by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

Jacob Wrestles With God (4 of 5)
How God Changed “Jacob” into “Israel”
Tony Nester
Genesis 32:22-32

I'm glad Jacob wrestled with God because I've had a
few times when I've gone to the mat myself with God.
So have many of you. We've screamed our anger at God
for not doing more to protect us or a loved one from
hurt. We've shaken our fist at God when God expects
more from us than we think is fair. We've kicked and
punched at God when our guilty conscience condemns us
but we yet remain unwilling to change our ways. We've
wrestled with God as did Jacob that night he was left
alone by the Jabbok River.

Some of you aren't identifying here with Jacob. You
can't imagine ever getting into a fight with God. But
hold on. What kind of God do you have in your life?
Is your God the God of the Bible or one of your own

"The God of the Bible is not like rice pudding: warm
soft and mushy," says Dr. Robert J. Owens as he talks
about Jacob's wrestling match with God. "Nor is He
[God] a divine indulgent grandparent who chuckles
soothingly and pats you on the head and slips some
money into your pocket. He is the sovereign Lord of
all reality. His is the dominion over all that can
ever be. He is on no one's leash. He establishes
governments and overthrows them. He builds, and He
tears down. There are times when God answers our
prayers with a parting of the seas, with an almost
miraculous easing of the way. But there are other
times when He answers us with toughness and hard, hard
challenges... And therefore it is a dangerous thing
to ask for God. Because when He shows himself to you
it will always be in a way destined to shape your life
to Him. For some of us, the shaping can only be done
with devastating experiences."(1)

I said last week that Jacob was a man under
construction by the Spirit of God. This story is
where the most significant piece of new construction
takes p ...

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