"And when he [God] 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." (Gen. 32:25)
The word "hollow" usually means an empty place within something. In this case, it is the place in the torso where the hip-joint is found. I became curious about the idea of hollow places and made a little study of other passages in the Bible where the term is found. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all three gave me a picture of how God works in our own lives.
"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand…" (Isa.40:12a). I see here a wonderful image of the great ability of God to protect His children with all the power of His omnipotence. When the children of Israel needed a sea rolled back to protect them from the advancing Egyptian army, God cupped His omnipotent hand, if you please, and scooped it all away till they could safely pass through. And this is the Hand that holds me safely in its hollow (John 10:28-29).
In Judges 15:19, the Bible tells us, "God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout." Samson had used the jawbone of an ass to kill a thousand men. Afterward, suffering from an enormous thirst, he cried to God for water, and God took that very same jawbone to do the supernatural. He made a hollow place within, and filled it with water, providing life-giving nourishment to His needy child. This shows me that God can—and will—use anything at His disposal to provide for me.
Finally, the hollow place in our text in Genesis (the hollow of the thigh) was the place God touched to subdue Jacob to Himself, making him ever after dependent upon Him. And there is just such a hollow place in my own life that God uses to subdue me, when the need arises. I may struggle with Him, but Philippians 3:21 says, He is able to subdue all things unto Himself…and that includes me, bless His name!