Much of life can be a struggle. Sometimes the difficulties in life seem overwhelming, and this is when we wrestle with God in the darkness. It is when we cry out to the Lord for His blessing.
In Genesis chapter 32, we find Jacob doing exactly this; wrestling with God and crying out for a blessing. The Lord began to wrestle with Jacob in the middle of the night and even though God put Jacob’s hip out of the socket, Jacob would not let go.
Jacob’s name is “Ya’akov” in Hebrew and means “heel-grabber.” Jacob had a wrestler’s name that meant he would not give up; he would hold on until the bitter end.
Then the man said, “Your name shall no longer be Ya’akov, but Yisrael (ישראל); for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
Why is life such a struggle and why does God seem to hide? We do not understand why we must grope in the darkness to apprehend Him, or why He leaps on us in the metaphorical darkness of life, but He does.
What we can learn from this wrestling match is that Jacob would not let go. He struggled for the birthright when his brother Esau sold it for a bowl of soup. He decieved his father in order to get the blessing and he endured exile for some 20 years to obey his father in taking a wife (or rather wives).
Struggling with God is something that He wants to do, just as our spouses want us to fight for them, God wants us to wrestle with Him for the blessing we want on our lives.
When things get difficult we should not give in too easy. Jesus compared this to a mother pestering a judge to give her son justice. She pleaded with the judge again and again until he relented and gave her what she asked. The same is true for us. We should not let go of the Lord until we hear from God.
We should learn from Jacob and strive with God until we have prevailed.
Reading this week:
- Genesis 32:3-36:43
- Hosea 11:7-12:12, Obadiah 1:1-21
- Matthew 2:13-23
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