Jacob had gained a seamy reputation for getting what he wanted by hook or crook—or both. But when Jacob reached a river called Jabbok, his own cunning caught up with him. The word Jabbok in Hebrew means “wrestle,” and wrestle is what Jacob did. He wrestled with his past: all the white lies, all the scheming, all the scandalizing. But more than anything, he wrestled with God. He met God face-to-face, sick of his past and in desperate need of a fresh start. God gave him a new name and a new promise.
I imagine that most of us have spent some time on the riverbanks as well. When our sins catch up with us we can do one of two things: run or wrestle. Jacob’s example is worthy of imitation, and the result could be refreshing. We know it was for Jacob.