Today's reading: Genesis 32:22-32
After reminding himself and God of the promises God had made to him, Jacob separates himself from his family giving him some alone time with God. What happens next is, what I find to be, one of the oddest passages in the Old Testament. A man (really an angel in human form) appears and he and Jacob wrestle with each other through the night. The wrestling match ends in an impasse, with neither party prevailing. But then the angel, to remind Jacob who he had been dealing with and perhaps to provide him with a lasting reminder of the event, touches Jacob's hip which immediately pops it out of joint (ouch). Jacob then demands a blessing from his heavenly visitor which results in the angel commending Jacob for his steadfastness and giving him the new name of Israel.
Jacob had already turned to God and was trusting Him to guide, direct and bring him through the impending meeting with Esau. So why the wrestling match with an angelic visitor? As I thought about and considered this odd encounter, it was Jacob's faith that stood out to me. Yes, his trust and faith in God were solid, but this all night power struggle served to grow and strengthen Jacob’s faith even more. And as the morning dawns, we see a strong and encouraged Jacob who demands a blessing from God before heading out to face his brother.
How has struggling and wrestling through a difficult decision or situation served to strengthen your faith? Tami
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