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Genesis 32:24 (NASB)

Then Jacob was left alone,
and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Bible Commentary

Genesis 32:24 is a Bible verse from the Old Testament where Jacob was faced with a great trial and wrestles with a man who turned out to be God.

Wow, that sounds almost too wild to be true. Can you imagine wrestling with someone and then finding out it was God you were striving with?

God has a way of keeping the shock of a trial tucked away from our consciousness until after we’ve come out of it. Thankfully, many times He hides the most severe part of what we’re going through until it’s passed.

He knows the frailty of our human nature, but He also sees the streaks of determination and resolve within us. He created us with this beautiful blend of gifts, and He delights in growing them within us, and then causing them to shine before Him and before others, like the brilliant bloom of a fragrant flower.


Jacob had been through a lot. He had worked twenty years of hard labor for his Uncle Laban, who deceived him when he promised he could wed Rachel his daughter, but instead he gave him Leah. He made him work another seven years before he could wed Rachel, and also cheated him of his wages 10 different times (Genesis 31:38-42).

But in all this, God blessed Jacob, and when Jacob left Laban and headed back to his home country, he was accompanied by his wives, children, flocks and herds in abundance.

Jacob didn’t just wrestle with God for a night. He had wrestled with him for 20 years during Laban’s authority and oppression over him. But God was growing something in Jacob.


As a young man, Jacob along with his mother, had deceived his father into giving him his brother Esau’s birthright blessing. Esau was furious and vowed to kill Jacob, and so Jacob fled for his life. But after 20 years of working for someone who deceived and oppressed him, God said it was time to go home.

Now Jacob was hemmed in by an oppressive and angry boss behind him, a brother before him, who had wanted him dead twenty years earlier, and now God in the form of a man was wrestling with him!

Unlocking the Truth - Distress and Development

Don’t you feel like that sometimes, like there are forces all around, closing in on you with no escape in sight?

Jacob had a lot at stake. He didn’t give up. He knew God had been with him and had blessed him with family and wealth, despite Laban’s efforts to keep him down.

We endure trials and tribulations of all sizes and strengths, in all forms and manners. Be resolute in your belief and lay claim to it.

In Genesis 32:24, Jacob was left alone as he sent his family and flocks across the stream to keep them safe from the possibility of an impending attack from his brother. There was no person to cling to for help or comfort.


Isn’t that usually when we are aware of God’s Presence, when no one else is around, and most especially when we’re in between a rock and a hard place? We wrestle, struggling and striving for victory, for relief, for peace, for freedom, for love, for joy and sometimes for our very life.

Do you have the resolve to hang on?

You’ve got to know where you stand and what you believe, and then hold on tight. Life will try to beat you up. Let the storms make you stronger.

It was probably a long night for Jacob, as Genesis 32:24 says the man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Have you ever spent a restless, sleepless night wrestling with God? You might not have even been aware it was God you were wrestling with. He tests our resolve, our attitude and our determination.

Look at Jacob’s determination in Genesis 32:26. After a night of wrestling, Jacob prevailed and then said to the man, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man responded by asking his name and then said in verse 28, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

How amazing to hear those words, when He acknowledged not only the night-long battle with God, but all the struggles and contentions with men.

God blessed Jacob for his resoluteness and steadfastness, his attitude of determination. He acknowledged the difficulty of Jacob’s struggle and pronounced his victory.


God didn’t stop with the pronouncement of Jacob’s victory, but in Genesis 32:28, God promoted him when he changed his name from Jacob, which means heel catcher, to Israel, which means he will rule as God. That’s a HUGE promotion!

These words are for you today. God acknowledges the years of your sacrifices and struggles, and your perseverance and now recognizes you as the winner. And not only that, he pronounces promotion over you.

Receive today what He offers you. Again, your Heavenly Father has seen every struggle, all the contentions with people from your past. He recognizes you for overcoming, and now pronounces promotion over you. You are a winner—now and forevermore.

Study the Bible verse of Genesis 32:24, and receive the blessings and promotion of God’s faithfulness.

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