When the children of Israel rebelled against God and the leadership of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, God was angry and decided to destroy them. But Moses ‘wrestled’ with God to change that decision. He even rejected an offer to make out of him a great nation instead of Israel. Yes, an intercessor must always be unselfish. Moses argued and showed God the reasons why he should not destroy Israel at that point in time.
At last, he succeeded in convincing him. Let us read it: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people reject me? Will they ever believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation far greater and mightier than they are! ‘But what will the Egyptians think when they hear about it? Moses pleaded with the Lord. They know very well the power you displayed in rescuing these people from Egypt.
They will tell this to the inhabitants of this land, who are well aware that you are with this people. They know, Lord that you have appeared in full view of your people in the pillar of cloud that hovers over them. They know that you go before them in the pillar of cloud by the day and the pillar of fire by night. Now if you slaughter all these people, the nations that have heard of your fame will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring them into the land he swore to give them, so he killed them in the wilderness.’
“Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed it to be. For you said, ‘The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so he does not leave sin unpunished, but he punishes the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. Please pardon the sins of this people because of your magnificent, unfailing love, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.’ “Then the Lord said, ‘I will pardon them as you have requested.” Numbers 14:11-20
My God! Excellent and successful intercession! Great Moses! Look at the sweet result. This is a typical ‘wrestling with God’. Some men are indeed great. Read the above passage over again. Moses did a wonderful job here. He went on, putting forward every reason under the sun why God should change his mind on destroying the people of Israel through a plague for their faithlessness and disobedience.
He practically threw God’s words back to him. He achieved his aim by making God to rescind that judgement. Great success! Great Moses! Listen, God said, “Come now, let us argue this out.” Isaiah 1:18. Yes, he is looking for men and women that will hold him with reasons why he should do what we want him to do. And this is what wrestling with him means. How many of us are ready for this?
Another man that taught us that we can actually hold on to God and struggle with him in prayer until we receive what we want from him is Jacob. Jacob is a perfect example of a man wrestling with God. They had the match at midnight prayer.
There is no situation that wrestling with God in the midnight cannot change. True! I have repeatedly said in this in my book / audiobook Power of Midnight Prayer that any man or woman that masters this act of midnight prayer will remain unconquerable throughout their life. This does not in any way mean that challenges of life will not come, sure they will, but you will always be on top of the situation.
I say this through personal experiences and also testimonies from others. When Jacob was coming back from exile and was to meet an angry and well armed brother – Esau, he was afraid, confused and was trying every trick to escape the rage of a brother who was coming to pay him back for his (Jacob’s) treachery. In that precarious situation, Jacob wrestled with God and changed the entire situation to his favour. Praise God! Please let’s go through this very interesting account of Jacob’s wrestling with God:
“But during the night Jacob got up and sent his two wives, two concubines, and eleven sons across the Jabbok River. After they were on the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp and a man came and wrestled with him until dawn. When the man saw that he couldn’t win the match, he struck Jacob’s hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket. Then the man said, ‘let me go, for it is dawn.’ But Jacob panted, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ ‘What is your name?’ The man asked, he replied, ‘Jacob.’ ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘It is now Israel, because you have struggled with both God and man and have won.’ ‘What is your name? Jacob asked him. ‘Why do you ask?’ the man replied, then he blessed Jacob there.’ Jacob named the place Peniel – ‘Face of God’ for he said, ‘I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.’ The sun rose as he left Peniel. ‘Then, in the distance, Jacob saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. Jacob now arranged his family into a column with his two concubines and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead as he approached his brother, he bowed low seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him affectionately and kissed him. Both of them were in tears.”
What a reversal of fate! There are things I would like us to note about Jacob’s attitude towards this particular encounter with God. Jacob was persistent; he made sure that the man (God) did not win the match and also refused to let him go without blessing him. And he got his blessings at last. The sun rose upon Jacob and his fears were immediately tuned into favour.
When we follow this same principle, we are sure to receive the same result. This is exactly what wrestling with God is all about – persisting until you receive your blessing from him. Find the above story in Genesis 32:22-31, 33:1-4. Now also look at the way Hosea puts it, “Before Jacob was born, he struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him.
There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him – the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is his name!” Hosea 12:3-4. That is Jacob for you! He started wrestling right from the womb. He wrestled with his brother, he fought with God and he also wrestled with the angel and won. And I want to add that he also wrestled with his father-in-law to get his wealth and wife of choice.
He understood the game perfectly well. It is called wrestling Match! Yes, that guy was determined right from the womb to make the most of his opportunities. He was determined to see all the promises of God come to pass in his life. So, he wrestled! We will continue. Share this message with others.
Rev Gabriel Agbo is the author of the books / audiobooks: Power of Midnight Prayer, Receive Your Healing, Breaking Generational Curses: Claiming Your Freedom, Never Again!, I Shall Not Die, Move Forward, Power of Sacrifice, Prepare for that battle and many others.
Tel: +2348037113283 E-mail: [email protected]
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