Tag Archives: wrestling

Genesis 32 – Coming Home

Wow, can Jacob never get a rest?  He is chased down by Laban and has to contend with him.  He overcomes Laban, continues travelling home, and after sending his servant ahead of him to let his brother know that he is coming and to scout out the situation; he finds out that his brother is coming to meet him with a mob of 400 men!

So Jacob wisely does some damage control.  He knows that Esau’s contention is with him, so he places some distance between himself and the majority of his belongings and family.  I have always seen this as a buffer of protection for Jacob.  Esau has to go through all of these things in order to get to Jacob.  Even if Esau destroys all of this other stuff, it gives Jacob a chance to run away, or for Esau’s anger to abate before he reaches Jacob.

However, this buffer is also for the protection of his family and property.  By separating the people and things from the source of the anger, the desire for vengeance is less likely to become focused on the things and family.  Also, the realization that Jacob has been so blessed by God that it becomes obvious that it is not in the best interest to attack what God is blessing.

The gift of goats, sheep, milking camels, cows, and donkeys doesn’t hurt the anger appeasement situation either.

However, the wrestling is far from over.  Jacob has one more wrestling match to go through before he faces off with his future and destiny.  Jacob has to wrestle with God!  I love this passage!  I don’t necessarily understand it, but i love it!  First off; how does a man wrestle with God?  How is that even possible?  Jacob can’t be stronger than God any more than we could pick up and carry a mountain.  Yet there it is.  He wrestled with God throughout the night.  He doesn’t beat God, but he succeeds in wrestling until morning?  Then he asks for a blessing on top of that!  I don’t understand how any of that works or is possible, but i also know that the Word is inerrant, so it must work somehow.  So what does Jacob get?  He gets a new name.  Jacob is now Israel.

What about you and i?  Do we wrestle with God?  Do we come face to face with God and wrestle with Him then ask Him for a blessing?  Do we even seek Him out?  When we do wrestle with Him, do we find that our reward is what we expect?  Or are we under estimating the power of words: the power of a name?

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Genesis 29 – Wrestling

This chapter is the beginning of the fruition of of who Jacob has become and is becoming.  It is Jacob in the process of not only seeing the fruit of deception, but becoming the target and recipient of it.  He must learn to accept the consequences and purposes that are out of his control.  He must also work hard  to achieve what his father had been freely given.  This is the time when Jacob has to make a choice, do i rise to the challenge and be a man, or do i try to force my will on another person requiring that they give me what i feel like (and rightfully do) deserve, acting like a spoiled child?

This is a struggle that every person must face, especially every man.  Jacob is trying to prove himself.  He is trying to work and overcome.  In this and the following chapters he is trying to be a man.  He is answering the questions:  Who am i?  What gives me value?  Where is my purpose?  Like most every man, he is seeking to understand his role and his purpose.  As such, he is wrestling with expectations placed on himself, and what he can and does achieve.

Leah is going through the same struggle in this chapter.  She sees her value coming from her relationship with other people.  So she wrestles with that.  The fact that she is given to this man who does not love her in trickery.  The fact that even in her role within that marriage she still cannot find true acceptance.  She does what every woman of her world does, she pursues childbearing as a large part of who she is.  She even succeeds in having son after son, but she still does not gain the acceptance and approval that she seeks.  Finally, after wrestling and wrestling and wrestling, she finally finds her love and acceptance in God.  She recognizes that He is her source of love and acceptance.  As a result, her final son she names Judah, meaning “praise”.  Praise to the LORD for His blessing and love.

How do we respond in the face of struggle and trial?  Do we face it like a man (woman), or do we throw a fit and attempt to make everyone else bow to our will through force, control, or manipulation?  Understand as Leah did, that our love and value can only come from one source.  If we wrestle with and seek fulfillment of those desires through anything else, we will eventually be let down.  It will never be enough.  It is only by wrestling and finding our love and purpose in the LORD, in YHWH that we can finally praise.

 

John C.
A Masterpiece in Progress

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