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.”
As promised in my last post on Genesis, even though by the time you are reading this it has been more than a month since we discussed Genesis as part of our adult education at Bethany, as I write this I’m preparing for our fourth week in this book, and in some ways this is some of my favorite pieces of Genesis.
During our Sunday session, we are going to be talking more about election, about the people God chooses to work through, a conversation that has continued since our second week in this series.
But one of my favorite parts of Scripture lies in the Genesis chapters 27-36, and that’s the story of Jacob in Genesis 32. Jacob wrestles with the angel/God/man that appears and attacks him, and although there are a lot of parts of this story that are odd (like why is God/angel/man is attacking Jacob in the first place), but what I love about it is that Jacob wrestles – and Jacob doesn’t give up.
I find myself relating to Jacob a lot, mostly because I feel like the majority of my faith journey has been a wrestling match – it’s been a wrestling match with God, with Scripture, with tradition, and I still find myself wrestling.
What I love about this story is that it is a reminder that we, like Jacob, are encouraged to wrestle with God, to have a full relationship with God, to struggle with Scripture in finding how the Living Word is speaking to us, and discovering who we are in our faith traditions, and who we might become. I am so grateful for the wrestling.
Do you find yourself wrestling with your faith? Do you ever wrestle with Scripture or with your faith tradition? What are ways that God might be speaking to you through the process of wrestling or struggling as Jacob did? Stay tuned next week for our final post in this series, Journey through Genesis – Week 5.