Wrestling with God’s will?
Scripture Reading for January 13th: Genesis 32-36
Have you ever felt that God has told you to do something that you knew had the potential for trouble? Our first move away from home to pastor a church in Washington was like that. We were used to being around family and a loving church. We were not sure they would like us. We wrestled about moving our daughter in her senior year of high school. We had told God we would go anywhere, but not necessarily this far!
Jacob faced a similar challenge in his move back from Paddan Aram to his homeland. God commanded him to go back but he was concerned about the brother he had left behind nearly 20 years ago who was plotting to kill him. (Genesis 31:3, 13) Jacob had taken this brother’s birthright and stolen his father’s blessing. He had also just left his father-in-law upset by leaving. Jacob sent his family across the Jabok, a tributary of the Jordan River. He stayed behind to pray.
That night “a man wrestled with him until daybreak”. (Genesis 32:22-31) This “man” touched Jacobs hip socket and put it out of joint. Jacob would not let him go until this “man” blessed him. The man asked Jacob his name–“Jacob” (cheat, supplanter). The man changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” (wrestled with God and men and have overcome.) The nation of Israel was birthed by a man wrestling with God!
Wrestling with God isn’t a bad thing if we are desperate for His blessing! God loves it when we lay hold of Him as our only hope! It’s a sure way to true blessing; but we may walk with a limp! Thankfully, our old ways of cheating, lying and manipulation are left behind. We have a “new Name” written down in Glory and are destined to overcome!
And God said to him, “I am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and community of nations will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Genesis 36:11-12