Night Fight

Posted: November 2, 2013 in spiritual life

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For sure, the passage in the Old Testament where Jacob wrestles with a mysterious angelic being who we later discover to be none other than God Himself (Genesis 32:22-32) is a very strange portion of the Bible. Yet, it could not be more applicable to so many of us in our spiritual journey. Even for the most devout, perhaps especially for them, there comes a dark season of life:  an seemingly endless, pitch-dark struggle. Like Jacob, we feel alone, confused and, worse of all, it appears that God is behaving like our opponent. Doors we prayed open remain shut; illness we thought we had overcome returns; families shatter; circumstances conspire against us to frustrate and confuse us in our faith. Our heart, if not our lips betray us: “Oh Lord of Heaven, I sought you to help me, yet it seems you have become my foe!”

We would do well to learn from Jacob. He soon became weak as a wrestler with God and resorted instead to clinging on to God. “I will not let you go!” he affirms. The Lord requires the same of us. In our confusion, pain, disappointment, we must cling on to God, believing above all else that He is a blesser. It’s the only way to have our name changed.

During the struggle, the Lord asks Jacob: “What is your name?” (verse 27). It was not that God lacked this knowledge. It was so that Jacob would speak the truth. He was not “Esau” stealing a blessing, but Israel contending for one. Not from Isaac but from Christ. If you feel the fight has drained everything from you, hold on to the invisible Jesus. See the night through. You’ll be Israel in the morning.

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