Yesterday I had a great study time on Gen 32 where Jacob wrestles with God. I'm not gonna lie, I have always had trouble with this passage. I could never follow the story very well. Jacob packed up his family and sent them across the river because he was afraid of what Esau was going to do when he finally caught up with him after he stole their father's blessing. Got it so far... he was alone... then he is wrestling with a man....
I have never been able to picture it. My mind always goes to the WWF wrestling guys pulling fake punches in a ring!
Where did the man (who we later find out is the Lord)come from? What made Jacob fight him? Was there a point in the fight when Jacob figured out that something was fishy about this guy?? And why did they have to wrestle? Could a nice chat have working things out just as well?
The questions go on and on...
But then something stuck out to me. When Jacob began wrestling with God he was just Jacob, whose name appropriately means cheater and deceiver. He was a man who schemed and manipulated to get what he wanted. (Any toes getting stepped on yet?)
When he was done with the struggle he was changed, he was given a blessing and a new name.
What does that mean to us?
"When we struggle through a crisis with God all the way to the blessing, we are gloriously redefined." Beth Moore
I find myself acting like Jacob more often than I like to admit. I want to remember that God has given me a new name and so many blessings and promises of his guidance and provision for my life.
Next time you find yourself in a snit about something think about whether you want to be Jacob or the new you that the Lord created when he rescued you.