Genesis 32:22–32 (ESV)
Jacob Wrestles with God
22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them
and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 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. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then
he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 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. 30 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.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew
of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
Alone and faced with danger, Jacob finds God to be his adversary. Yet faithful Jacob wrestles and receives a new name and God’s blessing. It does not always seem that God is on our side. Sometimes He causes Christians to bear
trials, temptations, and suffering—i.e., the cross. Yet, this is not to destroy us, but to strengthen us and finally bless us. Christian faith clings to God’s Word of mercy in Jesus Christ.
I pray: O Lord, in Baptism, You have promised to be my God. Grant to me what You see that I need. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran
Study Bible (p. 68). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.