ADVENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT—DAY 4
Genesis 32:24-30 But he (Jacob) stayed behind, alone. Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint.
The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”
“I won’t, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.
“What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he answered.
The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”
There are multiple mysterious events in the Old Testament (several in Genesis) where “the angel of the LORD” appears. Is this divine messenger sometimes Jesus Himself? The Bible doesn’t say for sure. This angel, though, surely does things that Jesus does—He wrestles with us, He marks us out, and most significantly He gives us a new name, a new identity. Jesus could indeed call on His Father to simply annihilate us. But time and again in the Gospels He allows us to win, to wrestle our blessing from Him. He heals, He feeds, He resurrects, He illuminates, and He forgives—and if we allow Him to complete His work, He throws our lives out of joint forever.
Prayer: Dear God, what does it mean for you to be intimate with me? Surely if you are near, there is much in me with which you cannot be comfortable. I would rather have you face to face in close combat than to relate to you at a comfortable distance. Please do drive me to the point where I demand the blessing of a new identity in Jesus Christ. For His sake and in His name I pray. Amen.