5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 32
Mark 3
Esther 8
Romans 3

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak… But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ … Jacob then named the place Peniel, ‘For I have seen God face to face,’ he said, ‘yet my life has been spared.’”
Genesis 32:24, 26, 30 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Genesis 32:24-32 is an unusual text. In it, we observe Jacob wrestling with an unnamed man. But, by the end of the short account, we hear Jacob say, “For I have seen God face to face.”

Friend, I believe that Jacob was wrestling with Jesus! If you doubt my claim, if you doubt that people in the Old Testament encountered the Son of God, then read something I wrote a little more than a year ago, paying careful attention to the Scriptures that I cite. (Click here: “Jesus in the Old Testament”)

So, given that it was God (the Son) that Jacob was wrestling with, we observe at least one powerful principle. Here it is: God delights to wrestle with His followers.

What does that mean?

Wrestling with God is easily observed in someone who is a Jesus-follower when life gets tough. They need an answer, or relief, or strength, or wisdom, or whatever. So, they pray … passionately. Maybe like Hannah in the Old Testament, their prayers are so heartfelt and passionate that the high priest thought she was drunk (1 Samuel 1:9-18).

Jesus loves passionate people! He loves people that desire His presence and His blessings (Genesis 32:26) so passionately that they grab hold of Him and won’t let Him go. In fact, when we observe Jesus’ Apostles, we see that He spent most of His time with Peter (who was a passionate guy) as well as James and John (who He nicknamed “Sons of Thunder”).

Jesus loves passion! When He sees someone, or even a church, that is apathetic (“lukewarm”), he gives the warning:

Revelation 3:16 (CSB): “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.”

Friend, the culture around us tries to shut down passion. Sure, they are attracted to leaders with passion. But, in us ordinary folks, water is constantly being thrown on passion.

Don’t let that affect your relationship with Jesus! Pour your heart out to Him in prayer. And don’t simply say the words – find someplace where you can be away from others and let your emotions flow! Wrestle with your God! He loves it when we do this!

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I have allowed apathy to settle into my heart. And, I have observed in the story of Jacob wrestling with You that you love passion. My eyes are seeing that You are attracted to people like that. Please fan my heart’s slow-burning flame into a blaze. Let me get excited about You. I want to passionately serve, love, follow, and pray to You. Amen!

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash