Chapter of the Day: Read Genesis 32.
Meditate on Genesis 32:28 Then the man said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and humans and have overcome.”
Fearful Jacob is again tested as he prepares to face his brother Esau. Esau’s threat to kill Jacob was the reason he fled to Laban twenty years before.
Jacob cowardly sends a servant ahead of him to meet his brother Esau. The servant returns with a message that his brother is coming to meet him along with four hundred men. In great distress, Jacob divides his family into two camps hoping that if his brother attacks maybe one camp will at least survive the wrath by escaping.
Jacob finally turns to the Lord in prayer after exhausting all of his options. He prays God’s promise back to him and admits boldly that he is scared that his brother might attack him.
After his prayer, Jacob reverts back to his fearful way of dealing with the matter by sending everyone ahead of him while he remains in the camp. However, he would spend the rest of the night wrestling. Face to face with his greatest fear God was going to test Jacob’s willingness to overcome his struggles so that he could receive what God had promised to his father. Jacob struggles well and is not overcome. By daybreak the Lord ends the struggle and Jacob is longer Jacob, but Israel.
God has the victory not only against our enemies, but He also has the victory in our own hearts. Praise God that our struggles and pride are not too much for God to wrestle into submission. And when we wrestle well with the Lord He knows our willingness to overcome and we become a new, renamed, and useful vessel to display His glory.
Prayer: God thank you that you are willing to go to war with my personal struggles. Thank you that you wrestle with me and show me just what I am able to overcome because of your power at work in my life. I may limp away from the battle, but I leave forever changed. I have a new identity that is useful for making you known. God help me to wrestle well and not be overcome by even my greatest fears. In Jesus’ name amen.
How did Jacob’s past identity plague him from walking forward into God’s promises?
Has fear ever made you hesitant to walk into something new that the Lord is prompting?
When was a time you felt like you wrestled with God about a sin in your life?
What does this passage teach us about trusting God even with our own struggles?
Memorize James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trial of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”