ISSL Reflections September 18 2022 Genesis 32:22–32 Post 3

VII.
And then –

“You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, yet my life is preserved.”

A new name, an unanswered question, a blessing and an encounter with God! Did you see all that coming from a wrestling “match”?

VIII.
Genesis 32:22-32 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.

IX.
Maybe all this wrapped up so tightly in this passage is one of the reasons it is a favorite passage of mine.

Then again, maybe, I just identify with having to struggle – wrestle – with some decisions I face.

I know that once the choice is made something will be different. Maybe I won’t get a new name but I am changed.

Then, on top of that, do you think even as we make such choices, there is “always” something that remains unanswered?

How do we live with the unanswered questions? The Mystery that we face again and again? Not “mysteries,” but “The Mystery.” Whatever it is that strikes awe in us? Do we face it as did Jacob/Israel or do we avoid it at all cost?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


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