6th Dec

Suggested reading Genesis 32 v 22-32

Yesterday we journeyed with Jacob as he fled his home and encountered God in the dark, lonely night. Now, many years later, he is making the return journey. Now he has wives, sons and daughters, flocks and riches. But he is still afraid of what his reception might be from his brother, so he sends them all on ahead and prepares to spend the night alone again. And into this darkness God comes, in the form of an angel, whom Jacob wrestles with all night.

It is an amazing episode, full of incident, unanswered questions and mystery. It is not an outward journey this time, but an inward one that Jacob has. For somewhere in the titanic struggle that takes place Jacob is changed. He holds onto God, despite having his hip out of joint and he comes out of it no longer as Jacob- the chancer, the cheater, the liar, the coward-but as Israel, the father of the twelve tribes of the Jewish nation.

Are there times in your life when you feel you have wrestled with God? When faith has felt like a struggle against doubt and uncertainty? What might we learn from Jacob?

RembrandtJacob wrestling with the angel c1659

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