Sunday, September 25, 2022

Learning Perseverance From Jacobs Wrestling Match With God

 By: Paula Short

"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" Jacob," he answered." Genesis 32:24-26— NIV

Jacob was on a journey to his home country. He's bringing his wives, children, and all the livestock in his household. But as he's a way off, the bad news comes: Esau is marching out to meet him with an army.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Esau is Jacob's older brother. The two shared a fierce rivalry throughout their childhood. Jacob deceived their father and stole his brother's blessing.

So when Jacob learns Esau is coming, he immediately begins making preparations. He sends gifts ahead to greet his brother. He organizes his family into groups, hoping that the remaining half will survive if Esau attacks one half.

It's late by the time Jacob is done. He goes into the wilderness to rest, and there, he wrestles a man who many believe is an angel of the Lord or is God himself.

In Bible times, angels often intervened in human situations. Although angels would often appear in human form. Jacob knew God was with him.

Jacob continued his wrestling match all night just to be blessed. He was persistent. God encourages persistence and perseverance in all areas of our lives, including the spiritual. Strong character develops as you struggle through tough conditions. God gave many people in the Bible new names. Their new names were symbols of how God changed their lives. 

Jacob, the ambitious deceiver, became Israel, the one who struggles with God and overcomes.

"Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome." Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." Genesis 32:28-30— NIV

What can we learn from Jacobs's wrestling match with God?

— We Need Forgiveness, and it Only Comes by the Mercy of God.

— Closeness to God Requires Humility.

— God Honors Perseverance, Especially when we seek Him.

— God Wants Us to Know Him Intimately.

— Our Identity Is in Christ

God doesn't always give us our requests at the moment we ask. Sometimes, He wants us to wrestle for it—to seek Him more, and discover more of His rich mercy. The point of doing this is not to weaken our beliefs but to strengthen our faith.


What approach would you take to solve a conflict?

Where in your spiritual life do you need more persistence?

Have you ever wrestled over decisions you've made? 

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