Struck with the strike
When he [the man] saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. —Genesis 32:25 NLT
What strikes me in this text is the strike itself. God didn’t have a “oops” moment; the Divine Grappler didn’t get carried away and go too far. This touch was a response to what had been happening in the match itself.
We can only imagine this spar. Yes, this touch is a lasting blow, but it is not the last blow. After the man dislocates Jacob’s hip, he says, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.”
Jacob counters. “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
I greatly admire Jacob here. During what I picture is a lot of passion exchanged physically, he figures out that God (or some sources suggest an angel) isn’t the enemy. This is no opponent. This wrestling partner is the goal, the prize. Because of this, there is no way Jacob will give up and quit. This makes sense to me because of the godly blessings I’ve fought for in my day.
The Message presents this touch verse differently. This version says, “When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.”
Perhaps this is challenging to accept. God, or even an angel, willfully hurting someone doesn’t align for me. What does make sense is this lasting memory Jacob has each day that hip really hurts. The old pain is not just a memory of the match; it’s a reminder. Jacob seeking his blessing is something he never wants to forget.
PRAYER: May we be reminded to go and seek our blessings too, dear Lord. Amen.