I don’t think God has ever been in a WWF ring, but there is a recorded event in the Bible which could be the ancient equivalent, at least if it were interpreted literally. Did Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, really wrestle God like the scripture seems to say he did? If so, it would be one of the stranger stories of the Bible. But we can rest assured the story isn’t about a man wrestling the Almighty. So what’s the story really about, and how can it help us in our spiritual journey?
As it turns out, this story is quite profound! It was meant to teach us about God, and more importantly, it teaches us about a spiritual journey “within”. It is the same “within” that Jesus speaks of when he states that the Kingdom of God is within you.
Let’s dive into the wrestling match of Jacob and God in Genesis to understand what I mean. Jacob’s wrestling match with God takes place near the end of Genesis chapter 32. Jacob is in the process of returning to the land God promised Abraham. At one point in the journey, Jacob divides up his family and animals into different companies and sends them ahead while he stays back on one side of a creek. He is completely alone. According to the Biblical story, something strange happens that night; a mysterious man wrestles with him until daybreak. But who is this mystery man and where did he come from? The story gets even stranger. This mystery man could not beat Jacob at the wrestling match, but he is able to dislocate Jacob’s thigh. This same man then tries to leave once morning comes, but Jacob doesn’t let him, at least not until he gets a blessing from the man. When all is said and done, the man tells Jacob that “…Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed.” (Gen 32:28).
Here we get our first hint that the mystery man is God himself. The fact that the Biblical author means the mystery man to be God is revealed two verses later:
“And Jacob called the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen 32:30).
A couple of things to note here: first we see that the mystery man Jacob wrestled with is God himself. Second we see that Jacob prevailed in the struggle with God. If we think about all of this literally, it makes no sense. So, as always, I ask the question: what is the real spirit of the scripture in this story?
I want you to notice that Jacob said he saw God “face to face.” This is where things get really interesting. While Jacob did not see a literal face, he did see God, or at least the Biblical writer’s concept of God. It just wasn’t with the physical eyes. There’s a special word in verse 30 that tips us off to what this whole experience was really about, and although it’s not common knowledge, ancient world stories were full of this kind of experience. It all has to do with the word “Peniel.” Verse thirty already told us that Peniel was the name Jacob gave the place where the wrestling match with God happened. But that’s not what’s important. What is important is that “Peniel” is meant to be a real place inside you! Now pay attention, because this is how the story of Jacob’s wrestling match affects you.
There is a special gland that sits at the center of the brain called the Pineal gland. In ancient cultures it was known as the “third eye.” It is known as an eye because the Pineal gland in your brain has a special relationship to light. Just like the retina of your physical eyes, the Pineal gland also contains light-sensitive cells. In fact, they are similar to some of the cells that make up the retina.
I now want you to dwell on a very important quote by Jesus given in Matthew so that you understand how serious this is:
“…The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22).
Jesus is not talking about the two eyes that you see the physical world with. Rather, he is talking about your Pineal gland, or what ancient cultures called the “third eye!” Jesus refers to this as a single eye because the pineal gland would not have a left and right hemisphere like your brain.
So what does Jesus’ statement and Jacob’s experience mean to you?
A pineal gland that is “full of light” is representative of an extraordinary spiritual experience, where we transcend consciousness on the physical plane and merge with God on the spiritual plane. The pineal gland has more to do with the seat of the soul and consciousness than the actual brain, and thus, this type of experience with the pineal gland could expand your consciousness. At least this is what the spiritual men of many ancient cultures believed, and since even modern medical science still sees the pineal gland as an enigma, I wouldn’t be so quick to pass this off as ancient hogwash. We do know that the pineal gland regulates and affects sleeping and waking patterns through its interpretation of light.
With that being said, it would now be a good time to remind you of the fact that the Bible states “God is light.” So could it be that the Biblical authors are trying to explain a profound mystery about God and our consciousness through spiritual language and symbols? Of course!
Returning to the story of Jacob’s wrestling match, it is important for us to understand what is meant when the Genesis author states that Jacob saw God “face to face.” Remember, this statement is made in conjunction with naming the wrestling match location “Peniel” (don’t let the different spelling fool you). We can now say that the light of the pineal gland is associated with God’s face! In other words, it is symbolic of experiencing the light of God beyond the physical plane of the five senses. And somehow the physical pineal gland is a doorway of sorts to a higher reality. Let me state that again for anyone who might be confused. Your pineal gland could be a doorway to a higher state of consciousness. This does not mean that the physical you goes anywhere, but rather, the higher you is realized by a spiritual experience where your pineal gland is awakened.
Now notice that the scripture story states that Jacob was “alone” when this encounter with God happened. This signifies the necessity of going to our prayer closet to get in touch with our inner selves through prayer and meditation. Meditation is one preferred method of having this type of Pineal, or Peniel, experience. Meditation is the key. Meditation has a profound effect on consciousness, and I believe it is one method that can energetically awaken the pineal gland, or your third eye.
For anyone who is still not sure how real this experience can be, I suggest you do some research into what the ancients believed about the “third eye.” I would also remind you of the fact that Jesus clearly stated that the kingdom does not come by observation (seeing of the physical eyes), but that the Kingdom of God has to be realized “within” us.
Please don’t think this experience is going to be quick. If you read Jacob’s life story, you’ll soon discover that life was tough on him, and he traveled a long hard road. But in the end Jacob finally had this Peniel experience that made him “Israel” (remember the name change) instead of Jacob. Jacob was a physical man. Israel was a spiritual man. This is also why Paul tells us that an Israelite has nothing to do with a blood line, but it is a spiritual definition. A spiritual Israelite is one who has had the Peniel experience. Think about Paul’s experience on the road to Dasmascus. Didn’t he have some kind of spiritual revelation of Christ through the presence of a “bright light!?”
I believe the Peniel experience is a type of born again experience. It is also a resurrection experience. If you wish to have this experience too, I recommend that you get to your prayer closet and start a meditation program!
I hope this article has helped go beneath the literal interpretation of the scripture and reveal to you the hidden mysterious of the Kingdom. If you enjoyed this article, consider sharing it on your favorite social network, and don’t forget to read part 2 below which goes deeper into our subject of Jacob and the Peniel experience.
Part 1 / Part 2