Read Genesis 32:22-32
The school which I attended throughout elementary, junior high and high school did not have a wrestling program. I was introduced to wrestling while in college. My college had a nationally ranked wrestling team and one of the team members lived on my floor in the dormitory. My floormates and I would go to the meets to support our friend. This is how I would learn the basics of wrestling and its scoring system. Later in life I would continue to have times when wrestling would play a role in my life as a fan and supporter of specific team members. While I never have became a fan of WWE, I have enjoyed going to junior high, high school, and collegiate meets.
Today we hear about a wrestling match recorded in Scripture. Jacob, his family, and his entire entourage are going to visit his brother Esau. Jacob is going to attempt to reconcile with his brother after having deceitfully taken their father’s blessing from his brother. Jacob is understandably nervous about how Esau will respond when the brothers see each other. So as they prepare to cross the river into Esau’s land, he sends everyone ahead of him in order to be alone to prepare for the encounter mentally and spiritually. Jacob may have hoped to get a good night of sleep so that he would be on the top of his game the next day. This would not be the case. Instead, he spent the night wrestling with God. Able to only obtain God’s blessing in lieu of God’s name (discussing the importance of this will have to wait for another time), Jacob awoke having been physically changed as well.
Each one of us have experienced wrestling matches in our lives. Some of the wrestling has been with our own thoughts, plans and emotions. At other times, we have wrestled with God. Like Jacob, when we wrestle with God, we are changed. It is not possible to wrestle with the Lord and come out of it the same as we went into it. The good news is that once again like Jacob, when the wrestling is done, we find we have received a blessing. Wrestling with God is not easy but beneficial.