Our Daily Bread Devotional For July 5, 2024 : Topic – Grappling with God

Our Daily Bread Devotional For July 5, 2024 : Topic – Grappling with God

Read previous Our Daily Bread Devotionals here

Bible in a Year :

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.

Today’s Scripture : Genesis 32:22-32

Insight

Jacob’s wrestling match with a stranger, who turns out to be God in human form (Genesis 32:24-30), marks a turning point in his life and is the event that explains the origin of the name of the nation of Israel. The name Israel can be translated “the one who strives with God” or “God strives.” Israel is a combination of the Hebrew words sarah (“to rule,” “contend with,” or “strive”) and El, the Hebrew name for God. Jacob names the place of his life-changing encounter with God Peniel, which means “the face of God.”

Message: A longtime friend sent me a note after my husband’s death: “[Alan] was . . . a grappler with God. He was a real Jacob and a strong reason why I am a Christian today.” I’d never thought to compare Alan’s struggles with the patriarch Jacob’s, but it fit. Throughout his life, Alan struggled with himself and wrestled with God for answers. He loved God but couldn’t always grasp the truths that He loved him, forgave him, and heard his prayers. Yet his life had its blessings, and he positively influenced many.

Jacob’s life was characterized by struggle. He connived to get his brother Esau’s birthright. He fled home and struggled for years with his kinsman and father-in-law, Laban. Then he fled Laban. He was alone and afraid to meet Esau. Yet he’d just had a heavenly encounter: “The angels of God met him” (Genesis 32:1), perhaps a reminder of his earlier dream from God (28:10-22). Now Jacob had another encounter: all night he wrestled with a “man,” God in human form, who renamed him Israel, because he “struggled with God and with humans and [overcame]” (32:28). God was with and loved Jacob despite and through it all.

All of us have struggles. But we’re not alone; God is with us in each trial. Those who believe in Him are loved, forgiven, and promised eternal life (John 3:16). We can hold fast to Him.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

When have you wrestled with God? How is it comforting to know He’s with you in your struggles?

Dear God, please help me to bring my questions and troubles to You knowing You hear them. One day my questions will be no more.

For further study, read Making Decisions God’s Way.

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