's more than God needs to get the job done. For He's the only One Who knows who you are. Identity, is of absolute importance to Almighty God.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
THIS IDENTITY STRUGGLE IS THE ESSENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH! We must embrace this! The world today doesn't want us to know or to teach our children about who they are or who they came from. Yet in the culture of the Scriptures identity is of utmost importance! Being Jacob didn't matter anymore- Being Israel meant everything. He was beginning to understand why everything existed the way it did around him, through simply learning his identity from God. The purpose of this struggle is for God's people to recognize and assume our identity. According to Christ when this happens, it changes everything.
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Jacob was told to deny himself, "thy name shall no more be called Jacob." Now it was his to assume the position as "a prince" or son of God. This was Jacob's awakening and the struggle was worth it.
God would go on to make even more promises to Israel. In particular, Isaiah 45:25: "In Yahweh shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." Paul basically repeats the same promise in Romans 11:26: "And so all Israel shall be saved." Here we have two witnesses in the Scriptures, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, plainly stating that every physical descendant of Jacob/Israel past, present and future, will be saved- exclusive preservation. God makes no such promise to any other people in the Scriptures. It is necessary to come to know exactly who these people are.
Are you recognizing the purpose of your struggle? The struggle isn't just to find out what we can get from God, but to find out who we are. Times were uncertain and dangerous for Jacob and his family. He had just sent his servants with the gifts of flocks and herds in hopes of a peaceful passage with Esau. Fear marked the way Jacob dealt with his struggle- until this moment. Do things seem desperate and out of sorts in your life? Face to face with God, the Scriptures can put it together.
Jacob thought all he needed was to be blessed by God. But the best thing for Jacob was to assume his position as the blessed of God, and raise his family accordingly. What if it was revealed that you are of Israel? Would it change your life? Would it drastically alter your decisions with your children? A new day may be dawning.
"Who is Israel today?" one may ask. "Oh that would be the jews," so we've been told, but upon what basis? Obviously there must be a Scripture that verifies this. We find such a Scripture in Genesis 12:3 where Yahweh God said to Abram (therefore to Jacob and all his offspring): "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee."
At least from the 1940's all the way up to this very day, who has blessed supposed 'Israel', the jews, more than the United States of America? No one. So if modern day 'Israel' and the jews are God's chosen people, why has America become so 'cursed'? The only conclusion is that Genesis 12:3 has been grossly misapplied to the wrong people. The United Nations' invention known as 'Israel' today, and those referred to as 'jews' are not God's chosen people. The Scriptures and sound history succinctly bear this out.
You could take this opportunity to get emotional and turn away from the Scriptures. Or you can pursue your desire to know the truth by thinking for yourself. "Well if the jews are not the ancient Israelites of the Scriptures, then who is?" The Scriptures contain the identity of God's chosen people Israel. 'Take hold of the Word of God and don't let go 'til you're face to face and He tells you who you are.