Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wrestling with God

Wrestling with God is the battle man experiences within. Jacob of the old testament is known for wrestling with the angel of God.

Genesis 32:22-28 - The same night he [Jacob] got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 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. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”

Post the fight, God called Jacob “Israel”. Is-ra-el in Hebrew means "the man who wrestled with God". What does it mean to wrestle with God? Why does one wrestle with God?

The wrestling here is “our fiery resistance”to the redeeming act of God. God wants to save us from sin and the occasions of sin and restore us. He wants to make us a new creation. When God pulls us out of the pit to wash us clean, we bite his hands and spit on his face, escape and scoot back to the filthy pit again. God waits patiently till we stretch our hands again to him.

After Jacob has prevailed until daybreak, wrestling with the angel of God, in appreciation of his perseverance, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and makes a promise. The promise is to “restore” [and make his own], all the descendants of Jacob – the house of Israel – those who hear/believe in Jesus/his words and do it.

Jesus came to save mankind from their sins. Mathew 1:21

Only God can save us from sin. Those who co-operate with God and persevere despite strong inner pull becomes the dearest of God and the promise God made to Jacob fulfils in him.

The persistent wrestling of Jacob and the blow on his thigh that dislocated his hip represents the painful process of restoration that every Christian must go through before he becomes a part of the house of Israel. Jacob cries and prays as he wrestles with his own sinfulness, never leaving the fight.

We too must insist that we will never leave God until He blesses us and liberates us completely from our sinful habits and make us the new creation. [from Jacob to Israel - From a deceiver to the one who has conquered his own fallen-ness and gained the favour of God]

How long does God have to wrestle with you before you yield every area of your life to Him?