Israel’s self-understanding is one of being in a locked battle with God. In their very name, the Israelites make very plain and public that they see themselves as a people that struggle with God. — Enns and Byas, Genesis for Normal People
Come, O thou Traveller unknown,
whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone,
and I am left alone with Thee;
with Thee all night I mean to stay,
and wrestle till the break of day. — Charles Wesley, ‘Wrestling Jacob’
Today, we heard about a wrestling match between Jacob and—who was it? A man? An angel? God himself? Or could we even read it as a parable of Jacob’s inner struggle with himself?
This is a text to struggle with.