February 12, 2011

All-night Fight

Genesis 32:22-26

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
Genesis 32:24


Jacob had quickly made a plan and had set it into motion. After sending even his wives and children ahead of him, he was now alone.

But not for long. Jacob must have bolted upright as he realized an intruder had entered the camp. Who? Someone from Esau’s camp? A spy?

The first blows were exchanged without words. Jacob’s opponent was strong, and he didn’t seem to tire. Jacob, charged with adrenaline, fought like a cornered animal. It became a close fight.

The first frantic moments stretched out into an hour, and then into several hours. Both fighters were quick and strong, and neither would yield. Eventually someone would have to give in, but the odds on this fight seemed even.

When it was almost dawn, the intruder changed his strategy. He touched Jacob’s hip, wrenching the joint painfully. As Jacob gasped in pain, his opponent gave his ultimatum: “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob wasn’t about to give up—not yet. Whoever this person was, he clearly had supernatural power, and Jacob needed whatever help he could get. So he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Who knows what thoughts of desperation Jacob had as he tried to guess what was happening that night? When was the last time you fought desperately for something?

Lord, sometimes we get desperate, hoping for things that only blind us from seeing you. Open our eyes. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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