divineinsight :BY HUMPHREY MTANDWA
WHEN people read in the Bible that Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed, they assume it was a fist fight, and that Jacob had enough power to even throw a few punches at God. Only when you read this story in Hoseah 12:4 you begin to understand how he wrestled the angel of God and prevailed.
The scripture acknowledges he had power over the angel of the Lord. It further speaks of how he prevailed over the angel of the Lord through crying. But when you read the Genesis account, you don’t see this side of the story, which speaks of how Jacob cried and made supplication unto the angel.
Jacob was about to meet his brother, Esau, whom he had cheated out of his inheritance. This was not an easy time for him. He could not go back to stay with his uncle who had imprisoned him through vows for over 21 years before finally releasing him.
But though he was now free from Laban, he was about to face off with someone who had promised to kill him when he fled for his dear life — Esau. He was not sure how the encounter with his brother would go, so he excused himself from everyone else to go and seek the Lord. This was not going to be an ordinary meeting because he knew the outcome would affect his whole family.
Jacob had once met God in this same place and understood it was that God he met at Bethel that gave him good fortune and prospered him. Jacob knew this was the same God that saved him from his uncle’s hand when he wanted to kill him.
Bethel was his place of encounter so he had to go back to that place to meet the Lord again in order to petition him on behalf of his family. Many say men don’t cry, but the truth is man cry although they rarely do it publicly. Imagine the type of emotions Jacob displayed in the prayer, which caused God to change his name.
What else happened there that also made him handicapped after the incident? I often wonder how he got a hold of God and demanded He would not let Him go until he had received his blessing. Is there a state in one’s emotions that can even entangle God physically?
Jacob understood if he walked away from that place without a solution he would lose everything he had worked for. Crying in the presence of God is not weakness. Many have lost so much because they could not bring themselves to the emotional state Jacob was in when he had power over the angel of God.
In one incident, a single angel was sent into the enemy camp and killed thousands of men single-handedly. This wrestling match was not simple, but the only way Jacob prevailed was because of his emotional state. It’s easy for women to be emotional in prayer because men try the best they can to have composure. But there comes a time when you have to deny yourself that comfort and become emotional in the presence of God. Jacob cried at Bethel for his life and God changed not only his name, but also his life and his children’s destinies.
Even in our generation, the Jewish people are the wealthiest because their father cried out in prayer before God. That single moment of expressing himself emotionally changed the destiny of his whole race. This was not just a cry, but he made supplication and prevailed against the angel of God. Supplication is a prayer that involves emotions because it’s a heartfelt prayer. If everything else has failed, try tears.
God bless you!
l Humphrey Mtandwa is an anointed minister of the gospel and teacher of the Word based in South Africa. He has written The Enoch Generation, Truthfulness and Theophany. He blogs at mtandwa.blogspot.com and can be contacted via e-mail or WhatsApp on +27 610286350.