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by Wayne Blank
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis 32:24-30 KJV)
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood"
The English word wrest and wrestle originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word which meant to writhe or twist, as in a grappling match (appropriately, the English word wrist originated from the very same word as did wrest and wrestle). Those words are used to translate a number of Hebrew and Greek words of the Scriptures that mean the same thing, but in a variety of ways - whether literally, in the physical sense, or as a psychological, or spiritual, struggle.
Rachel "wrestled" with her sister for a prominent position in the family of Israel (see Mothers Of Israel).
"And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali" (Genesis 30:8 KJV)
God's Justice is not to be "wrestled" with.
"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment" (Exodus 23:2 KJV)
Although King David lived long ago, he well knew how political opponents "wrest words":
"Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil." (Psalm 56:5 KJV)
Much of the New Testament was written by the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), a fact recognized by the apostle Peter (see Peter's Ministry) who warned about those who "wrest" the Scriptures "unto their own destruction."
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16 KJV)
Paul himself obviously recognized what Peter spoke of (see also The Fisherman and The Pharisee), as well as how it applied to a struggle with the spiritual forces of evil that constantly seek to corrupt the people of the Truth.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
Fact Finder: What "armor" did Paul say is to be used in wrestling "against spiritual wickedness in high places"?