It had been quite a night, wrestling in his sleep with what at first Jacob thought was a man, but could only have been God. Jacob lasted the fight and won a blessing. But before the blessing, God gave Jacob a new name to remind him of the curse–the curse man and woman have known since they ate the forbidden fruit–that we will fight with the Creator, his creation, and all creatures. God gave Jacob a lifelong reminder, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel” (Genesis 32:28). Israel means “the one who struggles with God,” and that was Jacob, who looked out only for himself, struggled with God, and overcame by fighting. Just like me. I wrestle all the time with creation, with its creatures, and, most of all, with the Creator.
There is a better way and it comes with another Name. His Name is Jesus and it is above all names and changes everything. Rather than wrestle, Jesus serves, he listens to His Father, he loves the world. Enough to die for each and every one of us.
Israel reminds us of what we have become, people who are always struggling with God. Jesus reminds us of who created us and what we were created to be, God’s children and citizens of His Kingdom to come.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son, my Savior, the Name above all names. Thank You for Your grace, that You came to seek and save the lost. Me!
God, teach me to serve others, to love others. Father, may I stop the struggle and surrender to Your ways. May I serve You by serving others. May I overcome the curse by being a blessing in Your Name.