Snapshots: Day 29
The Snapshot: “a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” We might think it is a rare thing to be commended by God for wrestling with Him, but when the man in question insists, “I will not let you go unless you bless me,” that pleases God, for that is exactly what is on His heart for mankind – that we cling to Him to be blessed, to be saved, to be redeemed, to receive the blessing that only He can impart. We will come out of the wrestling match changed, perhaps in a way we hadn’t envisaged and indeed don’t fully appreciate, but from then on we will never forget God and He will always be our first port of call in the struggles of life. No longer will we be plotting our own well-being for we will have His blessing and will never be the same again,.
Further Consideration: Wrestling with God? That needs some thinking about because Jacob was commended by God for wrestling with Him until He blessed him, but not all ‘wrestling’ is like that. Perhaps the greatest example of wrestling with God where the objective of the wrestler was seek to get victory over God for no other reason that pure self-centredness, is that of Pharaoh opposing Moses in Exodus. No of course it wasn’t a literal wrestling match of Pharaoh with God but Pharaoh’s attitude, his words and his actions, are clearly as much a struggle against God to get his own way, as if it has been a literal match.
God is seeking to get Pharaoh to submit to His will and we see it is a totally unbalanced contest because He is so infinitely more stronger than Pharaoh, but Pharaoh doesn’t believe that. But then that is why unbelievers wrestle with God, resist Him, and try and get their own way; they just don’t realize exactly who it is they are resisting. If they realized the truth they would give in instantly.
But when it comes to believers, they sense something and, I would suggest, it is something inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is that God can bless them, can answer a prayer – and wants to, if only they will ask and ask.
The problem is that very often we just don’t believe that God desires good for us; it is one of the offshoots of being a sinner, redeemed, yes, but still tainted with these things. And so it is that we catch the truth and pray it, and God coyishly holds back before answering. We pause but sense it is right, this thing, so we pray again, and again, and as we pray we come to see that this IS the truth, this IS what God wants and so we pray with more urgency. I will not let you go until you bless me! Jesus taught, “Ask – and keep on asking (the verb tense)- and it will be given you.” (Mt 7:7) Why? For our benefit so we will come to realize the truth of what we are asking for.