Wrestling with God

Sunday’s Scripture – October 20, 2019

Genesis 32:22-31


What does it mean to wrestle with God?

We read this odd account in Genesis of Jacob wrestling with a “man”. The terrifying aspect of this is not addressed in the text, but he wrestles all night with the man and prevails. After being struck in the hip, Jacob is given a new name because he has wrestled with God and with humans.

This wasn’t a good time encounter for Jacob, but a time when the Lord was his opponent. This event shows us that Jacob was changed by this experience. So much so that his name was changed.

Anyone with an active faith wrestles with God.

Commands in the Bible that are mind-blowing, like loving my enemies, not coveting, turning the other cheek, etc. may cause many of us to wrestle. It’s great to believe that we should do these things, but actually doing it is hard.

In Jacob’s story we can easily recognize our own elements of struggle: fears, darkness, loneliness, vulnerabilities, empty feelings of powerlessness, exhaustion, and relentless pain.

  • Showing kindness to someone that has wronged us.
  • Dealing with a bratty child.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Illness
  • Reaching out to those that are sick and bereaved

These are all nice to believe we should do the right thing, but actually putting it into practice, doing it, is not always easy.

Jacob confronts his failures, his weaknesses, his sins, all the things that are hurting him . . . and faces God.

When you think about the shear amazing grace that our God has to even wrestle, question, or struggle, it’s truly a gift. Disciples wrestle with God.

As disciples we are not just called to believe, but to put that belief into action. We are called to DO.



  • In what ways have you wrestled with God in your past?
    • What were the outcomes?
      • Positive?
      • Negative?
  • What failure, weakness, or hurt are you harboring where you need to wrestle with God, now?
  • How are you putting into action what you believe?

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