And (Jacob) arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:22-30).
Jacob was alone, which is not how we are to live. God didn’t make us to live lonely lives, but God had ordained this time of isolation in Jacob’s life. Jacob had to be alone to wrestle for his freedom. Up to this point, Jacob had lived up to his name, which meant something like a cheater. But Jacob didn’t want to be that man. When Jacob saw the angel, he fought with the angel, and wrestled God. Why? He was desperate for change. He wanted a real blessing, and he got it. His blessing began with discovering what his faulty self-image was, followed by receiving a new name: “Israel.” Jacob was a fighter and during the process of fighting with God, he became “Israel” or “prince with God.”
There are times when God isolates us to do a great work. Most of the time isolation is not good unless it’s ordained by God. Alone in His presence, we can find our new name and nature. And the more we walk in our new nature, the more we will fulfill our destiny. The longer we walk with God, the more our new nature supplants the old one.