Posted by: Esther | October 18, 2007

The Struggle to Confess

The Struggle to Confess and Repent



Before the Struggle:


Jacob was born grabbing the heal of his twin brother Esau, as his name suggests. While in their mother’s womb, Jacob and Esau were causing such a ruckus, struggling with each other, that Rebekah (their mother) sought the Lord’s council. The Lord told her that two nations were inside her womb; one nation will be stronger than the other, and the older son will serve the younger one (Genesis 25:22-23). As the story continues, Esau sells his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25: 29-34). Jacob continues to live up to his name by tricking his father, Isaac, into giving him his brother’s blessing (Genesis 27). Jacob is then sent to his mother’s home town, Haran, to find a wife, as well as to create distance between him and the wrath of his brother, Esau. Twenty years later, God tells Jacob to return home with his abundance of blessings accumulated during his stay in Haran, including livestock and children. On his way, he finds himself alone, on one side of a ford, struggling with God. The story goes as follows:


The Struggle:


Genesis 32:22-30   Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.  Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there.  So Jacob named the place Peniel, for {he said,} “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”  Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.


This is Jacobs’s second encounter with God. The first encounter took place on his way to Haran. During this encounter, Jacob dreamed of a ladder that ascended to God. God gave him the promises he gave to his grandfather Abraham and Jacob believed (see blog), and we get the picture that he almost ran to Haran in joy.


During this second encounter with God, Jacob wrestles until daybreak and will not give up. He will not repent. He will not confess his sins. He will not let God win, so God has to dislocate his hip.


A Sorrow that Leads to Repentance:


2 Corinthians 7:10  For the sorrow that is according to {the will} {of} God produces a repentance without regret, {leading} to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.


It was the will of God to produce sorrow in Jacob that would lead him to repentance. Jacob could no longer run. He was humbled to a limp. And now God has the upper hand.


Isaiah 59:2  “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”


Luke 13:5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”


A New Name; A New Life:


God says, “It is morning, let me go.”(Gen. 32:26)

“I won’t let you go until you bless me.”

“What is your name?” (27) In other words, I won’t bless you until you confess. Admit your name. Admit that you are a heal grabber, deceiver, sinner.



It wasn’t until Jacob confessed that he was blessed. And what a struggle it was to get him there. All night long, he struggled with God. Are you struggling with God? Unless we repent, we will perish. How long must He struggle with you? Tell him who you are. Confess your sins, before he humbles you so that you can no longer run.


Acts 3:19  “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;


It wasn’t until Jacob admitted who he was, a sinner/deceiver, that he received a new name. Likewise when we repent and turn to the Lord, we will also receive a new life in Christ.


 2 Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


Jacob believed God after his first encounter with Him and now, after his second encounter, the struggle, he submits to God. Likewise once we believe, we struggle to let go of who we were. Let it go and let Christ in. Confess your sins, turn to God and receive a new name and a new life in Him.


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