I Will Not Let You Go Unless You Bless Me

The early chapters of Genesis are not well known for their gripping drama. The first eleven chapters move slowly and focus on the genealogy of Abraham’s family, but then things pick up in Chapter 12 when God promises to give Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan. However, this promise is not fulfilled immediately—the text describes a period in which Isaac and Jacob are living in Canaan as outsiders who have very little control over their destiny (see especially Genesis 27-28). This situation culminates in the story we will look at today; an encounter between Jacob and a mysterious figure that ends with God blessing him.

I Will Not Let You Go Unless You Bless Me

Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.

The angel was God in disguise.

The angel asked Jacob to bless him: “Let me go, for the day breaks.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me!” The angel said to him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Jacob.” Then the man placed a second time his head on his chest and blessed him; and he named him Israel (Genesis 32:24-28).

This Man saw that He did not prevail against Jacob; so He touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.

In the last verse of Genesis, we see that Jacob was alone and a man wrestled with him. The man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob and he touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as he wrestled with him (Genesis 32:24).

Jacob had spent 20 years running from Esau after stealing his blessing. He had been separated from his family for years; this was a lonely time for him. What happened when Esau met up with Jacob? Well, apparently they were able to reconcile their relationship because they went forward together on their journey together (Genesis 33:3).

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And He said, Let me go, for the day breaks. But he said, I will not let You go unless You bless me!

God is the only one who can bless us, save us and help us. He is the only one who can give us hope and joy. The devil may lie to you and tell you that you don’t need God and that there are other things that will fill in for him but they won’t! They are all lies from a deceiver called Satan. Don’t be fooled by any of their tricks because they will use anything to try and get what they want from you including sex! Take this warning seriously because it could save your life someday!

So He said to him, What is your name? He said, Jacob.

A name, like God’s mercy, is a gift. It comes from outside of yourself—from someone else. It tells you who you are and how you will be known by others. Your name is a declaration of your character, past and future; it reflects what others think about you and foreshadows how they will regard your life’s work.

Jacob’s name was given to him by his father Isaac when he was born (Genesis 25:26). The word “Jacob” means “supplanter,” which is fitting because Jacob did not have the best reputation among his brothers or in the eyes of God (Genesis 27:36-38). He struggled with God and other men throughout his life, but as he grew older Jacob learned that the only way to overcome those challenges was through prayer (Genesis 32:29). Prayer requires humility; it involves recognizing that we are not all-powerful creatures who must fight our way through life using whatever means we can find at our disposal—but rather that we are weak creatures dependent upon God for strength every step along the way. The disciple James writes that “the effective prayer [of faith] does not come from what we say but from deep within us . . . [and] it pleases God because it comes from pure hearts full of faith” (James 5:16).

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And He said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.

You are Jacob, and you are supplanter. You struggle with God, who is your Father, as well as men. You prevail over them, but not without a struggle. Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.

Then Jacob asked Him, saying, Tell me Your name, I pray. And He said, Why is it that you ask about My name? And He blessed him there.

You will see this name all over the scriptures. It is known as “The Name,” and it describes the character of God and His nature. You can read about it in Exodus 3:14–15, Deuteronomy 28:58, Psalms 83:18, Isaiah 12:2–3; 42:8; 45:5–6; 48:9–10; 52:6–7; 65:1–2, 9; Jeremiah 23:6-8 and many other places in the Bible.

You will also see an interesting pattern in these verses… a pattern that is true throughout all of scripture and should be applied to your life today! God always blesses those who come to Him out of faith!

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

  • God is the only one who can give true peace.
  • God is the only one who can give true life.
  • God is the only one who can give true freedom.
  • God is the only one who can give true joy.
  • God is the only one who can give true strength

Pray that God would increase our love for His presence because all blessings flow from intimacy with Christ Himself!

I want to encourage you today to pray that God would increase our love for His presence because all blessings flow from intimacy with Christ Himself! When we spend time in God’s presence and are filled with His love, we become more like Him. When we are filled with His Spirit, He empowers us to live out our purpose on earth.

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It is up to us if we will seek after God or not; but once we have found Him and begin spending time with Him regularly, He begins drawing us closer so that He can bless us even more deeply.

Conclusion

The first thing to note is that this passage is not about wrestling in the literal sense. The word translated as “wrestled” (in Hebrew, ‘nāsach) means “to struggle, contend or fight with someone or something until success or failure is achieved.” The verb form of this word appears elsewhere in the Old Testament—for example, when Jacob was fleeing from Esau (Genesis 32:25-31), when David and Goliath engaged in combat over the Philistine army (1 Samuel 17:1-50), and when Hezekiah prayed for deliverance from Sennacherib’s assault on Jerusalem (2 Kings 18). It also appears in New Testament verses such as Mark 8:31 where Jesus describes how he struggled against Satan during his 40-day fast in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry. In all these instances it refers to an intense conflict between two sides which results either in victory or defeat for one side but not necessarily both.

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