In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God. He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor (Hosea 12:3,4 NIV).
Many people give excuses for their bad character traits. They say that they were born that way.
As we look at Jacob’s life, we can say that he was born that way. He came out of his mother’s womb grasping his brother’s heel. But Jacob, which means grasping the heel, also means deceiver. And that was exactly what he was. He deceived his brother twice and was later deceived many times by his father-in-law.
Many Christians too say this; that they were born that way. This is an excuse. Even though there are certain circumstances and heredity factors which a child cannot control when he is born, that cannot be an excuse for wrong attitudes and behavior later in life. This is because God gives opportunities to His children to change.
Jacob had such an opportunity at Bethel. There the angel of God met him. And he struggled with the angel and overcame him. That means that Jacob was able to get the angel agree to his prayer. Truly, Jacob wept and begged the angel for his favor. The Bible records that he struggled with God. And Jacob was blessed by God.
As a child he had grasped his brother’s heel. And he lived all his life trying to manipulate circumstances so that he will have blessings in his life. Now he came to a point where he understood that he cannot manipulate blessings. He understood that he needed a change in himself. And he knew that he could not do it by his own strength. Therefore he wept and begged God for His favor and got it. Jacob was a changed man. You too can change! With God’s help, of course!