Genesis 32:10-12 The Voice (VOICE)
10 I know I am not worthy of even a little of all of the loyal love and faithfulness You have shown to me, Your servant. You have already blessed me because I left home and crossed the Jordan with nothing except my staff. Now I have grown into two large camps. 11 Rescue me now, please, from the hand of my brother, from the grip of Esau. I am afraid that he may come and crush us all, the children alongside their mothers. 12 Remember You told me, “I will make good things happen for you and make your descendants as many as the grains of sand on the shores, which are too numerous to count.”
Jacob has come to the end of himself. He has struggled with his brother and the rest of his family for his entire life. He was born a “heel-catcher,” a deceiver, and he lived the part well. But he can’t go on like this any longer. With Esau on his way, by this time tomorrow he could well be dead and his family killed or captured. He desperately needs God’s blessing and protection, so he grieves and agonizes through the night. Through stabbing pain Jacob demands a blessing from his unknown assailant, but he cannot receive it until he confesses his name. Once he does, his name is changed. No longer is he known as Jacob; from now on he is “Israel,” he who wrestles with God. This is the turning point in Jacob’s life. He lays aside his former self and takes up a new name, a new identity. If Jacob is to be the one to carry on God’s covenant and the source of universal blessing, he has to change.
And Jacob prayed on.