Wrestling with God!

Scripture Reading for January 12:  Genesis 32-36

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 

Have you ever felt that God has told you to do something difficult?  Our first move away from home to pastor our first church in Washington was like that. Our daughter just ready for her senior year in a good Christian high school.  We had always lived close to family and our church family. This new church was in a different culture and was two thousand miles away. We had told God we would go anywhere, but not necessarily this far!  But we are so thankful for obeying God! Our lives were made rich in His plans!

Jacob faced just such a challenge in Genesis 31:13. God commanded him to go back home after twenty years in exile. Jacob had taken his brother Esau’s birthright and stolen his father’s blessing.  He had just upset his father-in-law by leaving with his family and herds acquired by his shrewdness.  Jacob sent his family across the Jabok, a tributary of the Jordan River. He heard reports that Esau was coming with 400 men  and he stayed behind to pray.

That night Scripture says “a man wrestled with him until daybreak”.  (Genesis 32:22-31) This “man” touched Jacobs hip socket and put it out of joint.  But 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.)  Thus the nation of “Israel” was born out of this amazing wrestling match!   

Have you ‘wrestled with God’? Is there something that God is asking you to do that is troubling or dangerous or causes fear? Confess your old ‘name’. Persistently seek the Lord for His provision and blessing and humbly receive His new name for you!  

“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  Revelation 2:17

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