Genesis 32:22-32: Broken.
“22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.” NIV
Here are some final thoughts on this passage from Tom Hale:
‘If we too would hope to know God in this way, we must not try to approach Him on our own terms. We must allow Him to ‘’disable’’ us, to ‘’break’’ us. We cannot develop an intimate relationship with God without first being broken, without first allowing our self-will and self-centredness to be made ‘’lame’’ by God. Only then will we be able to gain God’s deepest blessings and to know Him ‘’face to face’’….To be ‘’broken’’ by God is one of the deepest experiences of our Christian faith. We cannot be the kind of people God wants us to be without having been broken. God has to break us before we will surrender to Him; He has to break us before He can mould us and fill us with His Spirit. As self-centred human-beings, we naturally resist such breaking; this was what Jacob was doing when he struggled with the angel. But God in His mercy did not let Jacob keep on struggling; He touched Jacob’s hip (verse 25). Suddenly all the things in Jacob’s earthly life were no longer so important: he had been touched by God. Instead of struggling for earthly blessings, Jacob now sought the highest blessing of all, God Himself: ‘’I will not let you go unless you bless me’’ (verse 26). Each of us needs to pass through our own Peniel, where we can meet Jesus face to face and be transformed from self-willed strugglers to Spirit-filled channels of blessing to the world.’ ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p. 179.