Wrestling With God
Webster defines wrestle as - “to struggle hand to hand with an opponent in an attempt to throw or force him to the ground without throwing blows; to struggle in opposition, strive, contend.” Along with lots of other interesting stories in Genesis sure enough, we have this case of a man – Jacob – wrestling with the Divine Being in the form of a man (pre-incarnate J. C.?). 32:24 “Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day . . . 26 and He said, let me go, for day breaks. But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” Now I want to believe this was a friendly sort of opposition, and not anything like today's WWF camera- conscious “gorillas” in theatrical altercations for large quantities of money . . .
Is the real purpose of all “wrestling with God” only to reach a knowledge of God and his power in one's life, AND to receive the divine blessing from Him? Too often today it appears that religion is mostly a matter of finding a club of clean living people to call one's own group. Of course, there is always a code of conduct, doctrine, and a meeting place on Sunday mornings which are good things. But it appears that the commitment & intensity & determination - (wrestling) - to receive from God is often missing. Did God intend for His churches to be a social operation for people who like to be around lots of other people? Then too often there seems to be an imbalance on the very nature of God. Some practically reject the Father emphasizing the Spirit. Some practically reject the Son emphasizing the Father. Some practically reject the Spirit emphasizing the Son. (If I was to choose one error above the others, it would be emphasizing the Spirit – this is His dispensation, but a balance is always good.)
Now even though God is a big dude, wrestling with him is not like wrestling with a gorilla. God is a spirit and dealing with him is a spiritual discipline. And it is a CHALLENGE to think on things positive & Divine in this world where there are so many sinful distractions, AND human nature is so self centered. (See Colossians 3:2) Considering Jesus, meditating on his Words, solitude/quietness, ruminating on Bible concepts, and feeling for the presence of the Holy Spirit, may not at first seem to be the “rational” thing to do. But in the long run they can become the “treasure hidden in a field” - Matthew 13:44. Some 2600 years ago the prophet Jeremiah, said “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart.” That's a kind of wrestling . . . (And it doesn't only have to be done Sunday mornings in church clothes.)
Another kind of wrestling is with unbelief. (See link 17 “Concerning Quicksand”) After the resurrection of Christ he appeared to the disciples, but a character named Thomas was not with them. Later he was told “we have seen the Lord” John 20:25. Then Thomas got pig headed and revealed the extent of his unbelief. (v. 25b) Eight days later all the disciples including the doubter were together & Jesus walked thru the wall and directly dealt with Thomas's doubt (v. 26-27). Then being in the presence of a living Jesus and seeing & smelling the fresh wounds of execution, Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God” (v. 28). I would say Thomas lost that “wrestling match”. . . To summarize the whole thing - “Kiss the son (let Him win), lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2:12 Choose Jesus – He is alive. Also see link 28 “What's In It For Me,” for a look at what that blessing amounts to.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index * * F, J. Stone * *