Jacob fled his home after yet another scheme blew up in his face. Little did he know it would be twenty or so years before he’d return. Jacob fell in love, at first sight.
. . . Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.
But Jacob didn’t have a dime to his name. He made a deal with Laben to work for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Seven years in service and finally he’s married. He lifts the vail from his new wife and discovers Laben has outdone the schemer, substituting Rachel’s sister, Leah. Another deal is struck, and Jacob agrees to seven more years service.
Finally the day comes and Jacob has two wives, but is still penniless. Laben knows a good deal when he sees it, and takes one Jacob for another tour of service. Eventually, Jacob turns the tables on Laben, grows wealthy, gathers up his small clan, and heads home.
On the way, Jacob prepares to face his brother, from whom he schemed against to not only get the birth right, but also the inheritance. He divides his clan in two, sends gifts ahead of them with some of his staff, and spends the night alone.
Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,f for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”
Genesis 32: 24-30
Wrestling with an angel. Wrestling with the God Abraham and Issac. John Parson’s, Hebrew for Christians, explains that we all must face our fears and wrestle over who we are with G-d.
As with Jacob, G-d comes to each of us at some point in our lives. We wrestle with Him. If we prevail in our struggle, we are asked to give our name. Our name is often thought of as meaning our identity. Who are we? Furthermore, we must give account of ourselves. We must look deeply into our lives, must see ourselves as we truly are, and tell that to G-d. In turn, we are given a new identity.
It seems to me this is an ongoing process; one that continues our entire lives. For we wrestle, also, with our own selves.
Apostle “Paul describes in the Book of Romans a much deeper frustration—one with which only Christians can identify and one with which all Christians can identify. The Christian’s agony comes from realizing that our sinful flesh refuses to respond to the requirements of God’s Law. Those things which we as Christians despise we find ourselves doing. Those things which we as Christians desire we fail to accomplish. No matter how much we may wish to serve God in our minds, we find ourselves sinning in our bodies. As Paul describes his frustration in Romans 7, with his mind he desires to serve God. He agrees with the Law of God and rejoices in it. He wants to do what is right, but his body will not respond. He watches, almost as a third party, as sin sends a signal to his body, and as his body responds, “What would you like to do?” Paul finds, as we do, that while our fleshly bodies refuse to obey God and do that which we desire and which delights God, they quickly and eagerly respond to the impulses and desires aroused by sin.” Bible.ORG.
We live our lives, then, on the tenterhooks, experiencing the ups and downs, the joy and the tragedy of an Earthly sojourn. The chief difference between those who haven’t experienced the revelation of a new identity in G-d through His Son our Messiah, Yeshua, is that we have the hope of eternal salvation. Those who will not wrestle with G-d and prevail, will not reveal their names to G-d, have only what is here on this Earth, with it’s joys and heartaches.
As Christians, we are privileged. We call the Creator of the universe our Father. Furthermore, we are called His sons and daughters. We are in the Family of G-d.
May the G-d of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, grant us the spiritual peace to live a life that is complete, abundant, filled with the knowledge we are loved and desired by a Father that cares enough to wrestle with us and one day take us off the tenterhooks of this Earthly travel.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
The Daily Post Word Prompt Tenterhooks