Wrestling with God

Lou Lotz

READ : Genesis 32:22-32

Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel. (v. 28)

I know two men who have spent most of their adult lives in court, suing one another.
They are bitter enemies. What makes their story so poignant is this—they are

So much human conflict is centered in families. We fight most often, and most bitterly,
with those who are close to us—in the church, in the family, in Israel-Palestine, in
South Africa, in northern Ireland. Most of our unresolved hurt is with those closest to us
whom we have not forgiven and who have not forgiven us.

Jacob’s dread-filled anticipation of his meeting with Esau culminates in an all-night
wrestling match with a mysterious adversary. When daylight finally comes the mysterious
stranger is gone. And so is Jacob. There remains only Israel, who has been wounded,
blessed, and named.

Jacob—now Israel—is eventually reconciled with his brother. But for the rest of his days he limped, a reminder that mistreating your brother and wrestling with the Almighty comes at a price.

Reach out to your brother. Seek reconciliation. “If anyone says, `I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).


Lord, help me to mend relationships that are broken. Amen.