Struggling with God 11 August 2017

1024px-024-jacob_wrestles_with_the_angelText – Jacob Wrestling with the angel – wikipedia

Have you ever strggled with someone who might be God, or the Face of God as Jacob did this night before the Jabbok.

Genesis 32:22-32New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then the man[Genesis 32:28 Heb he ] said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,[b(  Genesis 32:28 That is The one who strives with God or God strives)

] for you have striven with God and with humans,[cGenesis 32:28 Or with divine and human beings ] and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[Genesis 32:30 That is The face of God ] saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.


To know someones name in the ancient world was in some manner to own them and in this case akin to knowing God. Jacob – the trickster received the answer why is it important to know my name?

So Jacob struggled with a man, angel, God for an entire night and whatever it was he struggled with. That which the Lord wished of him that Jacob did not wish to do. The list is endless, when we place ourselves into Jacob’s shoes there might be any number of reasons why we might spend a night wrestling with God in prayer. When we finally understand that we must obey or be lost we ask for a blessing to assist us in our new advent.

Have any of us prayed so long and hard that we have spent the entire night in prayer and have reached a point when we think that we have prevailed against God? We prevail when we realize that His will be done. We have to cede everything that separates us from the work of God to surrender to His desire.

Jacob the trickster became Irael  the one who would inherit the promised land as had his father Isaac  and grandfather Abraham. Became the one who henceforth must be honest and open handed.

We cannot hide from God who knows all our secrets and fears yet at times we like to believe we have secrets from the Most High and may  even have a wound of somekind to remind us of our encounters with the Living God.

Who shall we become?


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