a. And Jacob was left alone. Remember what is happening in the story. Jacob is ready to enter the land of Canaan, but he had sent messengers to Esau. The messengers report back that Esau is coming with 400 men. Jacob tries to appease Esau by sending gifts ahead of him with a humble message. As Esau gets closer and his arrival is imminent, Jacob decides to split what he has into two camps hoping to allow at least half of what he owns to escape. Then the night before his brother’s arrival he splits his family and sends them across the Jabbok River and then stands alone. Jacob has called out to God. He has planned and tried to manipulate the situation as much as in his power to do so. Finally, he must stand alone. If you have been joining in with us on Sunday nights you’ll remember that we talked about Hosea 12 where God is calling out the nation of Israel for its sin. In that chapter, God refers back to Jacob, the original Israel, to explain what was going to happen to the nation Israel. God says in Hosea 12:2, “The Lord has an indictment against Judah and will punish Jacob according to his ways; he will repay him according to his deeds.” God is saying that he would punish the nation just like he punished Jacob according to his ways and deeds. Jacob had tried to secure the promise of God in his life through manipulation and deception, or in other words, by his own strength. God has been showing Jacob that it is not in his own strength that he will succeed. And so Jacob is left standing alone on the river bank. But is he alone? b. A man wrestled with Jacob. In the middle of the night, a man comes and wrestles with Jacob until the breaking of the day. This is an abrupt change in the narrative. Without explanation or introduction, we jump from Jacob being alone to a man wrestling Jacob. Notice that neither the man nor Jacob had the upper hand in the struggle. Throughout the night, they were equally matched. Neither Jacob nor the man gave up or tired out. They wrestled until the sun began to rise. As the first light of day comes, the man sees that he is not prevailing against Jacob and so he touches Jacob’s hip socket, and immediately Jacob’s hip is dislocated. In our minds, we might begin to wonder who is this man? Who can dislocate a person’s hip by a mere touch and at will? How could a man wrestle through the night and not win but then, when he chooses, can lay a hand on the hip of the other combatant, and dislocate it?