Day 9

Jesus Is The True & Better Jacob

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan


Genesis 32:22-32, Isaiah 53:5, Hebrews 12:5-11

BY Missy Fuller

Text: Genesis 32:22-32, Isaiah 53:5, Hebrews 12:5-11

I reached for my phone. The screen came to life, illuminating the dark room. It was 2:17 AM, and my mind was racing. As I turned over I felt the Spirit’s prompting. So, instead of reaching for the bottle of melatonin, I reached for my Bible and journal.

I needed to wrestle. Earlier that day, I had been on a date that left me confused and restless. My heart wanted one thing and my head wanted another. Or maybe it was my sinful insecurities convincing me of my want while the Spirit of God in me reminded me of what I already knew to be true. Was I going to choose what I deeply desired, which was now right in front of me, or was I going to humble myself and wait for God’s best? Regardless, I needed to struggle with my Lord.

Jacob, too, was alone with God that night at the Jabbok River. He wrestled with a man, struggling until daybreak. As the sun rose, Jacob asked for a blessing before he would let the man go (Genesis 32:24-26). But he received more than a simple blessing. Jacob—whose name meant “he grasps the heel,” a Hebrew idiom for “he deceives”—was renamed. He was given the name Israel “because he struggled with God and with men and prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).

Centuries later, one of Jacob’s descendants had His own midnight encounter with the Father. The night before His crucifixion, Jesus struggled with God in the Garden of Gethsemane. He pleaded with the Father to spare Him from the suffering He was about to endure. Yet, even in His great anguish, He humbled Himself before the Father and uttered these remarkable words of surrender:

“…not my will, but Yours, be done.”
– Luke 22:42

Both Jesus and Jacob struggled with God, and both were wounded.

Both presented requests to the Father. Jacob demanded a blessing, and God granted his request. Jesus, in humility, asked the Father to remove His suffering, but yielded to God’s greater purpose.

Both struggles birthed a new identity. Jacob received a new identity in his new name. Jesus allowed the blessing of a new identity to fall to us.

Through Jesus’s sacrifice, we are granted redemption. He took the wounds we deserve, and we receive the blessing that was rightfully His. Christ overcame for us, and we are renamed “Redeemed.”

Our struggles become defining moments in our lives. In Christ, even the struggle becomes a blessing because it draws us closer to our Savior. Jesus is the true and better Jacob, wrestling with God and sustaining the blow that was due us, so that we might receive the blessing of grace.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Oh, dear sisters, I pray we would struggle, too. I pray we would find comfort as we wrestle with our Lord and hold on for the blessing that is ours in Christ Jesus. Let us wrestle with the One who has overcome the greatest struggle of all, and all for us.

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Post Comments (108)

108 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Jacob"

  1. Hi ladies – today im not posting in relation to the message but for help. My cousin who is 22 like me just got married to her husband in October. They got married quickly because he had cancer and now it looks like he’ll pass before The new year- if you could pray for her and for her husband, that they’re surrounded by Gods peace and that he doesn’t lose heart/faith. I’d love that, I have hope for a miracle….

    1. Jeannette says:

      I am praying…

    2. Valerie says:

      Praying!!

    3. Stephanie says:

      Praying for your family Katie

    4. Molly V says:

      Praying for your cousin and her husband. God if it is your will, heal her husband. We will praise you for the good works you have done.

  2. BAMcCormick says:

    “Our struggles become defining moments in our lives.” I hate struggles, especially the struggles that have characterized my semester. In the moment, I don’t want to hear that God can and is using them for good or to help me become more like Him. But I know that is true. And I know He never leads us down a path He is unwilling to walk with us. Or carry us down. He’s been doing a lot of carrying in my life lately.

    1. Mel says:

      Praying for you as I completely understand what you are saying. Sometimes I struggle to trust God has something better planned or needs to teach me. I want to scream and shout and wallow in my own self pity even when I know that’s not the answer. God loves us and desires us to be faithful not perfect!

  3. Malorie says:

    Keep waiting for God’s best! Don’t settle for some “ok” guy! I waited and waited after somewhat ok dates and guys, and finally the Lord brought me His best! I am so thankful that I waited! We have been married now for 6 months, and it has been wonderful! No settling allowed :)

  4. Donna says:

    I am so thankful for the blessings I have seen over my life through struggles and The faithfulness of Jesus through it all. Redeemed!

  5. Scarlett says:

    I have felt guilty before about struggling with God, because He is God and I am a sinful human. This was encouraging to think sometimes I need to wrestle through things with God- it was encouraging!

  6. Joy says:

    I thank God for speaking to us all, and to me personally through today’s devotional.

  7. Molly J says:

    Another parallel I had never realized before – how Jesus wrestled with God, similar to Jacob. I had never made the mental connections before that these OT characters aren’t just standalone stories in our Bibles!

  8. joni w says:

    i have been struggling for the desire of my heart which is goes against what His will is. this has been going on longer than i care to admit but waiting is hard. it harder when you don’t know why you want to understand but understanding is driving you crazy. so i am waiting for a breakthrough i guess trying not to count the years but trying endure and perservere.

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